And then we all went to Bali. Wanted to celebrate but stayed off the alcohol because Sunday was Dive Day! I was keen to test out my newly acquired Open Water Diver status, and Uju & Souvik signed up for a Discovery Dive with Bali Diving Academy. They picked us up early morning for a 3-hour drive to Tulamben in north Bali. The discovery divers had a 15 minute orientation learning to ‘breathe’ with the SCUBA gear, while I had a brainwave to hire an underwater camera.
Souvik was VERY apprehensive about the whole situation, and chickened out of the first dive with all those big waves and murky waters. Uju was braver, and early in the dive she decided to focus on her breathing, and leave everything else to her instructer, Made (pronounced Maadey). Smart move. Diving off the shore was a new one for me, and a very clumsy attempt. Ni Luh, my buddy from the academy helped me put on the fins and off we went.
Murky water on the surface got much clearer in the deep. We were happy to pose, in spite of my mask flooding annoyingly and repeatedly. In the pictures below, I’m the one with the yellow snorkel, perpetually clearing the mask.
Made got us some lovely pictures of the coral, as directed by Uju.
We got out after 45 minutes, for the lunch break, and our excitement knew no bounds. Getting in from the shore is tough, but getting out is way more difficult! At lunch, we talked Souvik into one more try, with me promising to hold his hand all the way 🙂
The second dive was at the USAT Liberty shipwreck, something that I was very eager to do. And asked for the camera.
Souvik and Uju descended first, and I lost the group. So I bobbed on the surface, waiting for Ni Luh. I was happy to not see Souvik bob out, so I imagined he had got over his fear. Turns out, Ni Luh had pulled him down just as he was having second thoughts, and both Souvik & Uju believed that was me, keeping my promise. So they went in on good faith, and continued the dive with Made, while the dynamic Ni Luh came back for me. Divine intervention! Souvik followed Uju’s advice to leave it all to Made. I believe he held them both from above with their tanks, and showed them around.
Ni Luh & I descended properly together, and went all over the shallow ocean floor looking for the wreck. She was searching, and I was just looking. 15 minutes, and no sighting, so we got out again, to wait for Made. I thought to check my air gauge, and managed to lose the weight belt in the ocean. OOPS! So we simply waited for Uju & Souvik to finish, then Made helped me wear Uju’s weight belt, and we got back to the dive.
This time it was magical. I got trigger happy. Can you see the shape of the ship that the fish and coral made their home? (Click on any image for a larger, more beautiful view.)
Nothing more to say, except that we celebrated with a BIG dinner that included Souvik’s favourite butter chicken.