I visited Malvan and Sindhudurg last year with Deccan Odyssey. Then I enjoyed the fort in the sea and the quiet Tarkarli beach with a lavish Malvani lunch. What I missed on that trip were the adventure activities like Scuba Diving and Snorkeling. Soon after I did get to Snorkel in the South China Sea in Malaysia. Scuba Diving still remained on my to-do list. After we shifted to Goa, I had this adventure activity on my mind. This Tuesday we did an impromptu driving trip to Malvan Beach primarily for Scuba Diving.
Scuba Diving in Malvan
The road along the jetty that takes boats to Sindhudurg is a row of vendors offering scuba diving and snorkeling. Most of them were local youth who probably have basic training in conducting dives. They take you to the boat that serves as your base for diving – a very basic boat with a small changing room on top. The dive suits that they gave us were definitely old as they were torn in many places and looked overused. The shoes were new but not the ones with fins. Upon inquiry, I was told that they are meant for the guides who would come along with us.
Types of Dives on Offer
They offer two types of dives – commercial and cylinder as they call them. First, one has oxygen supplied from the boat and can go no deeper than 20 feet. In the latter, the oxygen cylinder is tied to your back and you can go as deep as you can physically take. In Malvan though the depth of the sea where diving is done is not very great so from an experience perspective it may not make much of a difference. Add to this the fact that cylinder diving comes at double the cost of a commercial one. Most guides speak only Marathi and workable Hindi. Which can be a limiting factor for those who do not speak or understand these languages?
They give you basic training on breathing with the equipment on. Although it is as simple as breathing only through the mouth, it takes some time to get used to it. And doing it effortlessly so that you can enjoy the underwater world.
Exhilarating scene underwater
Going underwater is always an exhilarating experience. What we see is unbelievable in the world above. The sheer variety of vegetation and corals is overwhelming. You wonder how these hard corals are living being, how these ferns are standing on the sea bottom. How the algae actually look like a carpet drawn on the seabed. You wonder if all the colorful fishes in the world have conspired to stay underwater, as the fishes you see in the fish market are all dirty grey.
The way they move around you, tease you, and play with you when you are in their territory is a sheer joy to see and feel. You know, you never feel they are real. It always feels like you are visiting a dream sequence.
I am already looking forward to my next big dive. Where would it be is an element of a bit of research and financial planning?
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