Friday, April 6, 2012

Scuba Diving @ Sindhudurg..

continued from: http://lifeisanopenroad2me.blogspot.in/2012/02/konkan.html

The day began with a drive to the station to meet the gang. The first thing on our agenda was scuba diving. We headed to the Malvan town and struck a deal with the diving- operator. Bargaining hard, we managed to get it to 1000 per head. A pretty decent deal though negotiating too hard with a fellow who’s filling oxygen in a tank for you is not a very bright idea. Mr. Gubbi like many of us water-phobic souls had his apprehensions and was calculating the probability of one of us asphyxiating underwater.

videoThe operator’s boat took us near the island on which Sindhudurg fort is built as the coral is supposed to be majestic here. Diving was a challenging experience. Whether you know swimming or not is irrelevant. Arun & Varun’s command over swimming is as good as their skills with Mandarin & tribal Swahili music, yet they managed a brilliant stint underwater. The toughest part is getting used to breathing through the mouthpiece and familiarizing oneself with the valve. Any attempt to breathe through the nose will give you a feeling of suffocation and you may just panic underwater. Similarly, without a tight hold on the mouthpiece, the water just might sneak in and eventually start filling your lungs.



I took a while getting used to it and went in. The experience is truly out of the world. For here you are, seeing something you would never have experienced or dreamt of before. The life forms are immense in number. With due respect to Discovery, NatGeo etc, I will say this is something you have to experience yourself; TV just can’t recreate it. While I’m no fan of over-hyped expressions of our desi cinema, Hrithik Roshan’s tear-shedding expression in Spain made sense now. The fish were intriguing: zebra striped, small huge, some even bigger than my arm.

Then it happened.. There was water in my mouth… I had the brains to not make an attempt to open my windpipe and flood my lungs, but in desperation I tried my nose. Immediately I suffocated. I signalled my instructor. Within 10 seconds which seemed like forever, I was at the surface. Upon enquiring what had happened, my instructor told me what had gone wrong: There was a slip in my concentration and my mouth had given way to water. Then I remembered: perhaps my lips had curled into a smile upon greeting some weird creature; that slight angle was enough for water to seep in. I promised to not do that again, but now could we continue? I had no clue about the time. Wasn’t it a few moments back that I’d started? He then enlightened me that oblivious to my senses, a good 10 minutes had passed! However, he would be kind enough to take me even deeper..

This time I was at least 20-30 feet deep and the coral got even more interesting. The downside was a couple of scratches and cuts on my hands thanks to these sharp corals.

Varun (and Arun thereafter) had similar experiences and they came out with some lasting memories. In the evening, we headed to Tarkarli beach. Almost a virgin beach, this was one of the cleanest and prettiest beaches I have seen. John & Rajath decided to try out parasailing at the beach and were definitely thrilled. The evening included some great wining & dining. The Konkan curries call for a robust digestive system and a capacity for spices. The fish was great and we ended up having at least double of what we’d initially ordered.
The next day we headed out for Ganpatipule. Again, coastal highway was taken and we were rewarded with many lovely sights. This was an unknown road from Ratnagiri to Ganpatipule which was unmarked in most maps.

In the evening, I had to bid the gang goodbye. I was a bit tense as I knew it’d be dark by the time I get to Mumbai. On the other side, the ride was very enjoyable as the temperature dropped and the highway had moderate traffic. The only problem that night was.. U guessed it: getting to Mumbai. 50-70 kms near the city and you feel like you are in hell. Humidity, smoke and pathetic roads kill the high, even at 11pm
.

In all, I was glad I made this trip. And that I’d chosen to ride. I’ve driven some terrific highways but this one was just made for my bike. The other brilliant national highways (NH3, NH4) are a bit too straight and too fast. In short: Boring after a while. The Konkan terrain is something that keeps you on the edge; you yearn for the next turn, bend, the climb, descent and the beautiful sights..

12 comments:

  1. as always, i enjoyed reading it :) scuba was one hell of an experience! riding ur bike along the coastal highway was bliss! had an awesome time traveling from one state to another in bus, train and bike :) and oh ya, the food was too good.. thanks to gubbi and his gadget we were able to find a way to the beach in the darkness :P

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  2. Ah yes, I forgot to mention about our adventures on that spooky trail in the middle of the night! Long live Mr. Gubbi & his gadgetry..
    & Cheers to your hunger for biking :)

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  3. Marvelous…..
    puneonnet.com

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  4. We have a travel website which is a Maharashtra travel Guide in which we have a page for Ganpatipule with lot of information regarding the place. We also have information regarding Ganpatipule Hotels for which we provide direct link to the hotel websites. In addition to that we have a portal with information exclusively about Ganapatipule which is www.ganapatipule.in


    We also have a page for blogs on Ganpatipule. Do let us know if you would like to feature your blog in the Ganpatipule Blogs page in puneritraveller.com.

    Please write to puneritraveller at gmail dot com

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  5. Hi Shubham, I'm a diver from Seattle who originally hails from coastal Maharashtra. I had written out the Sindhudurg option until I came upon your blog. Can you tell me who/what the scuba agency is? I would love to talk to them and figure out if I can bring my dive team there instead. It's easier to get to than Andhaman or Lakshadweep.

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  6. Hi Shubham, Just read an awesome experience of Scooba in Sindhudurg. I was googling for scooba in Maharastra and came across your site. Read Many of your blogs instantly. I have done a Bullet ride to ladakh last year and this year wanted to try something small. I am from mumbai and had a thought of riding thru coastal areas of konkan and coupling it with experiences like scooba. Would you please give me contact numbers of Mr. Gubbi or your scooba operator ?? Just want to confirm bookings for scooba before we start the ride. Thanks in Advance..

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  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

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