Tuesday, May 04, 2010


I was sitting watching TV when I got a call from Akif, my husband, he wanted me to go scuba diving with him and his friends on Saturday. I had known about his scuba diving plan but wasn't taking too much interest as I wasn't going to go dive. Although I was concerned for him, as we usually tend to mistrust everything in Pakistan and totally trust ppl and institutes abroad. I was really scared but I said yes.
We set off for Mubarak village on Saturday, around two hours drive from Karachi city. We reached a small fishing village and beyond the thatched roof huts was absolutely blue crystal clear water. Simply beautiful. We started driving along a very narrow jeep track and several times had to get out of the car to guide Akif. We parked our cars in this open area and walked down to the beach, the water was cold and it was heavenly just to stand and get our feet wet. Our instructors Yousaf and Rosheen from Karachi Scuba Diving Centre had started unpacking the gear, quite a task. Once set, the instruction process started. We were given basic tips and told to change into the diving suits.I got into one of the jeeps to change and was huffing puffing by the time i finished. The diving suit is tight and to get into it in a car is very tough. One by one the instructors took us into the water and taught us how to breathe under water. The sea had become extremely rough by the time we were ready to dive and it was decided to come back another day.
In between the week,Yousaf and Rosheen organized a practice session at a pool which proved to be very useful. By the way, Rosheen Khan is Pakistan's only female scuba instructor. The pool session was fun and we came back more confident.
Next Saturday we set off early morning, this time our destination was Charna Island. We reached a mini port after a 1.5 hour drive, from there we got into 2 boats and set off for the famous dive spot. The sea was rough, the whole journey was quite frightening as we had huge waves hitting the boat and i was constantly praying. The instructors sat absolutely relaxed as it was nothing new for them. Once there, anchor was thrown in and the boats were parked right in front of Charna. This is considered a good dive spot for beginners as the island guards the water from the waves from one side, so the sea is relatively calm. Boat 1 went first, and we sat and filmed the group dive in one by one. I had calmed down seeing them come back alive :)
Next we started preparing for the dive, getting into suits, finding fins and weight belts our size. A weight belt is like 15 kg weight which is tied around the waist, basically to make the diver heavy and sink into the water. One by one, all of us flipped into the water, backwards complete commando action style. I consider myself very brave. A rope was thrown into the water to keep everyone together. We practiced our under water sign language once and then we went in. Down and down we went, 30 feet under water. It was an amazing feeling. I saw schools of fish swimming around a beautiful coral reef. The world under water has beautiful colours, creatures of all sizes and shapes. I was tremendously enjoying the experience, after a while, I checked my oxygen level as per instructions and it was down to a 1000, i gestured to the instructor and we swam upwards.We had a feast on our journey back, thankfully the sea was not rough and we had a smooth ride back. Everyone later asked me as to how I trusted a local diving centre as nothing is reliable in Pakistan. People, lets give the people in our own country a chance and opportunity to excel. Scuba diving, I highly recommend to everyone.

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