Mid Sea Diving - Into the Bay of Bengal

Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Write up by Bhaskar: 

Mid Sea Dive: 21-Jan-2012 

Splash!!! Before I knew it, I was in a blue world, among hundreds of multi-colored fish swimming around the coral reefs. There was the Clown fish from “Finding Nemo”, Angel fish, Sea Horses and… wait a minute, there is a big bad Shark out there. I started to swim as fast as I could, but could not move. Suddenly there was a shrill noise that got louder n louder… until it scared away the shark. I found myself jump out of the water with a start - only to realize that it was 5:30 AM. Time to wake up and get ready for the real mid sea dive. 

I caught up with some of the participants in Guindy @ 6:30. It was good to know that some old CTC friends were coming along. Two brave Agarwals, Prateek and Rajan, had come in a bike all the way from Guduvanchery. I’m calling them brave as the Chennai weather was unusually cold and it must have been one numbing ride. We proceeded to the final assembly point at Thiruvanmiyur, only to meet more friends and other friends-to-be. 

After a round of hot tea and some refreshments, we started the journey. I think ECR looks all the more scenic, early in the morning. You can see the sun rising over a gleaming sea and the traffic is less, allowing you a relaxing ride. After a regrouping stop at Crocodile Park, we took a left turn to enter a small fishing hamlet. Here we parked our vehicles and changed to comfortable clothes that will allow us freedom in water. ;-) 

The fisher folk gave us a warm welcome and soon we were all strapped up in life jackets, all set to enter the water. The sea seemed to play the perfect host - there were almost no waves and the serene turquoise water looked inviting. We grouped ourselves into batches of 8 and each group was put in a boat. I think there were 5-6 boats. So that must give you an idea of the number of people taking this adventure. Along with the fishermen, we too offered our prayers to the sea goddess and off we go… in a fishing boat. 

We sailed about 2 km from the shore and our boatman said that this is the spot. One by one, all of us jumped in - some with enthusiasm and some with trepidation. Luckily, the water was not cold and we had a great time swimming, splashing and floating around. Rakesh’s underwater camera was put to its ultimate test as everyone tried to get a click of themselves submerged in water. 

“Time and tide wait for none” – so goes the saying. Nowhere was it more apt than during our dive. Though it seemed too short, our time in the Bay of Bengal was up and the boatmen asked us to get back. Now came the real challenge. Climbing out of the water and getting back in the boats was more difficult than we had imagined. The gymnasts inside us came to life and along with the experience of the fishermen in handling such nincompoops, we awkwardly got into the boats. 

The boats dropped us off a few feet away from land as we were given a chance to relive the experience by swimming to the shore. But it was not so easy to let go of the water. We stayed on for another 2 hours in the water, playing games, clicking pics and having a good time in general. The impromptu dance performances by Bhavana and Rakshita were met with great cheers. But the greatest cheer went to the sand sculptures and the model who posed for them – Shak__ Arjun. Our creativity was growing bigger than the ocean… 

Alas, all good things must come to an end and we reluctantly left the sea. Most of those who stayed back decided to have lunch together, just to prolong the fun. Our destination was Delhi Dhabha in ECR. We had lunch in typical CTC style, ordering everything that was on offer and eating out of each others’ plates. By now the time was 2:30 PM and the sun was taking its toll on our exhausted bodies. We could not extend the day any longer and so we left… after having a round of introductions. Signs of a new beginning?!!……… 

Rakesh R
Live today, tomorrow is just a Myth!!



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