Have you ever felt the world completely still? As if everything had been put into slow motion, so you could capture every movement. So calm, that you could forget every worry you ever had. That’s about an ounce of what it feels like to experience scuba diving.
It all started off spontaneously, my friend Huda asked me if I’d like to join her to go scuba dive. Being the adrenaline addict that I am, I was immediately all for it, especially since I’d been waiting for years to experience something like this! We arrived at Dream Resort in Obhur on a surprisingly windy Monday morning, where we were escorted to sign a waiver and terms and conditions to scuba dive. The resort was located alongside the Red Sea, which we could smell in the fresh salty air before we even saw the shore.
We were then welcomed by our lovely diving instructor, Nouf, who is pretty much the embodiment of positivity! She has an experience of over 9 years in scuba diving, and specifically trains and instructs women in Saudi to enjoy this amazing sport through her organisation Pink Bubbles Divers. Nouf gave us a brief training on how to breathe underwater, equalize as well as some basic hand signals for safety. You can only inhale and exhale through your mouth, as a mouth piece connected to an oxygen tank allows you to breathe. Due to the pressure underwater, equalizing is important to avoid any discomfort in the ears. It is the process of exhaling through your ears, while keeping the nose completely blocked, therefore, causing a pop from the ears!
After the briefing, we changed into our inflatable scuba suits, which is when I really got excited! There were three of us scuba diving, and since it was our first time, Nouf took us one by one so as to give us full attention. You have to wear an oxygen tank, weights, flippers and a mask that covers your eyes and blocks your nose. Might seem a little daunting to carry when you’re on the shore, but under water, you’re completely lightweight.
The dive site is immediately off the shore, not needing us to travel by boat anywhere. Nouf deflated my scuba jacket as we got into the water, making us sink deeper into the Red Sea. Initially, I was a bit frantic, not used to breathing only with my mouth. Going a bit deeper, descending almost 30 feet below the surface, the pressure increases and your ears start to hurt, which is why it is key to equalize underwater. With a few calming instructions from Nouf, I was able to stabilize myself and quickly adapted to breathing underwater. That is when you really start enjoying whats around you!
The water was a serene mix of blue-green, and around us were corals of all shapes and sizes in an array of gorgeous colours. As we manoeuvred between mountains of coral and algae, I saw fishes. I saw them like I’d never seen them before. So crystal clear in view, swimming nonchalantly across my face as though I’m invisible. Their colours so unbelievable and vibrant, I couldn’t help but think, is this even real? (Check out the underwater video on @acoupleofexplorers in Facebook and @theexplorercouple on Instagram).
It felt like i’d been thrown into an episode on the National Geographic Channel! My favourite part was watching a huge school of silver fishes move in absolute synchrony, as if they were tied to each other by an invisible thread. I couldn’t get over the sheer harmony of the world underwater, its seemed so different from the craze only a few feet above us. I took it all in, becoming as close to a personification of a mermaid as possible, hearing only the sound of myself breathe, feeling incomprehensibly tranquil.
After a good 20-25 mins we spent underwater, I was honestly sad to return to the shore. My heart still discontent with the time I got, I decided to go snorkel with my friend. Unfortunately, due to the winds, tides were quite high and we were being swayed by the current, therefore being advised to come out for our safety.
Nevertheless, I knew undoubtedly I will be experiencing this underwater adventure again.
Follow: @pinkbubblesdivers on instagram for more insight.
Written by our guest writer Shuruq Omar.