There were butterflies in my stomach.
I forgot everything the instructor told me the day before. And there was quite a lot of it.
The vast sight of the endless ocean is enough to get even an expert swimmer nervous, I’ve heard. So I took consolation in the fact that I’m not even an expert.
Yes, I know how to swim. In a pool, I could probably save a life too. But here, many miles from the shore, in the middle of a shimmering blue green ocean, and a boat which was swaying with the waves, the slight panic was unavoidable. It was fear, mixed with a heightened sense of anticipation.
I’ve never actually jumped into the ocean before. I’ve frolicked with the waves, like everyone does when they go to a beach. But jump and swim? Never. And jump and dive? Ditto!
Even with a life jacket tied firmly and an instructor who kept telling me to breathe normally, I had my doubts.
But… there I was! Out in the ocean somewhere off the Andaman islands. In a boat in the middle of nowhere. And I’d paid quite a bit to get there.
And that’s how my ocean bath happened. Watching the ocean bath in Cintol’s “Alive is Awesome” series, I can now say that I did it too.
It was definitely an experience to remember. The instructors checked if the life jackets are tied properly. Whether the oxygen tanks were full and working. And then, the boat was tethered to the depth of the ocean. It was time.
I must admit (much as I’d like to say I was very brave and didn’t feel an iota of fear) that it wasn’t my most confident moment. But it was definitely my “alive is awesome” moment. You know the feeling? When there’s fear, but the anticipation of the larger experience takes over. I let go of the safety of the rocking boat, I looked around one time at the mighty ocean, at my smiling instructor and took the plunge.
Next, was the big splash as I entered the water and then went under, letting out my breath the entire time. The water wasn’t as cold as it looked, in fact it was quite warm in those tropical climes. A few seconds later, I was back with my head out of the water and suddenly everything looked well again in the world. I was afloat and I could see the others heading towards the rope.
The very rope which we were going to use to lower ourselves into the ocean. But that is a different story, already told in this tale about my Andamans experience.
Jumping into the waters, this first dive into the ocean, getting engulfed by the waves gave me the feeling of how “tiny” I was in the middle of this endless ocean. But there is only one word that can describe what I felt when I jumped and emerged out of the water… alive!
This is a part of the Alive is Awesome campaign from Godrej Cinthol. For fun contests and the latest visuals swing by this page).