Day started with a bus ride from Hilo to Kona Big Island, Hawaii. Excitement was at par to see few Manta Rays and to dive in one of the best sites in the world with them. Fear was also surfacing as it was my first night dive, first boat dive and first with Manta Rays of course. Somehow the travel show – ‘An Idiot Abroad’ kept me busy and I didn’t think too much. First trouble was to find the store – Jack’s Lockers Diving from where I was supposed to do the diving. Then I got there early so had some time to kill. I need wi-fi to be able to connect to my emails and other networks like face book.
Since I have got this new smart phone I am one of those people whom I used to think have got sucked into technology completely. I utilized my time to savor a burger and then headed for the diving with the crew. It was funny that I was told being the smallest person with the biggest backpack in the group. As we had to board the boat by almost jumping from one side to the other side of water. I was lucky to be able to get to the boat without any dive with my clothes on. I was ready to show my expertise in the area by quickly arranging my gears. But everything was already set for us. It was a bummer as my only chance to show my confidence was to be able to dive deep enough without making any noise.
Time to jump into the water – group three, last person. I was standing there thinking whether it was right decision I made in the middle of winter when its getting dark I am about to jump into deep water. But fortunately I made it. We spotted two Manta Rays when there was still some day light. I got a bit carried away and started swimming towards the Manta Rays and Chris had to instruct me to come back as it was not my territory to wander around.
We were cold and it was windy but now it was time to go for the next dive. It was dark and we were given the torches. My worst fear was to get hypothermia as it was my first night dive so there was some indication of panic as well of getting lost in dark. Although after the dive I did realize it was useless fear – no one can get lost as so many boats were around and with their flash lights on. Now time to jump into the water. I kept asking the person holding my calendar not to let me go before I was ready. I felt like a chicken for a moment but then I finally muster enough courage to jump. And there it was I was alive and floating. I was highly alert for all the things I had learned during my past 14 dives. And how could I forget as deep under the water that is the only thing that kept me alive.
Now time to head to the spot where the gala was taking place. It was like a celebration under water where all the divers were sitting deep on the sea bed in a circle and Manta Rays were swimming around and doing summer-salts. Best sight in my diving career (although it just started 😉 ). I was struggling to stay in one place and not bump into other divers as even if you can’t see them but you know they are giving you a stare back as if they are saying – ‘what’s wrong with you, can’t you be still’. I just realized it was my birthday in Australia (as Hawaii is 10 hour behind Australia). So I told myself that this is the best birthday present for myself so far.
we came back and I was still feeling high from the whole diving experience. Although we spotted Eels and other sea creatures but Manta Rays were the highlights of the day.