Finding Nemo!

Last month, I went diving in the Red Sea with my family. As an inside joke, we called the diving trip "Finding Nemo". It was my father's attempt to lighten up the atmosphere; I was about to choke.

Before going into the sea, we listened to very detailed explanations by the professional divers who took us on the trip. There are many things to be aware of if you want to dive. You need to know how to use and adjust all the equipment you're wearing very swiftly, because you will constantly need to do that under water. If you don't, then you will not be able to fight back the water attacking your eyes, nose and mouth and impeding your movement. You also won't be able to adjust the level you are diving at, which might result in you colliding with coral and therefore destroying it.

A series of very short and simple gestures made under water serve as communication. Body language really means nothing down there. We learnt four gestures made by hand; Im ok, I'm not ok, I need to go to the surface, I need to go deeper down. Those were more than enough to communicate our needs. Another challenge we needed to know about was the pressure applied by the water onto our ears. That is why we were constantly reminded to equalize by closing our noses and blowing inwards until our ears opened up again.

Before going down, we practiced breathing from the oxygen cylinders through our mouths. This was not easy at all. All of these sudden changes to your breathing can cause a panic attack, which in turn causes you to hyperventilate. The very loud bubbles caused by exhalation under water can also make you panic. Once you get that under control, your whole body will start to relax.

So after getting used to that for a while, we took off!

 I cannot deny that I was feeling terrified most of the time. Just minutes before, I was on the ground, surrounded by air, then I found myself about 10 to 12 meters under water, breathing through a cylinder!

We were told that the water naturally magnifies everything. That means fish will look bigger than they actually are, and so we should not be afraid at all. Since water will magnify everything, the professional divers told us that it will be very easy for them to detect whether or not we feel scared, because our dilated pupils will instantly indicate that. My sister exploded with laughter (and swallowed water) when she looked into my pupils (which she said looked huge), but I was too busy feeling scared to laugh at hers.

Moving under water is very difficult. Any attempt to swim using your arms will not get you anywhere. You should swim using only your legs alternating in an up - down motion. Although we struggled a little with that and with other things as well, we still managed to explore sea life. I sat down next to that fish which looks like a snake (I felt like my life would end there and then). It had a large smiling clown-like face- although this could completely be one of my hallucinations! We saw beautiful coral, and amazing coloured fish. It was such a fantastic experience!

Before we knew it, the journey came to an end. We were slowly guided back and in no time above water again. Though for a very brief time, I felt like I visited another world. I went on thinking of how extraordinary it is that all this lies under there. We would only need to dive under the sea and many wonders will unfold!


  1. Wish we can do this togather one day. It looks fun!

  2. Lina: It is a brave attempt. Well done. I am sure this will open a window to a whole new world. The world of Nemo.

  3. Space: It is a whole new word! Thank you for this experience! I'm sure we'll see Nemo next time! Yes, I must admit, I was even surprised at this brave attempt!