Memorable first scuba diving experience

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For as long as I know Michelle, our operations manager in KOSTUBA and a diving enthusiast, whenever she came back from her dives, she always showed us breathtaking footage and told countless stories about the magical underwater world and I was always fascinated by that. However, diving more than a few meters under the sea really scared me. It was a matter of time before I decided to face my fears and where better to try it than on Tomia Island, Wakatobi? We were on our research trip and without really thinking about it, I signed up to discover scuba diving for beginners.

Wakatobi is located in Southeast Sulawesi and is best known as one of the best world-class dive sites. The name “Wakatobi” is an acronym for a combination of the four main islands; Wangi-Wangi, Kaledupa, Tomia and Binongko.

I remember it rained all morning that day, but our instructor said give it a go. So here we are on a fully equipped boat with wetsuit, mask, fins, ballast, regulator and tank. After a short period of instruction and the basics of scuba diving, it was finally time to try diving.

As it was my first time, quite nervous and my heart was pounding with both excitement and fear, I waded my way into the water and held on to my instructor’s hand. We started going down into the water and it was a weird feeling going under the water.

The site we explored that day was Mari Mabuk. It. Era. AS. Amazing.

I felt like I was in a different world and was completely mesmerized, surrounded by colorful marine life under the sea. Even though it rained all day in the morning, the underwater visibility was quite good, I saw many colorful soft and hard corals and various marine life.

As I dive deeper into the blue sea, it has become even more amazing. Colorful coral reefs of various sizes and shapes were right in front of my eyes, a clown fish hidden among the soft corals and there were many other creatures we saw but I’m not good at identifying so I won’t be able to name them. 🙂

While I was busy admiring the beauty of the underwater life, suddenly my instructor signaled me to look up, out of nowhere a school of fish appeared and started swimming together forming a circle. I was speechless and could hardly believe my eyes.

Words cannot describe the feeling of serenity one gets surrounded by the colorful marine life, it really amazed me to realize that there are thousands of creatures living under the sea. Peacefully.

After discovering the magical underwater world, it was time to go back up and slowly we emerged from the sea and returned to the boat, and enjoyed the fresh lunch served on board while admiring the breathtaking scenery of the Tomia islands.

You will never forget your first breath underwater. And what a perfect place it was to dive Wakatobi for the first time.


Tiffany Destiny

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