Hero diving on a rainy day

DIVING ON A RAINY DAY

By Mia Raghavi, 31 July 2020

It is chilly when I wake up and I hear the rain outside. Typically, I would snuggle back to sleep. On the island, I get up and yearn for a hot cuppa. I throw on the raincoat and head to the dive shop. It’s a busy morning, as always.

I set up the equipment and have my well-earned cuppa while waiting for the guests, who may not turn up. I think to myself how lucky I am to spend yet another beautiful day on the island. As expected, we receive calls from the guests. We tell them that it’s not windy and the sea is calm despite the rain and we can absolutely dive. We are gonna get drenched anyway! Some of them are not convinced and insist on cancelling.

My guests arrive, we get ready and hop on the boat. We start heading to the dive site that is about 5 minutes away when a sudden downpour from right above us temporarily blinds us. We lose the sense of direction as we cannot see even the shore that we left only a minute ago. The captain kills the engine, turns around, and gives a shrug. I turn to my guests and pass the shrug.

We each grab one more life jacket to protect our face from the piercing raindrops and huddle together on the floor. We are soaked to the skin and shivering, and we haven’t yet dived. About 5 minutes pass by and the sky clears up. Nature is capricious. The sea is as still as a sheet of glass and very inviting. We need to make a decision and we make the right one.

We reach the dive site a few minutes later, kit up, and roll in. The water is warm and pleasant, and the visibility is fantastic. I get a feeling that I will remember this dive for a long time. Towards the end, I look up and see the rain breaching the surface of the sea. It’s eerily silent when experienced from underneath. As soon as I surface, the sound, the chill, and the rain all hit me at the same time. I wish that I stayed underwater.

We return to the dive shop and rinse the equipment. Then I shower and nap for a while. In the evening, I bump into Monster, the dive shop’s cat, looking for humans to steal their warmth on this chilly day and I readily volunteer. I wonder if she too is having a day as fabulous as mine.

P.S.: The monsoon in Andaman is from June through August when the islands see heavy rainfall. Being tropical islands, there are random days outside of the monsoon months with occasional showers, which allow us to experience the magic of scuba diving in the rain.