Another day in the office
*Boat sirens in the background*- I am staring down into the void, as a sudden shadow descends over everyone. As suddenly it had come, it disappears with a swift grace, leaving only a thin bubbly wake behind it. The sounds become louder and suddenly it seems like the *wailing horns of an aged Omni*. The ride back has broken down again and a nasty traffic jam, definitely not synonymous with Pondicherry roads, is starting to pile up. Definitely not a scene I want to be in right now. The sound has started to become really annoying. It suddenly seems like the alarm on my cheap Casio watch coaxing me to wake up. Oh, only the alarm; Damn, it’s the alarm!!!
I try to tiptoe into the washroom, not to disturb the crows and making sure that Tinku doesn’t realise that I am awake. As I step over something weird small and dark, hoping it’s nothing gooey, I realise Lucy and her kittens had little sleep the night before and have successfully achieved their target of separating the wire from my laptop charging head. Not sure if I should be thankful or angry, I hear the familiar *tong* sounds. Luke and Danny were already up and work at the most awesome PADI 5* IDC in the whole of India had officially started.
We finish loading up the trucks with tanks, DSD kits, the food, emergency medical equipment and some more food. One can never have enough food on a dive boat!!! After Luke and Neela, head to the harbour with the trucks for a pre run, we wait for the divers of the day to join us. Coffee mugs are passed around and the full spread of idly and puris, easily devoured.
As we wait for the last diver to show up, we start making acquaintances and some of us minions, find it hard to match the awe garnered by some of the cuter instructors (Akhil ?) around the block. All the while, Julian or Jonah would be directing people to our scubatmobiles for the ride to the harbour.
And we start with the fun part of the day!!
The rides are especially fun, with a couple of DSDs on the back seat trying to listen on to the dive experiences of the more experienced guys sitting up front.. It’s almost always very interesting until some Tec diver decides to join us and starts talking in something which is definitely not English.
We reach the harbour, welcomed by the cute dogs and the sight of tanks neatly lined up next to our kits and one diver obviously forgetting something back in the dive centre. It starts with ‘apple and grape juices’ being bartered for shareable equipment but mostly ends with a phone call to the guy who is managing the fort back home.
All the gears kitted up and neatly stacked on the boats, and the briefing done, the DSDs are made to wear marked gear which doubly help them to not drown as well. Everyone wishes they are on the TA1 boat though, with the much powerful and the quieter (Shhh!!!) engines. The ride out of the estuary becomes a bit messy with the dredging and the waves, but thanks to our very experienced captain Ravi, we get to the open sea in a breeze. GPS locked on and the anchor thrown, John takes the pony bottle and the descent line down into the ocean floor.
Today we are diving at a site called Temple Reef, an artificial reef with attendance of all the fish around a mile of this place. There are always some side-mount divers with us, who like to stay down longer with their extra tank (show offs!!), so we let them swim free. We take the DSDs down with us slowly, letting them take in all the awesomeness of the underwater world. How the dive itself goes, we will talk about it in some other post though. It definitely deserves more than a few lines, which can be given to it in this one. The look on their faces once they get back up from the dive is one of the reasons why we become a Dive Master or an Instructor. Well, there is the pukey face as well, but I am not referring to that one.
Once we are done with the dives, we raise anchor and start a very chatty (they did blend us up a nice 30% Nitrox mix) boat ride back to Pondicherry. We hit land, and immediately form a chain to unload the boats and stuff them up back in the trucks. We love how everybody chips in to help (we do insist on it sometimes though). I remembered my dream from the morning, and was hesitant to ride back on one of the Omnis. Luckily, nothing eventful happened on the way back. The DMTs were waiting for us with filled up tubs of fresh water, ready to rinse and clean all the gear and arrange everything for the next day (Thank you PADI for DMTs?)!!! All that was left to do was to sign off log books, make plans for drinks after and eat one of the best home cooked lunches in the whole world, cooked by our very own Eliza and Sundari (we have people from the whole world to bear testimony to this fact). Some of the lucky ones also get to see the ghost diver of Pondicherry, playing with kittens and working on a red macbook and ferociously guarding the Australian fridge.
Overall, a day well spent, as we welcomed more people into the underwater kingdom and we were able to go diving, something which we just love doing. That was just how another day in the office at Temple Adventures, the only dive centre in the eastern coast of India and the only 5* PADI IDC in the mainland, looks lke. Your day in the office may involve working from 9 to 5, listen to endless bickering of your peers, getting shouted upon by your boss for absolutely no fault of yours, stuck in a traffic jam between commutes and looking at pictures of people travelling the world. Well, ours is a bit different; we do not have the fattest pay-check in the world but each one of us is definitely following our passions and doing something we love, each day, every day. If you want to be a part of this amazing lifestyle, just drop in a mail or visit the awesome scubatcave in Pondicherry.
Meanwhile, you can watch a video version of the same too 🙂