“I’d like to be, under the sea, in an octopus’s garden, in the shade … “
Clearly, the hubster and I aren’t the only ones intrigued by the thought of an underwater adventure. It seems the Beatles were too!
There are so many things to do in Bali – but I was particularly keen to do the Bali Sea Walker experience.
Before we even left Australia, I’d booked discounted tickets through the Groupon website and it’s fair to say I was hoping that sea walking in Bali would be one of the highlights of our trip.
I wasn’t disappointed.
The great news is, unlike scuba diving, you can still wear your glasses. You don’t need any previous diving experience – or even to be able to swim. Heck, your hair doesn’t even get wet!
But let me start from the beginning.
To call it the Bali Sea Walker is probably a bit of a misnomer – we took maybe 50 paces at most 😉 .
After we had pulled wetsuits on over our swimsuits, we were taught some basic hand signals for our safety. For example, a thumbs up does NOT mean everything is okay – it means you want to go up to the surface! This information is important as you can’t talk underwater (well you can, but nobody will hear you).
We sped over the water in a small boat towards the dive platform, where weight belts were fastened around our waists.
Then came the moment of truth where we had to climb OUT of the boat into the lukewarm water (it IS the tropics after all),
My brave hubster lead the way, and I watched as a helmet was placed on his head, before he descended down the ladder and disappeared under the water. Gulp! It’s quite confronting, putting your trust in the Bali sea walking company and their equipment in such an alien environment!
It feels like you are going against all the laws of nature, as you descend approximately three metres below water level. I took it slowly to give my ears a chance to adjust, you can definitely feel the difference in pressure – a bit like when you are in a plane.
At last I was on the sea floor – and what a marvel it was to be able to look around and breathe freely.
Our guide was was suited up in full scuba gear, along with a waterproof camera, which he used to capture our experience in photos and movie (we paid approximately $40 AUD to have this done and saved to a DVD).
Colourful tropical fish swarmed around me – some even nibbled on my fingers as I held my hands out! It was a little bit awkward to see out of the dive helmet if I turned my head – and I seemed to have no depth perception, things seemed a lot closer than they actually were – as I discovered when I reached out to grasp the hand rail.
Despite the weight belt I was wearing, I found I had to cling to the rail at all times for risk of floating off in the current!
Our guide handed us small bags of food to feed the fish – no wonder there were so many clustered around us!
In all I think we spent about 30 minutes underwater. Hubster said he would have been happy to re-surface after only about ten or fifteen minutes, but I felt that half an hour was just right.
One thing I would recommend is taking a towel so you can dry off afterwards – we didn’t event think of this. There were some available for hire but the weather was so warm I just threw my dress on over my wet swimmers and it really didn’t matter, I dried off in no time and at least I kept cool because I was still damp.
And so, I can now tick off item number 4 on my 50 Things for the Festival of 50 list.
What will be next?!
Would you be brave enough to try the Bali sea walker experience?
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