by Rujen Amatya
During my bridge year in Florianopolis, Brazil, I had a goal: to visit all the beaches on the island. This proved to be an extreme challenge because the island of magic has more than 40 beaches. I could not visit all the beaches. Thus, I decided to go for the most beautiful beaches which are on the east coast of Florianopolis. These are also the beaches with strong, big waves, exactly fitting the waves that I liked.
My home, Nepal, is a country full of mountains and hills, rivers and lakes, waterfalls, and glaciers. Born and raised in a place with such a diverse topography, I often found myself climbing mountains, hiking the trails between the hills, swimming in the rivers and getting soaked under waterfalls. I thoroughly enjoyed what Nepal had to offer but never did I expect to find this new exploration in Brazil.
It feels wonderful to spend time on the beach near the sea. Just watching the sunrise or sunset makes me feel happy. The sound of the gurgling waves hitting the shores is melodious. As these waves gently soak the sand, the acetylene blue sea simultaneously changes color. While the waves continue, the fragrance of sulfur along with the cool breeze refreshes me. While I walk along the beach, the feathery sand sticks to my damp feet and I carry it all the way up to my destination. I had never felt this kind of attraction back home. I was in love with the sea.
Once, while I was watching the beauty of one of those beaches, I could see two ripples far out on the sea. At first, I thought it was some normal fish swimming its way along. But, as it swam closer, I realized that they were two dolphins of two different sizes, probably a mother and her child. It was the first time I had seen a dolphin. I was delighted, and as I checked off one of the items in my bucket-list, I pondered: “The sea is a world in itself. How would it feel to be a fish?”
With this, another objective arose in my mind: scuba diving. Scuba Diving provides a wonderful opportunity to see the world through the eyes of a fish. As I anticipated about scuba diving, I imagined how it would feel to be a fish. Even weeks before the actual scuba diving day, I was very excited. On the diving day, however, I had mixed feelings. I was thrilled to explore the sea but nervous because I was not a good swimmer. I entered the water with an oxygen cylinder, mask, and regulator. As a general rule of scuba diving, I am not to breathe through my nose—only through my mouth. However, during my dive, I could not breathe properly. I struggled to only breath through my mouth. Additionally, a bit of water entered my mask and my eyesight was blur. During this fearful time, I forgot the technique to remove water from the mask and resorted to call on the scuba instructor to take me to the surface. It was a disaster. It was not supposed to be like this. I had imagined and expected a smooth scuba diving session, but it was a failure. I had failed.
After some time, my scuba instructor asked me, “Do you want to try again?”. This was my last opportunity. My desire and love for the sea were so strong that I challenged myself to do it.I took a deep breath, tried to remember the techniques and got ready to breathe through my mouth. This time, I went in and took a moment to adjust to the surrounding. As I entered the sea, it was all well. Under the sea, the water was azoic blue. I saw aquatic plants swaying in the waves I made. A dozen of colorfully striped fish passed right in front of my eyes. I could see the rays of light striking the surface of the water. The water made my ears numb but I could sense the calmness of the sea. It truly was a different world.