My husband has been inviting me for the longest time to try out the Aquanaut Voyage at Manila Ocean Park and actually I've been stalling it. Not that I am scared to do it since I am an advanced open water diver already, it's just that I've been stalling it. No other particular reason. Maybe I think there's still nothing comparable to a "real" dive.
So I finally tried it for a contest I joined (unfortunately I did not win). Anyway, preparing for my Aquanaut Voyage is faster since I am already a diver. As part of Manila Ocean Park's Aquanaut safety protocol, my Aquanaut dive master briefed me about the hand signals we will be using underwater so that we can communicate.
When I was inside the tank, the first thought that entered my mind was why did I stall doing this in the first place. I could have been the first few people who could have tried and raved about Aquanaut Voyage. Oh well, finally doing the Aquanaut Voyage late was better than never.
My aquanaut experience was exhilarating. The moment I stepped away from the ladder I was greeted by a stingray going in my direction. It was a nice surprise. My only experience with stingrays in the wild is when we were pretty deep and I managed to see its back as it was swimming away from me. However, inside the main Manila Ocean Park tank this humongous stingray was just inches away from me. I had this surreal moment. Stingray!!!
After the stingray passed by, we took the pictures I needed for the contest and I played a little inside the tank which included waving to the little kids passing by and taking pictures with strangers as if I am one of the attractions of Manila Ocean Park.
I guess when you're comfortable underwater it can be relatively easy to goof around. However, if your a newbie in diving a person's primary concern will be how to breath under that suit and to stay calm. Still for adventure seekers, this is really a must-try-adventure when you are in Manila
I am thinking this is also a great way to introduce diving for those who are interested to be real divers. When I was learning how to dive I remember the cold deep pool and I thought what the heck was I doing to myself. However, once I was underwater in the deep ocean all those qualms about diving dissipated and that thrill... that first breath you take from your tank... that first signal to go down... I can't really find the words to describe it but I remember the blood gushing in my head and my heart pounding so loud ("oh my this is it!") and finally you're free. You are a water creature. And you develop this desire to make sure that you can go back to this sanctuary any time you want so that others would be able marvel on it as well.
There were so many thoughts running through my head while I was doing my Aquanaut Voyage. One thing is for sure... "It a one-of-a-kind attraction at Manila Ocean Park one shouldn't miss" when you're in town.
Till the next post. :)