HUMARAY – PASS – SAMANDAR – HAI
Yes that’s right. This sentence is the grand finale of every heated discussion involving a comparison of Karachi with Lahore (mostly) or with any other city in the country for that matter.
Living 4 years in Islamabad/Rawalpindi but still being a karanchi wala at heart, I myself have used this sentence to win numerous debates (single-handedly) on why Karachi is the best.
The beach is the best and the most economical form of entertainment the city has to offer, be it birthdays, holidays, picnics or cyclones!?! 😛
So on the 31st of December 2017 we decided to take the love for our “samoondar” one step further and went scuba diving and snorkeling in our very own Arabian Sea.
Based on reviews from FFF(friends, family and facebook) we chose a private group called the Divers Reef Karachi that has been in the business since 2011.
Let me help you take a sneak peek into our excursion and decide when do you want to book yours.
The trip began with leaving for Mubarak village around 8 A.M shortly after assembling at the pick-up point and being seated in the buses.
Nothing sounds better than 5 more minutes of sleep or maybe 10?
Go back to bed and stop worrying about fixing yourself a sandwich early morning because breakfast shall be taken care of.
The Ride to Churna
Upon reaching Mubarak Village, we were given our life jackets and a few instructions about our journey to Churna Island in a local boat which goes by the name of “launch” by the locals.
You are expected to reach Churna soaking wet if the sea is choppy, which in our case did not happen and it took quite some time for our body temperatures to get used to the sea.
The visibility under water can be up to 15 meters only if nature doesn’t decide to be a party pooper. How?
Remember this guy?
Yes he is annoying for real.
For all those who did not grow up watching spongebob squarepants, this character depicts a bacteria in the sea called plankton and at times there can be millions of these in the sea which can significantly reduces the visibility.
The reef is not too colorful but not too dull either but you do get to see some interesting formations and lots of exciting marine life.
While you wait for your turn OR while you wait for the rest of the group to finish, you are allowed to snorkel close to the boat and enjoy the reef.
We saw a lot more fish while we snorkeled compared to scuba diving.
Guess what you’re getting for lunch after a tiring swim against the waves.
Biryaniiiiii!!!With a cup of tea.
Tea? Yes they prepare tea on the boat. Even if you aren’t a chai person you might end up having more than just one to normalize your body temperature.
Guess who eats the left overs?
Don’t expect the chai to work its magic because you will be sleeping like a baby to the soothing sound of the waves and the rhythmic roaring of the boat’s engine.
You will be sent a list of instructions once you register for the trip but things you won’t be told are:
- Sit away from the engine. The smell of the diesel can make you nauseous and the noise is deafening.
- Take the least no. of valuables on the boat and don’t leave them on the floor because there will be water entering the boat especially if the sea is rough.
- Keep wearing your life jackets, not just for safety reasons, it also helps in keeping you warm.
- Do not forget to keep a full size bath towel. Drying yourself can be a hassle if you don’t have a towel. Plus it keeps you warm. I ended up wearing mine until we reached Mubarak Village and changed.
- What to wear? Oh this will be a long one
5a. Try wearing Dri-fit because there are no changing facilities on the boat and if you don’t plan to create a scene, you will be wearing the same clothes until you reach Mubarak Village.
5b.You shall not be given diver suits so wear something fitted and properly tucked in, unless you want to end up looking like a puffer fish(or me) under water.
5c. Wear jeans, only if you plan to drown because mayyynnn!!! they get heavy once you go under water
5d. No shalwar kameez guys. Go back to 5b.
5e. You will not be needing slippers on the boat, leave them in the bus.
- Be careful and do not step on the reef, you might step on something dangerous or damage an organism/formation that takes ages to develop.
- We also discovered an SSG commando base not too far from where our buses were parked and requested them to let us use their bathrooms. The bathrooms were in a far better condition compared to the public ones.
- No need to carry your photography equipment, that too shall be taken care of , so that you enjoy to the fullest.
Total damage: PKR 5000 including under water photography.
The trip was not only very well organized, it also finished right on time.
It was the second time we went scuba diving but our first time in Pakistan, and despite our concerns about the safety standards in the beginning we thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I believe it was excellent value for money and 2017 couldn’t have ended any better.