This blog is about an adventure trip in Goa which is very popular, at least in travel blogs or other sites.
If you are done visiting the beaches and got bored of sitting under the shacks or even done with some of the water sports then you might want to consider taking a Snorkeling and Scuba Driving Trip. This particular trip I am writing about takes a day to complete and it is applicable for families and bachelors/singles alike.
If you are on the stretch of Candolim-Baga-Calangute then you will see frequent signages of tours and travels with various packages. Most of them do offer Snorkeling and Scuba diving package too. In general the itinerary is something like this.
8 AM the operator picks you up
9 Am the tour starts
9-10 AM Dolphin sighting
10-12 Pm snorkeling, scuba diving
12-1 Pm Lunch
1-3 Pm Fishing, Boat ride
3 PM Tour ends
Following is the flyer that is circulated everywhere.
Oh Yeah! I missed mentioning about the beers that are offered as part of the package. 4 per person is what they allow but usually if you request he may give 1 or 2 extra because some of them come with families and dont like having booze. Well particularly I felt nausea with the smell of the sea and didn’t feel like having any food.
The operators stick to most of the promises mentioned above. They came and picked us up from our hotel at 8 AM and usually a swaraj mazda 14/18 seater is used. The bus not just picks the customers of the tour operator we booked but it has the information of all the tourists who will be taking the trip on that day. They all are a syndicate and all reach at a common point where the boats are docked. From there on we all become one group and the boats docked keep boarding us after we are verified if the payment is done. Remember! they take only Cash, not even UPI transfer so make sure you carry cash or the best way is to pay the local operator near your hotel upfront.
This is how the boats are docked and tourists are filled in.
Each boat takes about 15 people and the drinks and snacks too are loaded before the departure. We were provided with the safety vests to wear and they have limited vests mostly matching the number of people on board. So make sure you add the names of the kids with the operator if you are not paying for the kid.
The boats move in first in first out order and in an hour the meet up area is cleared and all start sailing. Each boat has an operator and 1 or 2 boys to assistants. They distribute snacks and assist the driver.
After about 15-20 mins of sailing at once we keep hearing our driver talking loudly and trying to bring our attention. In far distance we see some movement under water and apparently our driver said they are dolphins. Frankly, I could not have a good view of them but some of the passengers said they saw a tail. But dolphin sighting as an attraction in the itinerary is a bit of hype.
The boats usually reach the island seen distantly in the video. All the boats are docked there and there will be a senior operator who will read out the name of the people who have opted for Scuba diving. The cost of Scuba diving is around 2400 and they will provide the gear like oxygen, swim suit.
The other enthusiasts who just want to take a dig can just get into the waters as the safety vests were already given. The boat operators helped our kids to have a swim in the water. We were told that the water was 100 feet deep but my son had a good time for sometime. In the following video you could see kids swimming and in the background there are boats docked and there the scuba divers had taken a plunge. Actually, we had requested our driver to move the boat a little away to that we could have some space or else the place was all cramped up.
Usually this takes about 2 hours as scuba diving takes time. As I mentioned before we did not go for it but the guys who took it said the experience was just Ok!.
Once we are done with this adventure the boats leave to an island for lunch. Although it is an island we wont be going beyond the shoreline. That is were the food is arranged and as it was scorching hot they had arranged a canopy for us to sit and eat. Since we only had vegetarian food so all we had was rice, kabuli chana curry and some salads to eat. I think they serve lots of seafood.
I could not take much pictures during lunch as it was too hot and had to handle my son as well. But the following pictures were taken before getting down the boat and you could the crowd and food arrangement in background.
By the time we had food the clock was ticking 3 Pm, we boarded the boat and headed to the rendezvous. The buses were awaiting us and we were dropped out our hotel by 4 PM. It was a nice experience for someone who has a day’s spare time. But if you are into scuba diving and really want to explore the reefs and have a professional experience then this may not be the right place.
The whole trip is organized well by an unorganized group. I mean it is not regulated or governed by any authorities. So if any thing goes wrong then you are on your own. This is the common practice for all the adventures in Goa.
Until next time we keep watching those memories and you keep reading.