Picture this: it is early morning. You’re on a boat in the middle of a clear blue sea. In the far distance is a pristine beach with white sand. A sound makes you turn around and you suddenly notice dolphins somersaulting in the water. Later, once you have had your fill of the sight, you strap on your scuba diving gear and dive into the water. Underneath is a different world where schools of fish swim before your eyes and at every turn you see vibrant coral reefs.
This is Tarkarli beach, one of the few MTDC-certified areas marked for snorkelling and scuba diving in Maharashtra. Next week, you can be a part of this experience by signing up for Travel Trikon’s Scuba Diving trip to the Konkan coast. “We want to provide people with the opportunity to try their hand at these activities, even if they are beginners. The entire trip is based on exploring marine life,” says Manoj Kalwar, founder, Travel Trikon (TT).
Kalwar has been organising adventure and diving trips with travel companies since 2009 before deciding to branch out and be on his own this April; TT has completed 75 trips since then. “I went scuba diving in Andaman in 2013 and have taken 12 batches of people to Malvan too. It is a fun experience and everyone loves it,” he adds.
Here’s what to expect:
Day 1: Your journey begins on Thursday night, as a private bus picks up people from Dadar and Andheri. The bus then heads towards Ratnagiri for the first halt of the trip at Hathkhamba road for breakfast. You reach Malvan at 11 am and check into a beach resort at the beautiful Chiwla beach. Lunch is a typical fish feast (there are vegetarian options), out in the open, with the sea breeze for company. In the afternoon, you head out to Tsunami Island, a small island with tranquil and clear backwaters, by boat. “The place is known for its adventure activities and water sports. You can go kayaking, paragliding, travel on jet skis and scooter boats or just explore the beach,” says Kalwar. In the evening, there will be a campfire by Tarkarli beach.
Fish thali. Pics courtesy/Abhineet Prakash
Day 2: You head out early on Saturday morning, taking a boat from Malvan jetty to Devbaugh beach to watch dolphins frolic in the water.
Next up, head to the scuba diving spot. “We’ve tied up with the Shiv Moreshwar scuba diving club in Malvan for this experience. We guide people on how to breathe underwater and there are instructors for everything else,” adds Kalwar. The dive in Malvan is not the traditional scuba diving — oxygen is stored in a tank in the boat and the diver only carries the air line tube into the water; two people hold each diver. “This is called Discover Scuba Diving where you can’t go below 15 metres in the water; you are allowed repeat trips though,” he adds.
The diving is followed by a visit to the Sindhudurg Fort — a beautiful structure by the sea. In the evening, is a visit to the Rock Garden, which offers a fantastic view of Chiwla beach, and is a great place to watch
Day 3: You head out early and stop at the beautiful Kunkeshwar beach that leads you to Kunkeshwar Mandir, a temple of Lord Shiva. The morning will be spent exploring the place, followed by lunch. From there, you head to Vijaydurg fort — the oldest fort on the Sindhudurg coast. The fun ends at 5 pm when you step back into the bus and begin your return to Mumbai.
On: November 25 to 27
Log on to: www.traveltrikon.com
Cost: Rs 8,500 per person; Rs 4,000 (needs to be deposited while booking, and is non-refundable)
Dr Neha Mehta, a guest at an earlier trip
‘I’ve gone scuba diving in Thailand before and it was a good experience to have something similar in India, particularly so close to home. Even if you’ve never gone scuba diving before, this is a comfortable experience because all the safety measures are in place and the experts are on their toes to ensure you have a fun time. Besides, the view is magnificent — clear blue waters, white sand and fewer people; beneath the surface, the reefs and corals come alive in front of your eyes’
Need to know
>> The trip is open to 25 people
>> Carry swimwear or comfortable clothing; medicines, hand sanitizers and energy drinks
>> Knowledge of swimming is not necessary for scuba diving
>> Cost includes travel, food, accommodation and entry to all places; water sports at Tsunami Islands is not included
from travel http://www.mid-day.com/articles/travel-konkan-weekend-getaway-parasailing-scuba-diving-malvan-beach/17767169