Earlier on, we were at the Dolphin training ring with a bunch of our friends. Until me and one of my friends, Arief, were called to get ready for the next program, we left the ring, leaving our friends who were still enjoying the dolphin show. I felt uneasy that afternoon. I was nervous as I walked heading to Sea World with Arief and another lady who accompanied us.
Ah..Should I really go ahead with this?
For seconds, I hesitated.
After passing by the Sea World ticket checking gate, I looked at Arief, he didn’t talk much either since we entered. I guess, he felt the same as me. “I am a bit nervous,” I told him. A bit of nervous I said. In fact, my heart was like loaded much more than that. He admitted he was, too. And that was when the big four letters “OH NO!” popped in my head.
We roamed around Sea World, passing by the big aquarium with few types of Sharks swimming in there. We walked through the tunnel where the main aquarium is. We saw hundreds or probably thousand of fish swimming, big and small. We saw few Sting Ray and we were also shown a Shark that was resting at one corner. They called it Bruto. We were told that it was usually only active at night or when it smells something fishy. Hmm, fish and the fishy smell is very closely related, indeed.
Fun Dive at Sea World’s Main Aquarium
I did fun dive twice before but it was a long time ago. So, getting to do this again did need me to pull out my courage again. Especially, recently I realized that I am not scared of height but I am to depth. I was nervous when I was in Derawan Island trying to see the Whale Shark. Probably, I heard too much story about how dangerous the sea is when I was a kid and it caused me to fear of water to an uncomfortable level.
It was the first time for Arief to try the fun dive and I thought I should try to stay calm instead of getting into nerve-wracking. So, after we reached the changing room on the second floor, we changed into wetsuit provided by them. Then we headed to one room that is also the access to the main aquarium. We were literally on top of the 7-meter high aquarium.
The instructor passed us the diving gears for us to fit on and brought us to the training pool with fish to let us practice breathing using the gear and equalizing. Probably he also wanted to see if we were comfortable swimming with all the fish around because there were bigger fish that we would bump into later on inside the main aquarium. And yes, I was stunned for few seconds when he slowly let me swim down deeper and I saw a small stingray swim past. “Hmmm..ok..that looks like a Stingray.” I continued to move around while I saw Arief practicing with another instructor.
After we seemed to feel comfortable enough, we were told few things that we need to take note of before leaving to the main aquarium. First, how to use hand sign to indicate we are doing okay or not okay in the water. Second, do not panic – if we don’t feel good, stay calm and not going up to surface too fast. Theoretically, is easy to say yes. Practically, only you and God know at the end.
The Feel of Diving in the Main Aquarium of Sea World Ancol
Each of us had one instructor accompanying. To be honest, I have always been having a poor sense of direction and I was completely lost once I was in there. I didn’t know which part of the main aquarium I was in, all looked the same to me until I saw the tunnel that we passed by earlier, then I knew roughly where I was.
I saw people looking at us. Children pointing and waving at us. It was an interesting feeling to dive above them. Or probably they were wondering what type of big fish just swam over them. I noticed that the fish were much bigger in real compared to when we saw it from the outside of the glass panel. And yes, it was big and I was worried that I might hit or slap them accidentally with my fins in some ways. Fortunately, it didn’t happen.
Sea World aims to introduce the biota of the river and marine to the public. There are about 7.300 biotas of fresh water consisting of 48 type of fish and one type of reptile. While for the marine biota itself, there are 138 species of fish and invertebrates and 3 types of reptiles. All those biotas are distributed into few displays around Sea World.
I don’t know exactly how many fish there are in the main aquarium. All I can tell is, there are plenty.
Usually, one session fun dive at Sea World is about 45 minutes long but we ended earlier that day because the fish feeding session was about to start. And usually, that is when Bruto the Shark comes out because of the fishy smell comes from the food. Ok, my guts is only up to here. Even though you are placed at the last place in the category of dangerous shark, I am still not ready to see you around me yet, Bruto. So, see you some other time.
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If you are keen on doing fun dive at Sea World like what me and my friend did, it is possible. Just head on to Ancol Dreamland website and call or message them regards to your interest and reservation. The cost for this fun dive is ranging from IDR500.000,- to IDR750.000,- per session and open for licensed and non-licensed divers. If you have thought of trying out fun dive, probably you may consider to start from here to get the feel of it before heading far to the real sea. And over more, where else you can swim above the people other than here, right? ;)
Wish you a fun diving!
P.S: Thanks to Dzikry for taking the photos. What would we do without you! :D
Do you dive? How do you feel about it? Any tips to share? Feel free to leave your comments below.