The little island country of Mauritius is an island country and a very popular destination for everything related to H2O and the sea. Swimming, fishing, scuba diving, snorkeling, water skiing, dolphin watching, sea food, sunset cruises are widely enjoyed by tourists and locals. Very very unfortunately, I don’t know how to swim and being a vegetarian, cannot eat seafood! So, from all the above, all I could attempt was a cruise, and that too gave me a headache! I was pretty sad that I couldn’t behold all the wonders that the sea world held below under a few hundred leagues under the sea, till technology intervened in the form of a ‘Scubadoo’ scooter that promised to take me down under without me know how to swim!
Driving along, we stopped by a little board on Scubadooing near the beach Trou aux biches where we first encountered Louis. This cheerful gentleman gave us an appointment the next day for going under the sea on the Scubadoo scooter without being able to swim.
We wore our watersuits to keep us warm in the water we were to enter in and away we went in Louis car to the beach for a little ride on a boat. The trained divers helped us on to the sea scooter and lowered us into the water. My heart rate certainly went up and I thought I would drown not being used to so much water! And once in there, it was a whole new world and the equipment let me breathe normally with the water not even going above my neck. It was fantastic to see nature in a new setting and I marveled at the gorgeous fish that swam by. I do feel, the creative department of the Creator has crafted the most gorgeous patterns, colors and shapes in the sea world rather than on land (if one were to except butterflies). Fish with yellow polka dots, silver streaks, gold stripes and endless other unique designs flitted by as I watched in wonder and the 30 minutes went by without my realizing it.
True to his word, Louis, took us back to his home where his talented wife Nola had prepared a feast for us with delicious ‘wadas’ and samosas with chutney and coffee. There our host started talking to us, and boy, was he entertaining and knowledgeable! Louis and Nola were originally South Africans we learnt, who had come to Mauritius when Louis quit his lucrative corporate job at an insurance company to start his own business. His love for the sea lured him to start a business around water activities. He proudly told us that he was one of the two or three service providers in the world for the Scubadoo which he had brought from Australia. Being in the service industry for so long, he had realized that service quality was of utmost importance and that’s why the best divers, perks such as photography included in the fees, and even the snacks. He genuinely wanted to make people happy and went the extra mile to do it. In fact we were amazed to know how they customized even the snacks for their clients and even served Jain food! There certainly were several lessons in importance of service quality learnt in our conversation with him.
Thanks to the Sunday being his weekend (Mondays being off for their service), Louis and Nola were relaxed and chatted on about their surprise that most Indians (even the migrant islanders) did not know how to swim and we had to shake our heads and mumble about bad infrastructure in India. But apparently he knew about India more than we did including histories of Manmohan Singh, the Congress party, the businesses, the culture, and problems! An islander he certainly was, but had his eyes and ears across the world. It is rare to meet people as lovely and hospitable as Louis and Nola! I hope Nola gets to meet with her grandkids more often (again across the world in South Africa, France etc.) and Louis does really well in this business of his!
If you do visit Mauritius, do visit Louis and Nola for Scubadooing and a host of other services they provide. I am sure you will have a great time! Check out http://www.scuba-doomauritius.com/ for more details and contact.