Photo by Roman Castro
“The ultimate goal isn’t how long you can stay down and how big a fish you can shoot. The ultimate goal is to get back home safe and alive.” – John Griffith, freediver and spearfisher
It was an easy warm-up dive to 51 ft (15.5 m) so the last thing I expected to happen was a lung squeeze. At first my dive buddies and I were baffled at the blood I coughed up but we all agreed that it was probably just a little sinus squeeze so we began our quarter mile (330 m) swim back to shore. However, I knew something was terribly wrong when I realized that I was having an extremely hard time catching my breath. I wasn’t getting enough oxygen and my body was going into survival mode. Had it not been for a float to kick back in on, calm conditions and dive buddies, I’m positive that making that swim back to shore by myself could have easily cost me my life. It was a rude awakening to what could have happened had I been alone.
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My gut said, “Don’t do it” and all of the alarms in my head were going off. That’s why I chose to participate in the dive that may have helped two people avoid injury or worse.
One of my freediving friends invited me to go out on a dusk-to-night dive with her and a scuba diver off of a precarious dive spot. I was immediately alarmed because that meant that there would be a solo freediver and a solo scuba diver; a combination that just didn’t sit well with me. Through text messages, I learned that the scuba diver was new to diving and it sounded like the two of them were going to be making the dive with or without me. Something disastrous was brewing and my gut instincts told me that I needed to be there. View full article »
“I queried those at the back of the boat about whether Al had gone into the water on purpose, fallen in by accident or something else. No one could say. Confusion threatened to overtake the situation.”
A San Diego SCUBA instructor described the above brief moment on a live-aboard in a recent article he wrote regarding a dive accident where a diver entered the water without his dive buddy, became unconscious and immediately sank to 84’ (25.6 meters). View full article »
Though many of the people who know me wouldn’t think it, I actually do have a life away from the water!
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It’s a good sign when you’re diving so much your hair never has a chance to dry. It’s been a while since I last wrote anything but that’s also a good sign that I’ve been in the water a lot. I figured I’d take a break and do a little catching up before the end of the year. With that said, I’ve spent 90% of my in-water time freediving and the rest on scuba, including completing a Rescue Diver course (which I highly recommend!).
A few months ago I was irritated at my lack of progress in freediving and chalked it up to the fact that I couldn’t push limits because I wasn’t diving enough and I wasn’t diving enough because I didn’t have a dive buddy there to keep watch so I could push limits… So, finally I was lucky enough to find someone who turned out to be as passionate about freediving as I am. Long story short, we’ve logged a lot of dives.
What I’ve learned along the way is that View full article »
Chris had just over 100 dives under his belt and thought himself to be an experienced diver, though he hadn’t dove in over a year. He recently moved back to the west coast from Oklahoma and joined a local diving group. Eager to dive as soon as possible, Chris buddied up with Nick, a stranger from the dive group. Nick was glad to learn that his new buddy was experienced because he was barely just certified with fewer than 20 dives. Though Nick dove the local waters, he still wasn’t quite comfortable with his new skills and wanted to make sure that if something went wrong, a more experienced diver would be there to assist. Since Chris hadn’t dove in the area for some time, he was glad to be buddied up with someone who was more recently familiar with the site and he was happy to help out a newly certified diver with adding some dives to their logbook. They reviewed hand signals and did the proper buddy check procedures before entering the water.
Unfortunately, this dive would put one of these divers in the emergency room. View full article »
Dive Date Undisclosed
When I woke up, my diving radar told me that I wouldn’t be diving today. Slightly disappointed and a bit skeptical, I put my gear together and drove out to the beach to see for myself. Sure enough, conditions looked sketchy and divers attempting to get past the breakers were coming back in beaten and tired, but glad for their decision. Those that made it past the breakers said that the dive wasn’t even worth the effort as the visibility was sub-par (usually less than 5-7 feet).
My buddy and I called the dive and I watched in awe as the rest of the morning unfolded. View full article »
We lay face down in the water, relaxed, peering through the depths of the ocean, heart slowing, perched on the boundary between two worlds. We inhale one final breath, slipping into the liquid world, fighting the upward pull of the world filled with our cares. We ease into a gentle glide with the ocean’s embrace, enveloping us and pulling us deeper – deeper into ourselves. We are one with the blue. We are freedivers.
We may dive for many reasons such as competition, hunting, photography, and almost always pleasure. In my search for knowledge View full article »
There is a funny image that pops into my head when I think of freedivers practicing dry static breath-holds and attempting to beat their personal bests. I imagine people on their couch, guys in their boxers and girls with wet toenails (how else do you spend your time waiting for your toes to dry?), holding a stopwatch and turning blue, much to the dismay of loved ones. I call this couch apnea. It makes me chuckle knowing that there could be brother and sister freedivers out there holding their breath with me and cursing the stopwatch just as I do when they take their first breath only to find out that they didn’t get as far as they’d hoped.
Welcome to the static wall. View full article »
A year ago yesterday we embarked on our journey to the ocean by taking swimming lessons. My best friend had a fear of the water which he overcame by getting in the pool. Today, he’s a confident swimmer who has in one year not only overcome his fear of the water but now eagerly looks forward to the next time he can get in. We went from the pool to snorkeling every weekend and finally getting our scuba diving certifications. Neither of us had spent any time in the ocean in nearly two decades and even then, we’d never go past the surf. Diving is a passion that changed our lives but most importantly, overcoming our fears helped us to accomplish dreams. We encourage you, no matter what it is, to overcome your fears and a whole new world will open up to you. View full article »