Free Diving – Rafie down to 10m on his 2nd open water …

The goal was to get Rafie down to 10m. It’s his 2nd open water since he started diving 5 months ago when he did his first open water only after hearing about free diving 3 days before :P So if you look at it that way its really his first open water since he knew what free diving actually was !

Anyway Rafie has made some good progress since he started, he has a breathe hold PB of 3:23, dynamic of 50m with fins, dynamic 25m with exhale and not sure about no-fins (what is it ya ?)

One of the hardest things to practice when your in really shallow pools or even in pools that max out at 4-5 meters is

  • Equalisation (you might be able to do it at 3m, 4m, maybe 5m but after you start to get deeper and deeper things change because the pressure gets more intense)
  •  Kicking down – As kicking down is different to kicking horizontally (well not really) but because your orientation is different your mind plays games on you.
  • And the most important one is staying calm in the open water were you don’t know whats below you, and were your mind plays all sorts of games on you as you start to get deeper and the surface starts to disappear from sight.

I remember the first time ever that I went down to 15m, I did it with no-fins, I was standing barefooted on the bottom of the ocean, I slowly looked up and thought WTF … why am I here, what am I doing here, how far is it to the top, am I going to make it up swimming without fins and as you start to swim up, every time your not at the surface nervousness slowly sets in.

This simply goes away after the first time you do it and make it back to the surface cause you understand what 15m means, you understand that its not like all the previous experiences when your practicing in a pool and getting to the surface is a matter of pushing really hard from the bottom of the pool and your back to the surface to take in that air. You understand that you have to swim up slowly, calmly and just enjoy the ride up.

These are the things you get in open water and why sometimes you perform really well in the pool but when your in the ocean your kicking is messed up and your not equalising well (things you do easily in the pool). Seems like all these things are a function of how calm and relaxed you are.

So we bought Rafie into the ocean and it took about 6 dives to get him down to 10m. At the start equalisation was the problem but after we got over that and started to reach depths of greater then 5m it was more about staying calm.

On this particular weekend the visibility was terrible so you couldn’t see anything more then 3m or so ahead so it was dark, gloomy and kind of scary. After a while though he got more calm with the darkness and was able to get to 8.3 – 9.3 then finally 10m after almost running into some coral and then crashing into me as well (all in the video :P )

I think he should be able to get much deeper then 10m but first, on the next few open waters it will be good to do nice relaxing dives at < 10m (but up to and on 10m) and enjoy the scenery at that depth when the visibility is much better.

Next open water at the end of January ….. can’t wait :)