Continuing our series of posts on fun things to do on the islands when you are not shackled to your desk studying like crazy, today we’d like to introduce you to freediving.
Freediving is actually a wide ranging classification for any diving without breathing apparatus. So freediving ranges from snorkelling to the extreme sport of competitive deep diving without oxygen, which is only for the truly hardcore and the very experienced.
Being med students, you’ll all be aware of the mammalian diving reflex. What you might not have discovered for yourself are the pleasures of developing this innate ability in yourself to better explore the seas around the islands. It’s hard to improve on the lyrical words of freediver Terry Mass, as he writes “Soft, smooth, quiet, confident, serene, peaceful: all these adjectives hint at the intense pleasure well-trained freedivers feel. Imagine coasting below the waves, playing “drop the leaf” with wild dolphins, flying in formation with giant manta rays or simply joining a school of fish. Without a mechanical breathing apparatus, you’re truly free—free to flow effortlessly into the womb-like, enveloping water, free to join the ocean not as an interloper but as a welcome friend.”
Learning to freedive has many benefits, increasing your confidence in the water, improving your lung capacity and If you’d like to try freediving for yourself the Pure Diver Freediving Clinic is located in Kralendijk in Bonaire (you can read reviews of the course here). We’re not aware of any dive schools specialising in Freediving in Anguilla, however Anguillan Divers offer customised courses so it may be worth talking to them.
If you’d like to learn more about competitive freediving, Buddy Dive resort on Bonaire hosts an annual freediving event. The 2011 event will start on July 31 and the famous Brazilian freediver Karol Meyer will be on the island holding an evening presentation on her diving accomplishments, special workshops on breathing and a two day freediving clinic, all open to the public.