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Leander - Swimming the Hellespont pt.2

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Leander

Well-Known Member
Oct 17, 2017
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This should be my first post. Well it isn't. But to turn the clock backwards a little.., Hi, I'm Leander.

A few years ago I didn't even know freediving existed. I was swimming underwater every time I was in water, no matter at the sea or a pool. But it always seemed to me like I was the only one doing so. I've always been the strange kid for as long as I have a consience, so I was ok with it. Just leave me alone, let me dive, k?

Then as I was passing through Albania by bicycle I met some single serving friends. We shared a campfire on the beach and they tried catching a fish by hook and line, using a swiss army knife as weight; It got lost. No fish, no knife.
The next morning I was swimming around and I spotted the knife at around -10 meters. I dove down to get it. When I surfaced and handed it back to Charles he asked me if I were a freediver.
He opened Pandora's Box. Now that it had a name I could loose myself in it uncontrollably. And this is exectly what happened.

I now live on Crete, Greece. I'm living by and with the sea. It for sure sounds more romantic than it is, but I guess that's on me; Remember me being the strange kid?

I never had the joy of a well-paying job, and with the little money I managed to save I had to choose: renting a house and burning through all the savings, knowing that I would be back at zero in no time and having to repeat the dance of building a buffer and throwing it all away ad infinitum, or investing in some spearfishing gear and using my tent as a permanent home, that way reducing the cost of living as much as possible. As I prefer the life outdoors this was an easy choice for me.

So here I am, spearfishing almost the way as they did before the motor boat: nomadic and for food, not sport. Only now with modern equipment that probably needs more maintenance than I can give.

Nature, both above and below the surface feels like home to me. The animals, I see as family or friends (or food). I feel the need to help where possible, and here on Crete, a place most people know as 'sun, good food, calm water and friendly people' it feels like there's so much trouble that I don't know where to start. The economy is wrecked, the lands are polluted, animals, especially dogs, are treated like dirt and the state of the sea is alarming.

I'm now trying to get a grip on the lionfish situation that is threatening the island. I sometimes envy the locals who simply don't care. Rest inside my head... yes please. But when it feels like I'm the only one caring I should definitely not give up.

My parents named me Leander, man of the people, lionman, the one who swam across the Hellespont towards his love and drowned.
 
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