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Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Brian Hamilton

Subsea Sniper
Jun 15, 2003
54
7
0
44
I thought I would relay a really cool freediving experience I had a couple of weeks ago.

I have been freediving now for about 4 or 5 months and, not having access to a boat, am limited as to where I can dive. Until recently me and my buddy dived constantly at a site about 15 metres deep which was a shore dive that featured a drop down a blank wall to a pretty flat seabed.

Whilst good practice the routine of diving the same site over and over again was tainting the whole freediving experience. We searched for about a month to find a deeper, more interesting site but after many recon trips failed to find any decent diving spots.

Then I chanced on a website which mentioned a narrow gully that headed seaward from a rocky shore and dropped in a series of steps to 20 metres. We decided to take a look.

We drove out to the dive spot, following the websites directions, and parked the car. We trudged through bushes of stinging nettles and the pouring rain and eventually found our way down to the rocky beach where we were to launch from. The rocks were slippery and offered no shelter from the rain. We decided to go for it and miserably put on our wetsuits.

Next we clambered over the wet rocks to reach the sea and reached the start of the gully. The rain eased and the sun came out as we slipped into the water and began swimming seaward through the gully.

The visibility was 5 or 6 metres and we explored the gully as it headed seaward and the depth dropped down to 8, 10, then 12 metres. We reached the point where the gully almost ended and climbed on top of a friendly sloping rock on the the south wall to breathe up. The gully wall threw a shadow onto the sea so it was looking really dark.

I sat on the rock trying to calm my breathing. I am used to using a rope for descent and, as we didn't have one with us, I knew this dive would take it out of me. After a few minutes I went back into the water and took my last few breaths.

I dipped my head under, equalized then duck dived under. The light levels dropped dramatically as I swam down into the gullys shadow. I kicked downward, fighting for depth a bit too hard as I sensed I was carrying too little weight on my belt (caused by a new, thicker wetsuit).

It got dark and cold as I continued kicking down. My Suunto was quietly marking the metres but I was concentrating too hard on my dive to look.

After an age of finning the seabed came into view. I knew I was deeper than ever before, my mask felt tight on my face and the water was getting noticeably colder. I slowly neared the seabed, fighting the burn but determined to bottom out. As I got close I saw a crack at the south wall of the gully drop even deeper. It was about 2 metres wide and maybe 2.5 metres deep. I swam down into the crack, bottomed out, and started finning for the surface. I got that couple of seconds where you kick but don't move anywhere and you feel the panic threaten to kick in. I slowly started heading up and looked directly above me to spot my ascent.

I saw a beautiful site. Above me I could see my buddy floating on the surface looking down. He seemed so far away. The gully walls loomed above me, overhanging on both sides with clumps of seaweed gently swaying in the current. The surface looked so far away, everything up there seemed smaller than usual and I knew I had gone deeper than ever before.

I finned upwards, feeling the need to breath kicking in stronger. It felt like it was taking forever to surface. After 20 seconds of kicking I broke surface. I got my breathing under control and looked at the Suunto, it read 18.3 metres.

I felt elated at the new depth, and a new site to explore. My buddy bottomed out as well. Suddenyl freediving has gotten fresh and exciting again.
 
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