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Soul Freediving

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Well-Known Member
Aug 13, 2001
It's nice to take a break from writing non-stop for the last two months and post on the forums again!

It's funny that Eric and I can get into talking about the competitive side of freediving (we can go on and on and on....:duh as you may have noticed--20,000 words later!), yet our diving is moving further and further away from competition.

We're working on finishing an in-the-water DRUMS unit to allow us to make deep recreational freedives in better safety. There will be no descent line, no tags, no targets, just going down to see things most people can't. Not because of the depth, but because, here in Vancouver, some strange animals and creatures lurk at those depths and we want to go find them.

I also like the idea, as Sebastien Murat has talked to me about, of having to depend more and more on your own awareness while diving. The descent line is an excellent safety feature for going deep--but it does interfere with my connection with the ocean, its currents, tides, and properties. I know from recreational dives that diving without a line is much more difficult and requires a greater kinesthetic awareness--the kind of thing that can absorb you for hours and hours at a time.

We've also spent a lot of time diving without fins, and in warm water (Eric likes cold water), without suits. There's something very satisfying about swimming without any fin(s) to help you. It reminds me of snorkeling in Nova Scotia when I was 10 years old, with just a mask and snorkel and no wet suit, plucking sand dollars of the bottom or chasing lobsters into their holes.

I think what we'll miss the most is the camraderie of competition and the thrill of posting a personal best. But in general, the joy of sharing a jaw-dropping underwater experience with friends, over and over again, is a different and deeper one.

All this brings me to 'Soul Freediving.' A man named Miklos S. Dora published a challenge/manifesto in The Surfer's Journal about the need for us to return to the original roots of surfing. He announced a competition in South Africa where the winner would be the person with the longest ride--with a catch. Each competitor would have to make their own board out of natural fibers and binders--no fiberglass or sealant--and would not be allowed to wear an ankle leash. No wax, no logos, no sponsorship, no colors, just the natural hues of a hand-made board. Also no government, corporations, judges--just a bunch of people challenging themselves and each other in the waves.

That's the way I feel sometimes. Leave the gear at home--all of it. No DRUMS, no wetsuit, masks, snorkels. Let the ocean into your head, up your nose, in your ears and eyes. And at the end of the day, stay by the water, sleep under the stars. Dive for all the treasures of the deep.

I wouldn't make it a competition, though. Instead it would be a challenge for each diver to show the others something they had never seen before and experience things in a way that leaves a mark forever.

Call it a festival of freediving with a little soul.

Coming soon.

Vancouver, BC

Aloha Pete
Sounds like fun. Sign me up for the festival if the water is over 27C unless you want me to show you chicken-flesh (goose-bumps in beautiful B.C.). I'm sure that's something that all west coast divers have seen before.
Thanks again to you and Eric for the series. Great stuff.
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