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Taravana or not?

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Well-Known Member
Sep 8, 2001
Hello All,

Thanks for this site! I have been to many sites with information on freediving - I think these forums are an excellent way to discuss issues with fellow freedivers - congratulations to everyone involved in setting them up !!

I have been freediving for the last year at various sites around Perth, Western Australia, so far nothing deeper than -10m. Most times I have felt great after finishing up, but there have been a couple of occasions that stick in my mind where the contrary has been the case. I recount them for comment:-

1. Busselton Jetty (8m)

Whilst working in the south west, I was just "down the road" from the jetty and had several freediving sessions on the jetty. On one occasion, with sun shining, water flat and sensational visibility, I was in the water for 4hrs+ checking out the corals, schools of fish, scuba divers (ha!). Typically spent 30s or so just hanging around on the bottom. Straight after I felt great! Packed up my gear and walked back to my car (2km down the jetty). Driving back to Bunbury (50km) I felt great. Went to the shopping centre and browsed the shops for a while. Then it started :( - generally woozy feeling, lethargy, felt like my head was full of seawater and needed to be drained, felt "dumb", felt like I was on another planet :hungover. Did not feel nausea. Ate some food, felt better, after 5mins felt strange again. Effects lasted a couple of days, gradually wore off, then I was back to normal.

2. Point Peron (3-5m)

Spent a couple of hours exploring the limestone formations, found a few swim-throughs and wondered why the water was such a bizarre (yellow-green) colour. Also wondered why there was a TV sitting on the limestone on the shore! Anyway, same symptoms as the other time - I was really surprised considering the depth - thought this was more like snorkelling than freediving!!! Work the next day was terrible - found myself staring into the PC screen and getting nothing done.

So, umm what was it? I had a few (uneducated?) ideas floating (ha!) through my mind at the time:-

Dehydration - nah couldn't be, drank plenty of water before and after
Infection - nah couldn't be, I never get sick (knocks on wood)
Over exertion - nah couldn't be, I rested, but it didn't go away
Allergy to seawater - agggggggghhhhhhh!!!! please no!
Perforated eardrum - I have had one in the past (ear infection), but this didn't really compare
My cranium had filled with Salty H2O - Well that is what it felt like anyway
DCI - To be honest, never even thought about this at the time, but after doing some reading am wondering if I was too enthusiastic with my going up and down so many times

Would love to hear from anyone who has even the faintest idea about any of this !!



Hello in Perth;

Sorry to hear your head is getting clogged after some of your freedive sessions. My kneejerk reaction is that your depths are inadequate to bring on a dose of 'taravana' DCI.

At the depths you are hitting on these sessions you would need exceptionally long down times with almost zero surface interval. And even then the pressures seem just too low . . .

Have a look at the following article, it may clarify the DCI issue --


What it might be? Can't really comment -- maybe it's time for you to go and see the vet?

The vet said I wasn't an animal she was allowed to treat

Peter, thanks for your reply and the pointer to the info!

I don't think it was anything to do with DCI either. Today I did some freediving at Bell Park, Rockingham, Perth, WA - (10 - 15m) and didn't feel any effects like those mentioned in my previous post - in fact I am feeling great!

I would like to know what caused the other effects though - it was a very unpleasant feeling indeed.

Aside from that the only problem that bugs me is trouble equalizing my right ear. I tend to think this is due to a ruptured eardrum I suffered after a cold (5 years ago! It has never been the same since). I have tried many suggestions that have been posted on these forums and am still trying to master the Frenzel-Fattah. Aside from this, is there anything the doctor or ENT man can do for me?

Happy diving!

Hi Paul,

It's nice to see someone from Western Australia on this forum. I spent a couple of months in Perth about four years ago and I thought it was the best snorkelling/freediving I had ever done. I'm pretty sure Peron Point was one of the places I'd been to.

Though you discount it, my theory of your problems would be dehydration. You mentioned being in the water four hours. I know the water there is reasonably warm (for Canadians anyways :) ) and the air is dry. Even if you had plenty of water before and after, you may have become dehydrated during your long stay. If you're too dehydrated, it may take some time before feeling better, regardless of how much water you drink. I found that out first-hand in my first week in Perth. :-(

Also, right now it's the end of 'winter' down under so your recent 'feeling good' dive was probably shorter and you had less chance of dehydration.

If you're going to spend a lot of time in the water, then I'd recommend that you take a bottle of water of sports drink out with you to sip on from time to time. Right now I drink quite a lot of water both before and after freediving and I feel quite a lot perkier afterwards than I used to, especially after a few hours in the water.

Be sure to post some local dive stories!

Hi Paul

Do you ever get sea sick? I do sometimesd not in the water, but as I have spent some time +3h in water I come up and wow I feel that the world it self is going up and down.. I huess one could get "land sick" after diveing?
Well dehydration would be my guess as well, in salty warm water for hours..makes me sweat although one cna't really tell in the water, but still and diveing is very energy consuming specially if you go deep and for long periods of time:t
And beware of the pressure efects as you start going deeper...:duh you just gotta go after few deep dives:eek: !
Well good diveing!
Any suggestions for dive sites, Tom?


Thanks for your positive post!

While I have visited several countries on this planet, I have only had the chance to go freediving in Western Australia. Even so I agree with you - it has a lot to offer, from caves to reefs, tropical fish to whalesharks, turtles to manta rays.

As for your theory on dehydration - you might just be right!! On the other hand I have been dehydrated before (worked on a minesite where the temperature in the pit was regularly above 50 degC and humidity virtually zero, I learnt the hard way to drink lots of water) and this freediving induced lethargy was nothing like that!! Though I do agree that hydrating yourself is a good thing - I drink a lot of water regardless of whether I am exercising or not and feel much better for it!

By the way, what sites did you visit whilst in Western Australia that managed to leave you with such a good impression? Were they shore dives or boat dives? Did you visit Rottnest Island? Often visitors end up knowing more about a country than people who live there!

In any case I am looking forward to a good summer's worth of freediving in warm waters.

Have fun in the water,
I could never get sick of the sea!


I do get a little bit sea sick at times, but this is usually when I am on a boat and there is a huge swell and the boat is rocking like a rocking chair and I can smell diesel fumes and . . . . Arrrgggggh! I am feeling sick just thinking about it!

But when I am in the water, no, I never get this feeling. As for getting landsick, who knows :) I do feel disorientated for a short while after making my way back to the shore after a good session of freediving!! But that is usually a good feeling that I enjoy :)

Well when you gotta go, you gotta go. I am not aware of any posts that touch on this subject :eek: But hell, I don't have anything against alternative methods of keeping your wetsuit warm :eek: Did I just say that???

I guess I agree that dehydration played some part in what I felt at the time. I guess I did empty my bladder a few times without filling the void.

Carbon ....

I've stumbled accross this thread in error, and thought I'd give it my 2 cents worth.

I've encountered this problem as well, it was quite some time ago but I remember it well. A scuba dude explained it to me afterwards.

For AT LEAST 30 minutes before and after a dive, do NOT drink any carbonated drinks, and do NOT smoke. I had a drink after a series of relatively shallow dive - 6 meters up and down for about 30 minutes - and just went dull. This kept on for two days - quite some time to be feeling like you wanna throw up, everythings blurry, etc etc.

Apparantly it's got to do with the Carbon Dioxide buildup in your blood, and the way this scuba dude explained it sounded like the noxious gasses got 'trapped' in your head.

Well that's my 2c ...
Safe diving.

Riaan C
carbonated drinks...

I drank a can of coke before my latest personal best dive....I didn't feel any differences when diving...I know that I am not diving to great depths but still...perhaps I shouldn't next time..:duh
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