The Weekend Wrap: Saturday 8th October
WaterMaarq’s freediving excursions aboard our charter boat Kavorca made the most of Saturday’s stunning Spring weather.
Melbourne is currently experiencing the full range of weather conditions, with wild winds and rain across the State. We were lucky enough to enjoy an absolutely superb weather window and made the most of it with two freediving charter dives.
11:30am Freediving Training Boat Dive – Pope’s Eye
First up, just before lunch, we ran the training freedive excursion to continue the PADI Freediver certification training of a few student’s from September’s course in Cheltenham. The sea conditions were magnificent in Port Phillip Bay, with a smooth surface making it a breeze to relax and get focused for the line diving training elements.
As the student’s had completed their first open water training dive the week before, this dive session was all about completing the technical elements like performing rescues, flooding the mask at depth and dealing with emergencies. We even had some live help from a scuba group, that unintended, emerged at the surface using our float line as an ascent line. It made for a bit of fun out there whilst we honed the buddy system and adapted to the changing environment.
The students whizzed through the requirements with ease, which meant we could enjoy freediving Pope’s Eye for a few moments at the end of the session. Pope’s Eye is a fantastic site when the tides and conditions are right as it offers thriving marine life. A protected marine park, the fish and other inhabitants are unfazed by your presence and love looking into your mask, or at their reflection. It’ll be even better when the fixed underwater camera goes live soon!
2:00pm Freediving Training Boat Dive – Drift Dive
The second charter we ran was also a training freedive excursion, this time however, it was the first session for our budding PADI Freediver student in training. With a maximum of only 4x freedivers for each freediving training dive, it gives the opportunity to really focus on progress. Each freediver responds differently to the open water and the given conditions on the day. We were pretty much full of high-fives as the conditions got even better through the day.
The sun was shining brightly and warming our backs, the tides and currents were perfectly timed to optimise slack water and under the surface you just couldn’t have been happier.
This first open water freediving training dive is all about developing the student’s comfort freediving on the float and line. As the comfort and skill levels increase, the depths slowly advance. There’s no race to the bottom here.
In key focus is the surface preparation, making sure the student prepares well before taking the plunge. It’s about developing a structured surface prep, going through the process of settling the mind, relaxing the body, breathing safely and properly (avoiding hyperventilation at all costs) and getting ready for that final breath and duck dive.
That process is critical, because if the breathing is performed incorrectly, it could result in hyperventilation and black out. If the duck dive is not performed smoothly, it means all the time on the surface relaxing is not put to it’s best use. The prep phase sets freedivers up to enjoy everything that happens once they leave the surface.
Once the prep phase and beginning of the dive is honed in, then we focus on underwater comfort, including equalisation, body position and managing the depth.
It’s a great session and the students really find that once they nail the process, everything just becomes so much easier.
Here’s what one student said about the coaching of Master Freediving Instructor, Marlon, during Saturday’s freediving excursions:
In water images taken using our trusty Nikon AW130 compact camera.