Freediving in Amed, Bali, Indonesia
For the New Year 2020 I made my daughter Anna a special gift - a diving course. In July 2020 we were finally able to redeem it (it took a while, because of Corona). During this time I also had a birthday, so made the same special gift for me too - we will dive together! It makes more fun!
Scuba diving vs freediving
First I was planning to learn scuba diving. Then I discovered something new for me - freediving!
What is freediving? Freediving is called apnea diving. In this sport one dives in the oceans without oxygen bottles or any other "breathing" equipment! All you have are your own lungs! I found that fascinating and also very practical. If we fall overboard somewhere, we probably wouldn't have an oxygen bottle with us. With the freediving skills we have more chances to survive. And for my daughter Anna, who is going to sail around the world, this is a must! That's why I decided to learn freediving.
The origin of freediving
I thought freediving is a modern sport! But not, it is very old! Archaeological finds prove that humans have been freediving since around 4500 BC! They earned their living with apnea diving! The first freediver were Haenyo people in Korea and divers in Japan. They dived into the depths holding the breath, collected food, mussels and sponges from the sea. In ancient Greece the freedivers helped the military to attack Sicily - they had to break through underwater barriers so that the Greek fleet could get through undamaged.
Freediving in Amed, Bali
Freediving has a real boom for about 10 years and has become a very popular sport! Amed, Bali is one of the places, where freediving can be learned. I've written to a couple of diving schools and Fathom Freediving appealed to me the most. Here we completed a 2-day course "Freediver Level 1" and learned a lot! The course started with theory, breathing exercises and safety rules. 95 percent of the information was completely new even to me, to an adult person! For example, that our lungs shrink in half at a depth of 10 meters! And at a depth of 30 meters (for women) and 40 meters for men, there are only 25 percent of our lungs available! The most important thing by freediving is to stay calm, to control the breathing and not to panic. We have learned to deal with the fear, have done appropriate breathing exercises, observed our bodies and our feelings. Important to know - the panic is caused by the rising of CO2 level and not because of the lack of oxygen! CO2 gives our brain the signals “I have run out of air”, what stimulates the breath. We're not used to this situation, so it feels very uncomfortable and scary.
Freediving is definitely not an easy sport!
Freediving is also much more than just diving - it's about self-control, managing the fear, testing the own limits, expanding physical and emotional capabilities.
We made it up to 10 meters deep! Compared to the world record (214 meters deep), that may seem like very little. But for us both this was a highlight, an achievement, a personal record I could not imaging is possible just a few days ago! What a beautiful and unique feeling when you swim deep in the water without being connected to any device. Totally free and independent!
We want more, one day we want to do the level 2! This is this rare case when I had so much fun staying (so far) outside the comfort zone!
Our documentary films
We both produce travel documentary films. In our film "Anna, Asia and I. 250 days on the road" part 1 we report about our beginning, our first longtime trip together... We were pretty scared in the beginning (especially me) and came back very brave (especially Anna :)) Here is the cinema trailer of this documentary film and lots of information about>