It’s been a few days since I’ve been back from Surf Expo, and I’ve had a chance to unwind. The horrible weather we’ve had most of this week has helped. It’s been just one thunderstorm after another, so I haven’t been motivated to do too much. It could be my Keys Disease acting up too.
I’ll get to those paddleboard reviews soon, but right now I’m off to my next adventure. I’m heading down to Marathon today to get freediving certified.
I’ve been a diver for about 13 years now, and in the last few years I’ve gotten more into snorkeling. I’ve always been a big believer in the KISS principle, and really into streamlining my gear.
The less I need to take with me in the water, the happier I am. These days I’ll often choose a simple snorkel over a tank and a BC, when it comes to exploring shallower locations.
Last year, when I was still running trips on the Turtle, I was finally able freedive down to 20 feet. That’s not very deep, but for someone who occasionally has trouble clearing their ears, it was a big barrier for me to break.
I don’t really see myself becoming a hardcore spearo, or attempting to dive down to any ridiculous depths, so then you may be wondering why am I taking this class?
Further And Safer
I just want to be able to increase my time and my range a little bit, so I’m able to go even further without strapping a tank on my back. I also want to learn the correct techniques for freediving to help avoid any accidents.
In some ways, freediving can actually be more dangerous than scuba, so I want an instructor to make sure I’m doing it correctly, and not doing anything that could lead to the dreaded “shallow water blackout“.
Cruising Remote Locations
Eventually I really want to be able to pull the anchor and do some cruising, even if it’s just seasonal. I’d love to visit some more remote locations, where it will be very difficult to get air fills.
I could always put a compressor on the boat, but that goes against all my minimalist principles. I want to spend my time in the water, not maintaining yet another piece of gear.
Hunting And Gathering
Although I don’t see myself becoming obsessed like some, yes, I would like to start spearfishing. Catching your own dinner on occasion, especially while living off the grid, is a must. Being able to stay down longer would be a real benefit, when trying to bag a more weasely lobster too.
Photography And Video
I’ve been into photography since I got my first Konica 35mm as a hand me down. From the first time I splashed underwater, I knew I needed to find a way to take a camera with me.
Improving my freediving skills will allow me to stay down long enough to shoot some longer video clips, without a tank. It will also help minimize how often I need to run to the surface for a breath, before getting to pull the shutter, after framing that perfect shot.
Kayak diving has been popular for years, but it’s a little tough to fit dive gear on a paddleboard. I can definitely see some real possibilities for paddleboard freediving, though.
I’m taking the class With Formula Freediving down in Marathon. I’ll be crashing with some friends on their boat in Boot Key for a few days. When I return, I’ll finally get started on some of those reviews as promised.