Freediving-Course - Day 4

By Eva Fischer | October 4, 2018 

Change of plan

Today level 2 has started. Only Jens had registered for it - I hadn’t dared to do the level as I just didn’t feel ready for it. With diving Jens always was one step ahead, he had reached deeper depths before and his technique is far better than mine. So it seemed foolhardy to me to even consider the higher level, and when Jens signed up for it I decided to explore the mountains in the north during these last two days.

But from the first moment Dunia made me feel so comfortable in the water that I changed my mind.

However, it is also a big advantage for us as a buddy team if I literally immerse as deeply as Jens.

Even more theory

The class opened with another round of theory. Due to his medical knowledge this is easy stuff for Jens and he is capable to contribute some details to the lessons. I am glad about Dunia’s visual explanations, which make it easier for me to understand the complex contexts. Tomorrow we will have to do a second theory test - 8 pages in English - so I was all eyes and ears to make sure I don’t miss anything. And once again I was fascinated by the miracle of the human body. Every dive I can feel how finely tuned it reacts to the smallest changes. The theory lessons enable me to control these processes more consciously. This makes me feel safer and I dive more relaxed - which of course also reduces my oxygen consumption.

Stretching with Youssef

This day was announced as the most challenging of all so it’s a good thing that we’re preparing for it with a lap of stretching. We grab yoga mats and stroll to the beach. After a warm-up Youssef shows us different stretching exercises, which we do first with naturally filled lungs and then after a full inhalation. ‘Slowly and carefully’, he tells us, ‘ so you don’t get dizzy’. Whoops. With me it’s so far. I bend forward quickly and support myself with my hands on the ground until the black dissolves before my eyes. Next time slower. The purpose of the stretching exercises is to prepare the entire chest for diving. At depth we need this elasticity as our lung shrinks to a quarter of its size during a dive to 30 metres. A mobile chest and a flexible diaphragm are a big advantage.

The last exercise we perform after complete exhalation instead of full inhalation. Pull the diaphragm up, close the glottis, open the mouth... and hold on. An unpleasant pressure is noticeable in the upper abdomen. It is the same pressure that we feel at a certain diving depth and so it is good to make the body familiar with it already on land. We repeat the stretching exercise a few more times, then the session is over. My body feels fantastic. I am ready!

Free Fall

Back in the ocean which is just wonderful in Radazul. The waves are rather small and a lot of beautiful fishes cavort close the big round rocks just in front of the beach.

We swim only a few minutes until we reach the buoy hanging above 35 meters depths. Here you don’t see the bottom anymore, just blue, blue, blue. A blue that is addictive.

We do the obligatory warm-up at 10-12m. Just hanging there, chilling. Then we prepare ourselves for a new experience: Free fall. Dunia shows us how to do it. The most important thing is to feel the moment of the transition into the free fall. One or two more strong pulls on the rope just open your hand a little and surrender yourself to the free fall. I take the free ‘fall’ too literally and miss the moment about it. On the surface I laugh my head off about my fallacy. Why should I suddenly shoot off into depth from a certain point? OK, once again. This time I pay more attention to the moment when the weightlessness slowly changes into a negative buoyancy. And reach the tennis ball that stops me at 29.7m. Yay. This is a real milestone for me.

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