Competitive freediving

Snapshots from the Freedom depth competiton in Cyprus. Here above: after surfacing from one of my competition dive and doing the protocol, holding the rope while waiting for the judges to deliver their verdict. On the right: the competition boat. Below, from left to right : surface breathe-up while the judges are counting down to the official top; emancipating from the surface; going deeper – in those incredibly clear Chypriot waters and their 40-meter visibility; then coming back up and being met by two of the safety freedivers on my way to the surface.

I joined because I wanted to learn and discover this new type of freediving. Freediving is still a relatively new sport in competition and the rules are evolving frequently in the direction of a safer practice. I learnt a lot – about competition protocols, coaching, freediving in currents, competition nerves (!), I witnessed blackouts and loss of motor control, and what felt like many miracles. I made new freediving friends, got accustomed with new freediving gear and loved every minute of rekindling with the sea. I was hoping to find more depth and wonderful sensations, and while I didn’t find the depth I got good enough sensations and emotions, including feeling satisfied with myself and included within the community. It was like a first time of freediving, feeling vulnerable and not really having a clue, yet moving forward and finding out with every step, or arm pull really, what’s in it for me and what’s not. I dived a little bit deeper on the training line than I did on the competition line. It was all so serious on that line, I figured I’d keep it light on the numbers to keep pressure at bay. Not sure it worked. But the dives were comfortable and I enjoyed the sensations 🙂

The days in between the dives were really quiet, as were the days my sinuses didn’t want to cooperate. So I took myself for wanders. Here are a few shots from my visit of the Larnaca fort: mosaics from the 4th century depicting sea life, an ancient clay lamp and a painting of the fort….