Last year, smack dab in the middle of the pandemic, I was introduced to the world of FREEDIVING by a guy I briefly dated. For someone who fears the deep blue waters, it did not excite me at all. I was terrified. It didn’t help to hear stories of people blacking out or coming out of the water with bleeding noses, but the thought of trying something new tickled my adventurous and hydrophilic heart.
In September, I took an Introduction course in Mactan, Cebu with the Pacific Blue Freedivers, under Marion Sumalinog himself, a Molchanov instructor who also recently competed in Bohol and now holds a Constant Weight record of 61m!
I only dream of doing awra shots in the deep, but seeing how much freedom and peace of mind you get from diving into the deep in just one breath hold, I’m not surprised why this water sport and the community has grown quite quickly over the past years.
After completing the course, I went on weekend dives to see if I will eventually grow tired of it or in my case, will give up trying because I couldn’t get my duck dive and equalization right. My frustration grew more as I fail to even reach the sea floor at 5m deep.
My last dive was back in November and seeing as it would be pointless to dive again and again without improvement, I thought, there’s probably no need for me to buy fins anymore. And I would also let go of the sport as easily as I let go of the one who introduced it to me. Chos!
Though I stopped diving for a while, my love for it grew as I continued to scroll through my freediving groups on facebook, stunning photos of freedivers on instagram, Seazoned and Apnea.ph (freediving schools I followed way before I got into the sport itself) and documentaries on Netflix and even of Erwan Heussaf. I also follow Alexey Molchanov on instagram and seeing how passionate he is with what he does, I knew, I couldn’t let it go of it just yet, without at least giving it one last try.
Little did I know, my brother was aching to go back diving as well. Unlike me, he got himself new fins immediately after his intro course and he didn’t want them to go to waste as they weren’t cheap. Lol.
We tried to go back diving in Mactan one weekend. Sadly, the timing was bad as it was just after Marion’s competition and the place was just too crowded even though I had slots reserved for us. Good thing, he booked us a drift dive in Moalboal through Nicco’s Place for his birthday!
I have to admit, it was one of the best things that ever happened during this pandemic and I am so glad I did not give it up just yet.
Unfortunately, the fins I ordered online didn’t arrive in time, so I had to rent from Nicco. The fins I used were longer than the usual ones I rent in Mactan; however, they were a bit loose, so I got blisters for the next 3 weeks. Fortunately, I had a really good time and the battle scars don’t matter to me no more. Haha! Yes, I do have a horrible scar on my heel and my butt cheeks and legs are 5 shades darker (don’t ever forget to put on sunscreen even if you’ll go down deep LOL) now, but they are all worth the fun 2km dive, the resident pawikans and sardine run in the home of the freedivers! My brother even got up close and swam next to a pawikan!
At first, I didn’t expect much from the dive. After all, it was my first dive since November and knowing how much I suck, I was surprised I FINALLY perfected my duck dive! I even did a dolphin kick once on the way down after duck diving. How I did all those and not die, was all by God’s grace and probably from the fear of humiliation from the group we were with that day. Haha.
So, I finally got my YELLOW (of course) pre-ordered fins from Leaderfins Philippines last week (after more than a month of waiting) and a bunch of bright colored swimwear from Shopee. I am just waiting for my PINK customized fins bag from Reez Custom Spearguns (yes I am a fan of fun colors forever and always). We are just waiting for the weather to improve before I finally get back into the deep once again!
Moral of this post, wear sunscreen, equalize before diving, pray lots, and don’t give up just yet!
Before I end this post, I’m sharing some of the documentaries I love watching over and over and a clip from our recent dive! Also saying hi to my blogger friend, Aysa who is one heck of a freediver in one of the best places to dive ever!