Into the Deep Blue: My First Freediving Experience
I’m in the deep. It feels quiet and cold and I instantly get why melancholy is associated with the color blue. But down under I did not feel any sadness nor being down. It was relaxing with a beautiful scenery to the point I questioned my whole existence if I was born in the right habitat. But even though my thoughts are startled and I tried to figure out where I belong, I’m still grateful I had and still have the opportunity to explore the ocean, the unknown beautiful world of water.
How I got into this?
So like what I mentioned on my Facebook page, June will be packed of adventures since all of my weekends are already full. And one of the things I was really happy about was to experience new things. One of these is freediving. This was the first activity I did in the month of June and I was pretty excited and also scared about the fact that I have never done this before.
My boyfriend invited me to try freediving. He had a friend who offers a basic course and he booked us for the slots. Another thing I was happy about was the course will be conducted in Moalboal, which is a destination I’ve never been too. I’ve been invited by my friends a couple of times to explore the area, but I always have something on my calendar. I’m just happy I did visit Moalboal this month (and not just once by the way).
Here’s how my weekend went
It was a Saturday, our meet up was in Sunstar at 8AM. Cezar, our instructor with his girlfriend Claire picked us up along with the new students.
After a four-hour drive, we arrived in Moalboal. Had our lunch at the town center, and then settled in. We will be staying for one night so we got a room in Pescador View.
We had a nap time and supposedly we were to start our freediving at 4PM, but it was very windy and the water is not calm to do our first activity which is static breath hold. As we don’t want to waste any time, Cezar just introduced us about freediving, he demonstrated the proper way to breathe and how to fill our stomach and lungs with air. He also taught us how to equalize air underwater. After that, we went on the water to swim and snorkel. Some tried the depth training.
I was actually struggling since the water was not that friendly at the moment. The waves were getting bigger and as I’m not a good swimmer, the boat near the area was my friend. Haha. Though at some point the boat was a bit bitchy, it dances through the big waves so it was still a struggle to stay at the outrigger.
We went to our accommodations to shower and changed clothes, we forgot that we will have a night snorkeling. But we did not bother to not swim again, and I must tell you that it was the right decision.
We had our dinner with the team. We ordered some grilled pork and it was very delicious by the way.
After dinner, we went to the calm water, and had our snorkel and fins ready. We brought some waterproof flashlight and went on for a night exploration. The water was nice and not rough unlike in the afternoon.
There was a time when we turned off all the flashlight and moved our body in the water. The bioluminescent plankton were glowing. They were very pretty and we were enjoying creating motions just to witness this beauty.
As we continued swimming, we saw the rich marine sanctuary Moalboal offers. We even saw some turtles sleeping under the water. We did it for an hour and it was a very nice experience. Watch this video, it was taken during our night snorkeling.
The day that our real training started. Our call time was 6:30AM and it was very early. They suggested that we should not take out breakfast yet because we might throw up during the activity. Instead, we need to drink a lot of water to keep us hydrated.
I believe, the package included pranayama yoga, but we did not have an instructor during our time so we only did some stretching. A very important thing before anything else.
First, we did some static near the shore. What Cezar taught us on Saturday about the breathing. The static was the actual application. We were floating on the surface of the water, and we were taught to breath using our mouth, we repeatedly inhale and exhale to relax our body and to reduce oxygen consumption. It is important to have a longer exhalation, at least twice the seconds of the inhalation.
I was enjoying this part of the activity as I like to relax more. Haha. I took a lot of time relaxing to the point where I was very sleepy and don’t want to participate in the activity. But as we need to do it to measure how long can we hold our breath underwater; I did my part as a student. To my surprise, I held my breath for more than a minute on my first try. I was shocked as I never ever done it before. As I can recall, I can only do at least 20 seconds, but over a minute??!!! Oh, gosh! I was pretty hype and a bit of confused what can freediving do to my body.
As we finished relaxing, and doing static, we continued our activity and went on the deep part of the water where we did our free immersion of 5 meters. I’ll be honest, it was scary. Haha. 5 meters was deep. During this activity, we will practice our equalization. Our ears are our most precious equipment as of this moment since it will depend how deep we can go if we can equalize our ears properly.
What we did first was, feet first. We immersed under water and pull our body slowly, and then equalize and continue to go deeper and equalize. Repeated the process until we can go until the end of the rope and it was 5 meters deep. It was actually hard, I struggled and had some failed moments. But it was okay, I took some time and I know that this is not a competition so I practiced the immersion on my own pace.
The second part was head first. This part was easier for me than the feet first, maybe because it was easier to pull myself down. Unlike the feet first, it was a bit hard to wrap my feet in the rope and drag myself down.
They also taught us how to duck dive. As they said, arms forward, then go down. Use your arms to go deeper and then once your whole body is under the water, start finning. Not easy as it sounds. I tried a couple of times to really do it nicely.
We did all of it the entire morning, and after we got off and went back to the shore, I was starving like crazy. We had our lunch in front of freediving shop and my monster belly was satisfied.
In the afternoon, all of the students, except me went to the water again to practice their equalization.
So, you want to try Freediving?
Well, that’s great! I had a wonderful time and learned a lot from Orca Freedivers Philippines. You can check their Facebook page for their upcoming classes. They mostly hold their classes in Lapu-Lapu City, but they might conduct outside Cebu classes.
- It is only Php1500.00
- The gears (mask and fins) are included
- Pranayama Yoga Class
- Resort Entrance Fee
- With under water photos
Aside from that, they are great people, which you can get along easily. Once you enrolled in their basic freediving class you can join their succeeding freediving sessions for free, but of course you’ll pay for your rent for the gears and entrance fee. The most important thing is you can have a free lesson how to be a better freediver. They are pretty much generous giving tips for the beginners.
As what they said, practice makes perfect, so you better go to the water frequently to be better and enjoy freediving more. Maybe, we will meet and bump into each other in one of their classes. 🙂
P.S. I brought a go pro but I did not take any pictures. An evidence that I had a lot of fun. You should try it!
*All photos are grabbed from Orca Freediving Philippines Facebook Page
Have you tried freediving before? How was it? Comment your thought on below.
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