Friday, January 28, 2011

Freediving in the Philippines. Day 4, part 2

After the "static" we all went fin-swimming. The proper swimming technique is very important for a freediver because it allows him to push himself through the water column most optimally. I decided to try to swim in long freediving fins and borrowed a pair from a guy who had the same foot size as I have.
This is what I saw waking up every morning
He was learning to swim in a monofin at that time and didn't need them. The fins were too large for me and felt loose on my feet, so I attached them to my feet with rubber bands. That helped and I was not afraid to lose the fins, but the friction of the loose rubber foot pockets on my feet was still pretty uncomfortable. Of our group of beginners, nobody could swim properly in fins because nobody had ever been taught. So, instructor Oksana set off on a task of teaching us.

Freediving in the Philippines. Day 4, part 1

The day was long, so I broke it into 2 parts.

My room at "Blue Orchid" was in this cottage
In the morning two experienced guys went spearfishing with local instructor Wolfgang. And for the rest of us a training on "static", i.e., static breath-hold was scheduled. It is clear that the breath-hold abilities are of first-rate importance for freedivers: the longer you can hold your breath, the longer you can stay under water and the greater depth you can reach. Besides, the "static" in itself is one of the competitive disciplines in freediving.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Freediving in the Philippines. Day 3

The next day, having arrived at Club Serena at 8 am, I discovered that the yoga had already started. I asked, and it turned out it started at 6:15. Oops! We agreed that I would come at 10 and I went "home" for breakfast.

Sea view from "Blue Orchid"

On that day we had a boat trip planned. Since I got cold on the previous day without a wetsuit, I finally decided to suit up. However, I reasoned that my open cell wetsuit would be too thick for the tropical water. I asked Mark, the manager of my hotel, if there was an appropriate wetsuit I could borrow. He nodded and answered that I could choose from the suits for hire in the dive shop. I chose the ordinary 3mm steamer that seemed just right.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Freediving in the Philippines. Day 2

It's been quite some time since I wrote these lines. And, perhaps, if I were writing this now, I wouldn't write it in the same way - my views on many things changed. But re-reading it again, I decided to leave everything as it is. These are my impressions, captured in writing; they reflect what I thought and felt back then, and this is precisely why they are valuable. I learned a lot during those 12 days... But I will not jump ahead. Read on and you'll see for yourself.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Freediving in the Philippines. Day 1

In March 2010 I went to Cebu Island of the Philippines with a group of Russian freedivers. This is my diary of what happened there. It is a long story; so, sit back, relax, and enjoy the reading.

Looking at the map, I find it hard to believe that the Philippines are so far from Australia. Indeed, if there were direct flights from Australia, it would not be so far away. But, unfortunately, none of the airlines have direct flights from Melbourne to Cebu Island of the Philippines where I was going. Therefore I had to fly to Singapore first (seven hours) and from Singapore to the Philippines (four more hours). That was certainly closer than from Moscow, but still a long way. However, I should not complain. By Australian standards it is practically around the corner. I bought the tickets so that I would meet the team of Russian freedivers midway – at the Singapore airport – and then we would fly to the Philippines on the same plane. The seven-hour flight from Melbourne to Singapore was quite easy, except for the flight being delayed for an hour, and I managed to sleep almost through. Interestingly, despite the night flight (the departure from Melbourne was at 1 a.m.), the Singaporeans offered a supper immediately after take-off and climb – at 3 o'clock in the morning. I wisely declined the "supper".

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