Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Salt Pond, Long Island, Bahamas 23º21.4N | 75º8.23W

Simon flashing the crowd.   Photo by Chip 
Our freediving frenzy is over. The competition ended yesterday leaving a heavy brush stroke in the record books and an indelible mark in the scrapbook of our cruising. These athletes set 11 national and 2 world records in 10 days, and in that time, we came to admire and befriend many of them.

It should be noted that I have neglected the men of freediving in this blog, although not in the 'official' printed article, so here's a quick look.

I was charmed by Simon, the half Brit, half Chilean diver who clomped around in purple Crocs when he wasn't setting record after record for Chile. This "snorkeler who goes deeper" is the father of three boys and is brimming with wit and good cheer.

And there was the clear ladies' favorite, Igor, the gregarious and flirtatious bar owner from Switzerland. I hope we get to belly up to his bar one day for a nice, cold draught and a good, long chat.

Jyri, a programmer from Finland took a lot of grief for his flowered floaty used during his breathing period before diving. "I was really nervous today, because I wasn't nervous," he told me.

Jyri and his flowered floaty.
And, of course, William Trubridge, the ninja of freediving, the lanky, quiet one who organized this competition and continues to push the limits of his sport, seemingly effortlessly. He told me there are no limits to his sport. In that moment, I believed him.

The competition is over, and my work here is done. We will soon be pointing Cara Mia's bow north, across the Tropic of Cancer with our first stop back in Georgetown for the Bahamas national regatta where we will meet our friend John from D.C. -- with Jessie Marie, freshly returned from a sail to the Jumentos.

Good times past. Good times ahead.

More on Freediving and Dean's Blue Hole:
My photos of Dean's Blue Hole.
My thoughts on Dean's Blue Hole.
The Women of Freediving
My article about Freediving in the New York Times.
My Freediving Board on PInterest.

Igor photographing the ladies.
Simon's Crocs.
No caption needed.  
Photo by my hitchhiking, lunch-making, gear-carrying reporter's assistant.

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