INTO THE DEEP BLUE
Honestly, I have always been afraid of the deep blue. That moment when you look beneath you out in the ocean and you cannot see the bottom gives me shivers which basically contradicts me being a Mermaid at heart (we make mermaid tails, yes its true, check out our instagram @mermaid.inc).
Trying to overcome this fear I decided to try the freediving course in Gili Trawangan. (Also after a lot of motivational talks from my friend who half dragged me there).
The first day started of with introduction from our instructor Denis into what freediving is. We learned about how we breathe and how our mind and body works once we are in the water.
We spend the morning training our new learned skill set in the pool divided into small groups of 4 people. Once ready, we went out into the ocean. Once the boat stopped, I saw the island from a far but we were quite far away from it. Shivers kicking in immediately.
The rope was dropped down to 10-meters. I looked down through my goggles and I could not see the bottom. I was ready to jump right back out of the sea but really did not want to be the crazy girl who is scared. (I was also the only girl in the whole group so I had to keep it together for the sake of womanhood).
We got accustomed to the water and trained our new skill set. It felt quite awkward in the beginning diving down as we are not allowed to look down. Your eyes have to be on the rope, so you know you are going down but you don't know how deep. You go down as far as you are comfortable as you need to constantly control the equalization of your ears and keep yourself as relaxed as possible. It's all about how calm and focused you keep yourself.
The second day we started out again in the pool, learning how to give assistance to your fellow freedivers because the most important rule is that you should never freedive alone.
And it was also the beginning of the test as you have to pass certain criteria to pass the SSI Freediving Level 1 Course.
Once out in the ocean again, we completed the physical test. (There is a theoretical test as well, I felt like I was right back in highschool). As more and more comfortable our group became in the water, Denis dropped the rope deeper. I managed to dive down to 15 meters. Then Denis told us that he just saw watersnakes swimming around us so I had to let out a little squeak of paranoia but managed to keep the freak out in my head.
As I managed the 15 meters quite comfortably, I decided to let myself try 20 meters. Denis explained to me that once I reached 15 meters I could stop finning because I would freefall. (Freefall is the part where gravity overcomes the buoyancy of your body and you just glide down).
I went down and as soon as the freefall began I just glided down into the blue without any effort. It was one of the most unique and mesmerizing feelings I had. Just becoming one with the water.
As soon as I reached the 20 meter mark, I turned around and let myself glide up again and truly enjoy the last meters back up to the surface.
We ended the day with a snorkeling trip to relax and enjoy our new set skills without any pressure. Obviously I had to mermaid with my new learned skills!
This two-day course brought me so much joy, opened up my mind about how our breathing works and it made me overcome my fear of the deep blue. I am not just walking away with a certified license but a deeper appreciation and understanding of our mind and body.
Biggest Thank You to our instructor Denis for making this a super fun experience and to the whole team of Freedive Gili.
I am hooked and ready for the Level 2 course!