Freediving and Bali Goodbye

I completed my Freediving course today. The most recent dives I completed were to 25 meters (82 feet) and they were spectacular. I tried all sorts of permutations on different descents: pulling down on the rope, finning down, eyes closed, hands only ascent.

It’s a eerie feeling as the same breath which swelled your chest on the surface feels like a full exhale at depth. I had to keep reminding myself that yes, I did have the full breath of air in me, it was simply compressed. I feel contractions in my diaphragm as my body alerts me to CO2 buildup, which are initially jarring but I learn to accommodate the movements, as these also trigger the body to lower the heart rate and restrict blood flow to the non vital extremities.

The descent is very different from scuba. It’s fast – for me very fast. Luckily I don’t have a problem with equalization, so I kick down fast and efficiently. Initially, there is resistance to the downward motion, but you quickly build momentum. I’m going faster and faster until I stop kicking – realizing at around 18 meters that I am very negatively buoyant. The lungs have compressed enough that I continue down the line at an amazing one meter per second, unaided! The world gets darker and darker, the lungs get more compressed. Closing my eyes at this point is a very zen period: coasting into the dark abyss with one breath of air, which feels like an empty chest now. Finally, I reach the bottom if the line. I don’t spend much time here, just enough for a forward roll to reposition myself for the ascent. I must fin hard to raise myself, feeling lactic acid burn in my quads. Finally the ascent gets easier and I pop up to the buoy, breathe deep, and prepare for the next dive. It’s very addicting.

Now, a few pictures of me with Mira back in Ubud prior to my departure to my next adventure: Australia.


Our campsite on the black sand beach. Some trash was cleared away…


Mira and me enjoying Es Champur (Mixed Ice) in a market


Babi Guling


Painting in a strange building that Mira and I found.  The Dutch invaders fighting a properly dressed and armed Balinese woman.


Everything is so ornate here:



Classic Mira


Magical; classic Bali




Sunset illuminating a cloud over Amed


Cafe near the Ubud river


Don’t I look great with Mira’s glasses?


I’ve pulled over in Amed to get training in free diving (apnea diving), something I’ve been pretty interested in for a while. Imagine diving with no tank, no regulator, no vest…no bubbles.

It’s romanticized for good reason – pulling yourself head first into deep blue with closed eyes on a single breath is quite a mental and physical test. The world at the bottom of the line opens in such a natural way unachievable with scuba.

I’m tired after the first day of training so I’ll end it here with sunrise on East Bali.