Freediving and spearfishing in the Balearic Islands is stunningly beautiful. The water is crystal clear and the underwater landscapes dramatic and changing. The Balearics are like massive chunks of Swiss cheese thrown into the sea with hundreds if not thousands of holes, caves and caverns lining the coasts. Continue reading “Spearfishing in Mallorca – What you need to know #2: Dive Conditions”
Episode #1 of the “Spearfishing in Mallorca – What you need to know” series. This first episode deals with the laws and regulations around spearfishing in the Balearic islands.
Welcome to the Spearfishing in Mallorca – What you need to know series!
Every spearfishing destination is unique in terms of dive conditions, available species, species behaviour, common practices, sustainability concerns and last but not least – regulations. Continue reading “Spearfishing in Mallorca – What you need to know #1: Laws and regulations”
As the temperatures are dropping restaurants and hotels are closing one by one. While boats and luxury yachts are being lifted out of the water and parasols cleared from the beaches a slow and peaceful atmosphere is embracing our little town. It’s a blessed feeling when work is finished for the year, when the high season stress is being replaced by peace and quiet and time with colleagues and clients give way for time with family and friends. Continue reading “With tourist season gone spearfishing season is on”
It’s the 31st of October. When I look out the window in the morning I see a light rain falling and the thermometer showing 13 degrees. It’s as if nature wants to reinforce the message that the tourist season has come to an end.
Continue reading “The end of the tourist season 2018”
Less than two weeks ago there was a really bad flood in another corner of the island after some insanely heavy raining. That flooding claimed 10 lives, whereof a 5 year old boy and his mother among the victims. The poor boy’s body was found just days ago. A terrible story that still brings tears to my eyes.
Today flooding struck again, this time closer to home. Continue reading “Flooding in town”
In this year’s Vertical Blue competition it became very clear that if you want excitement, unpredictability and fierce competition it’s the women that will provide it. Continue reading “Why the women’s competitive freediving is so much more exciting than the men’s”
A new day of freediving competition is dawning in the Bahamas.
Today we see no less than seven National Record and TWO World Record announcements.
Alessia Zecchini will attempt to succeed where Jessea Lu failed on day 1 of the competition, with a 93m FIM dive to claim the World Record in yet another discipline. Alessia already holds the WR in CWT with AIDA and the CWT bi-fins WR with CMAS. A successful dive would definitively cement her position as the current queen of freediving, at least for now…
Alexey will attempt to improve on his own WR in CWT from last year with a dive to 130m. This is a dive that I have myself, as a safety diver, witnessed him do with ease in Indonesia two years ago. That was out of competition though and now the stakes and pressure is higher.
Thibault Guignes, Monsieur No-Packing is attempting to improve on his own 108m NR for France with a 110m dive in the FIM discipline.
William Trubridge will try to set an example and take the lead in the men’s FIM competition with a 119m dive.
Good luck to all athletes. Let the white cards fly!
All seasons come with their pros and cons. In summer the water is warm and beautifully clear, but also full of people and boats that scare the fish away, as well posing an actual threat of running you over. In spring, the water is cold, but on the other hand you have it more or less for yourself. There’s plenty of fish around too, and that we all like, freedivers and spearfishermen alike.
Diving in colder waters takes a little more preparations. But if you do it right it’s truly enjoyable. First of all you need to make sure you have a suitable wet suit to keep the cold out for the full time in the water that you have planned for. Ideally you dive with a two piece open cell suit to maximize thermal efficiency without needing too much neoprene, which would require a lot of extra weights in turn. Long John pants is a good way to get extra warmth around the torso without adding too much neoprene.
Personally I’m diving in a 5mm open cell suit in April and May where temperatures range from 14°C early April to about 19°C late May. Come June and the temperature climbs above 20°C I switch to 3mm which is good throughout summer and fall till the end of October. Earlier than April I prefer 7mm if I’m planning for more than an hour in the water.
Make sure you wear warm enough dive gloves and socks to keep your extremities warm and functional.
But apart from bringing the right gear, keeping warm on the way to the dive site and while you’re getting into your suit also has a big impact on your dive experience. Especially on boat trips it’s important to protect yourself from cold air and winds with a warm jacket and a hat. Equally important is to make sure that you keep fingers and toes warm during transport. They won’t warm up as you get in the water, quite the opposite.
A big bottle of warm soapy water is gold worth for donning an open cell suit without cooling down in the process. Bring enough and keep it warm if the transport is long.
After diving get out of your suit and into warm dry clothes as soon as possible to avoid getting cold down by winds and cold air.
Do it right and spring offers some of the best dive experiences of the year.
The octopus is one of my favourite Mediterranean creatures. They’re intelligent, abundant and truly fascinating with their astonishing camouflage skills. Just take a look at this video I shot while out snorkling.