I was up at 4.30 to stretch and prepare for the mornings diving, we launched at 6am.
I was feeling very upbeat about the dive ahead, having made some significant changes to my rig, I was prepared for anything the Indian ocean could throw at me today...that's a scream...I have totally lost my sense of humor, SERIOUSLY, I am not making a joke or trying to be witty here.
The first error I made was to take my mask into the water with me to have a look at the water before I started diving. Yesterday I had dived with fluid goggles, so I was not aware of how spooky the water looked. Believe me, I am no stranger to poor visibility diving, I am particularly good in low and even zero viz. But there is something disconcerting about diving deep in low visibility water that is home to Great Whites, Tigers, Bull Sharks, Oceanic White tips, Duskies, Mako's and I am sure there are others.
The visibility is reasonable until 30m but from around 40m it is non-existent. From the surface though there is already an inky black hue to the water. Anyway despite the nervous tension that this caused, I processed it, and was still committed to diving. The real problem I was faced with was the current, I had a 30kg lead shot weight attached to the bottom of my 10mm line, it should have been more than enough to keep my line vertical. But it was not, the rope was nearly horizontal at times.
Then it was back in the water, the boat drops us off and we have to swim to the rig, it is like a bucking bronco in the swell. Anyway, I still felt good to go, so I started a breathe-up of 6 minutes, mostly just trying to reduce the CO2 that inevitably builds up just from being in there.
When I surfaced, it took me 10 minutes of recovery breathing before I felt comfortable enough to talk to any of my team.
First Ian said to me that it was like swimming against the Umgeni river in flood down there. Then Dean came up and he asked me if I had my eyes open or closed… before I could answer his rhetorical question he said, “because it would have made f#@%-all difference!”
So I have gone back to the hotel with my tail between my legs, again.
This has been without a single shred of doubt the hardest diving I have ever done in my life.
As I said before, current, surface chop, wind, poor visibility, sharks and swell are individually all potential deal breakers. Combined they are downright terrifying!
I never thought I’d see the day that I’d let people know I was frightened of anything.
Truth is, today I was.
The first thing I did when I was back within cellphone range was to call Lesley, both for comfort and to discuss the way forward. Fortunately I came prepared, my mental resources are bolstered by the campaign and my desire to spread the word as far as I possibly can about the plight of our sharks. Find out more about our campaign at
Posted by Trevor Hutton Free Diving Academy at 5:15:00 PM No comments: