I do not often talk about my work as a coach and instructor although I feel it plays a valuable role in marine conservation. I am fortunate to work with many young people within the @watermenproject young ambassadors program as well as many of my clients and friends within the freediving world.
One such friend, who I met several years ago, had reached out to me about getting some coaching to improve his diving as a competitor. Later in our collaboration he began to express interest in learning how to dive more effectively off the line, on the reef and in particular diving with big animals…how to respectfully approach, observe and eventually photograph these sea creatures.
In the time we have worked together he has progressed amazingly well…moving from a personal best with a mono fin of a mid 40m dive to being close to 80m with bi-fins - this is no easy feat as the mono fin is much easier to dive with and usually much deeper depths are realised with a mono fin. Almost doubling his depth when transitioning to the bi-fins says a lot for his commitment and dedication to his training.
Equally, he has progressed in his ability to move close to large animals, avoiding disturbing them or touching them. Initially that was not the case as he lacked experience diving with and moving with big, curious and sometimes shy marine life. But his enthusiasm and respect for these creatures was his motivation so he has always graciously accepted and welcomed feedback to improve his diving.
He was recently with me in La Paz where we were working to tag scalloped hammerhead sharks. On one of the days where the sea state was far to rough for us to head out to the hammerhead site we took the opportunity to dive with the whale sharks in the bay.
Here is @rodolforobatti, moving in to capture an image of the whale shark feeding.
Supported by @deepbludivers
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