“I am an abyss explorer”. The words are of famous freediver Guillaume Nery but they also remind me of watching the great Jacques Cousteau on TV as a child. Images forever burned in my mind, images of freedivers and scuba divers. Of weightlessly and peacefully exploring vast oceans in harmony with an element that was so alien to me. Of small divers and massive whales. Of exploring the abyss…
Flemming “Cousteau”. Image by True North Mark.
This post is not so much about photography, more about personal goals, please indulge me as I tell in a bit of personal history. In December 2009 I entered a swimming pool in Thailand determined to re-learn to swim and learn to love and be comfortable in water. In January 2010 I snorkeled for the first time. I kept practicing and ended up loving this new world found. Papua New Guinea in November 2010 saw me snorkeling as much as possible, first one off the boat, last one on. Today, 13 February 2011, saw me scuba diving for the first time. It was a milestone. A new world found, a new world once feared now loved, forever inviting exploration.
I owe this venture into diving to my good friend True North Mark. At Rottnest Island he took me scuba diving on this magic Sunday. Mark also captured the great image above. The feeling of weightlessly floating in this world was everything and more than I had imagined. I was not scared, I trust Mark completely and found it much easier than I had imagined. Being featherweight I had problems staying submerged(cue Mark standing on me!) till I picked up on the technique. I could sit on the bottom and just breathe for an hour. It is one serene meditative feeling to breathe in and blow bubbles floating in the outer space called ocean. I shall pursue this new world of diving much further. Thank you Mark. I still can’t quite believe I have scuba dived today.
We had an amazing Sunday at Rottnest Island, swimming, diving, snorkeling and shooting on Jamie’s Canon 5D Mk I in Aquatech housing and a Canon G11 in a waterproof house. Here is a few fun snapshots:
My own self doing a bit of diving. Captured by Mark on the 5D:
I captured Mark capturing close-ups of this ray on the G11:
I captured one of the many rays at Parker Point on the G11:
Visit True North Mark’s blog to see his great shots from today.
Abyss Exploring. This can become a very addictive habit.
Lastly, l want to share some brilliant freediving videos with you that I keep returning to, courtesy of Guillaume Nery and William Trubridge:
The HECTOMETER freedive from william trubridge on Vimeo.
Freediving World Record – 88m without fins from william trubridge on Vimeo.
EDIT: Must-see trailer for new William Trubridge documentary:
Great words Flembot…glad to be a part of it mate!
Thanks so much mate, how good was our Sunday 🙂
There's nothing quite like that Dean's Blue Hole video at 5.30 in the morning for me.
Great post Flemming. I can't believe no one took a picture of Mark standing on you. That would have been a keeper for sure!
Off to study William Trubridge…
Thanks Charlene – William Trubridge is quite an inspiration as well, watch this trailer that promises greatness: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2osGJLA18lk
Omg, somewhere in the middle of that clip, did you see how much he can suck his stomach in? Freaky!
I want to watch that doco. Big time!
watch this, the guy is a very interesting alien: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NmMQ3-quGBI
Woo, from snorkel to scuba! when did that happen? Good to see you having fun buddy, its really kool down there, another world.
yesterday mate 🙂 And the training you gave me in the Bali Hai pool was invaluable!
Congratulations on your water journey Flembot – it's awesome to read about it and your satisfaction and new found passion. May your love affair continue and be boundless and full of epic experiences mate 🙂
Cool images and stuff too ! 🙂
The videos are just awe ispiring. Thanks for sharing.
Mark will have you jumping out of a plane and landing on TN before you know it FLembo!!
Hehe, that could very well be next!
Well done Flemming, you should be mighty proud of yourself. Job well done. It's so amazing being in the water isn't it, just peaceful and quite, it's like your in your own world. I love it.
Thanks Andrea, yes it still holds so much wonder for me being such a new world. As for the freedivers, they are incredible as not only are they masterful at their sport, they have created art out of it as well.
Omg those guys are bananas, how do they do that, it's awesome?
Welcome to the Big Blue, Flemming! Rule #1 Keep breathing at all times…. unless you are free-diving of course.
Thank you Tim – that was the one rule I kept reminding myself, breathe natural and never hold my breath. Felt very natural and easy, swimming with bloody fins are my biggest problem 🙂
You'll get the hang of it mate, if you ever watch a very experienced diver, you'll notice they hardly kick at all compared to most divers. keep at it!
that would be me then, as I hardly kick at all hehehehe. Mark showed me the technique now, so some practice and I'll nail it.
Awesome achievement…well done! A whole 'other' portion of the planet has just been opened up to you 🙂 It certainly is a beautiful world!
water is wet, I don't like it much but when you hang around Markie enough you are bound to get plonked in it at some stage. Glad you liked it, fishbot! Good shots too.
Oh Christian ya big girls blouse, nothing wrong with a bit of water, well except when it's cold and raining. 🙂 how do you do a yellow smily face?
Oh look at that , the smily face is magic. I typed in keyboard strokes instead and whaaa la.
thanks mate, Fishbot the gilled nomad adventurer ! If I could grant our good mate Markie any wish, I would choose to get him gills ala Costner in Waterworld, Mark would love that!
Great stuff Flemming, you look like a fish already. I sat in the bottom of a swimming pool last year for around 20 minutes with tanks on getting used to breathing and the whole deal and I must say I found it extremely relaxing. I must take it one step further one day and try the real thing.
Good stuff Flemming , land lubber one day fish the next.
Not for me I'm afraid tried it once but it all felt a bit alien and claustrophobic to me, and you can't scream f*** when you see a shark. 🙂
you can scream f***, its just that nobody is listening and the shark doesn't care
I was going to say how much I enjoyed this post and how much it brought back the thrill of diving for me. Then I noticed that Mark was wearing budgie smugglers and it totally ruined me day! 😉
Inspiring reading Flemming, good on you. Cheers
Wow, those videos are amazing, and that Blue Hole is an amazing looking place. I'm sure you have seen the Big Blue (Le Grand Bleu), by Luc Besson, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Big_Blue
"God is at the bottom of the sea, and i dive to find him"
Great post. Reminds me of a 80's movie I just saw by accident on a bus trip – "Children of a Lesser God" – about a teacher at a school for the hearing disabled. There's a scene where he's sitting at the bottom of a swimming pool, trying to imagine what its like to be born deaf.
Your meditation idea take that thought MUCH further and in a different direction.
Vaya con Dios, min ven 🙂
Good for you Flemming. It's certainly one of those feelings that can hook you big time. I'm sure that integrating your new passion with your photography will open up opportunities that you had never dreamed of – go for it!
Thanks Muzz, thanks as always for the support.
great work all round Flem! good to see you're following a new passion and enjoying every moment!