From Saturday, March 19 – Saturday, March 26, ocean lovers from across the U.S. descended on Divetech’s dive shop and Lighthouse Point Dive Resort in Grand Cayman for a week-long freediving training camp in the clear, deep waters of Northwest Point. Freedivers hold their breath until resurfacing rather than using scuba gear during a dive, saying they enjoy being in the water in its purest form and in total freedom.
“It’s one of the fastest growing aspects of the dive industry,” said Nick Fazah of East Coast Divers in Boston, MA and SSI Freediving Training Director. He travels all over the world training freedivers and teaching classes, and teaming up with Divetech, Fazah organized his first training camp in the Cayman Islands, saying it won’t be his last.
Divetech’s Jo Mikutowicz, an avid freediver, agrees. “ “It’s a very quiet sport and it takes a lot of focus and concentration within yourself. As soon as you go below the surface of the sea everything is silent and your brain will want to give up before your body does, so mental focus is very important.”
All freedivers share a love of the ocean and a focus on conservation. 24 attendees came from Florida, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Colorado, Arizona and California to spend the week sharpening their skills at an ideal location. The entire group stayed at Divetech’s Lighthouse Point Dive Resort just steps away from some of Grand Cayman’s best dive sites.
Training camp included pool work and classroom presentations at the dive shop, and a lot of time in deep water just offshore. The dive site is perfect for all training levels because after a short swim, divers reach a mini wall that starts at 40 feet and drops off to 65 feet, and then they can swim further out to the main wall that starts at 65 feet and drops off into the deep blue abyss. When the wind kicked up Divetech provided a dive boat to take the group to the calm side of the island.
Divetech has long promoted freediving, and hosting the camp with Nick Fazah has created a natural partnership to advance the sport.
“Divetech is awesome,” said Fazah. “Most of their dive instructors are very good freedivers and they are all active. Freedivers are part of a cool community of like-minded people who, regardless of their skill level, get along and help each other out. Everyone has very similar views on ocean conservation.”
Fazah says most attendees were recreational freedivers but there were also a number of dive professionals. All are working on the various forms of discipline for the sport, both physical and psychological, as they complete different levels of training from basic certification to instructor trainer level. Nutrition lessons were also included, and each day began with a yoga session in the warm Caribbean sun.
“Freediving is also a personal journey for people who want to explore what they are personally capable of in the natural underwater world,” he explains. “Yoga is about focusing on breathing and position of the body. Yoga is about looking within yourself and free diving is about a connection with the ocean, its very cool.”
“Everyone should try freediving because it is a very safe sport and really pushes your mind to overcome doubts,” agrees Jo Mikutowicz. “It’s a great way to explore the ocean in a different way and spend time underwater in a very silent world. People will be amazed at what their bodies are capable of.”
The training camp was such a success that it will become an annual event, and Mikutowicz says many of those in attendance were ready to put deposits down for next year’s event.
“There was a big mix of talent and everyone loved it!” said Fazah.
Divetech is an IANTD Platinum Facility / TDI/SDI Instructor Trainer Facility / PADI Resort / PADI TecRec Facility / PADI Project Aware Center / SSI Resort / IANTD & SSI Freediving Center / BSAC Resort / National Geographic Center/ Scuba Rangers Club / Universal Training Facility / PADI Swim School / DAN Technical Field Research Station full service dive operator with facilities at Lighthouse Point Dive Resort on Northwest Point Road in West Bay, located just a few miles north of the hustle and bustle of Seven Mile Beach. Considered one of Grand Cayman’s leading dive operations, Divetech has been providing quality dive services since 1994. Divetech has earned a reputation as the place to go in Grand Cayman for quality training from kids to trimix with 18 Instructors on staff.
Divetech offers great dive and room packages with its resort partners Lighthouse Point Dive Resort, Holiday Inn, Sunshine Suites, Grandview Condos and Shangri-la bed and breakfast.