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A Mermaid’s Tale

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Although courses and training for freediving have been a more recent adventure, the passion and drive for the sport has been with me since I can remember. As I child I insisted on spending as much time in the water as possible, be it in the sea or the swimming pool. Mermaids and pirates were my biggest aspirations. I guess this was my earliest form of apnea practice, as I would love to spend as much time swimming down to the bottom as splashing at the surface.

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When I was 11 my fascination for the sea took a step up as I received a scuba try dive for my birthday. I was hooked immediately. Scuba diving became my main passion and I was lucky enough to travel whilst gaining dives, experiences and unforgettable sights. This allowed me to become a scuba diving instructor as soon as I turned 18. However, between all these scuba sessions the love for freedom in the water was not lost. I could still be found beneath the surface just working on one breath, whether it be using snorkel equipment or no equipment at all.

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Videos of freedivers had always captivated me for their elegance and calmness and eventually I was given the opportunity to do a freediving course. For me the instant attraction can be found in the very word of the sport, being free. No tanks, no bulky equipment, no regulators. It’s just you and you set the limit for your exploration. Freediving also brings out a bigger sense of challenge or ambition with the many different disciplines. Constant weight inclines you to forever go deeper into the blue whilst static drives you to hold your breath for longer each time. I was fortunate enough to be given the chance to complete my level 1 freediving instructor qualification, but I know that this is just the beginning of the goals rather than the end. I definitely want to improve and push my freediving depths and breath hold times. Yet what is remarkable is that the key to such an addictive, no limits sport is relaxation. The best dives are performed by unruffled divers.

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My favourite memory of learning to freedive was using a monofin for the first time. The power from just having one large fin was remarkable and as I looked down in the water I had finally become the mermaid I had dreamt of as a small child. I would definitely advise anyone to give it a go as everybody is surprised at what their body can do, including me. Set yourself new challenges and have a lot of fun!

Tabitha Rowden (A.K.A. Tafa) is an SSI Freediver and SSI freediving Instructor at Freediving 2000 In Uckfield, East Sussex in the UK. She has freedived in the UK, France and the Red Sea. Outside of freediving, Tafa is a scuba instructor with Scuba 2000, and her hobbies include photography, going to festivals and camping.

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The BiG Scuba Podcast Episode 180: Dawn Kernagis

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Dawn Kernagis

Gemma and Ian chat to Dawn Kernagis.  Dawn joined DEEP in 2023 as the Director of Scientific Research.   DEEP is an ocean technology and exploration company with a mission to ‘Make Humans Aquatic.’ DEEP’s undersea habitat and submersible systems, combined with multi-phased diver and human performance training, will create the next evolution of subsea science, research, and exploration capabilities.   Dawn is a NASA-trained NEEMO Aquanaut, Explorer’s Club Fellow and Women Divers Hall of Fame Inductee and who is also tasked to establish DEEP’s first US presence in North Carolina.   Dawn has also been a diver with numerous underwater exploration, research, and conservation projects since 1993, including the mapping and record-setting exploration of some of the deepest underwater caves in the world.

https://www.deep.com/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/dawn-kernagis-995383152/

The BiG Scuba Podcast is brought to you by Narked at 90.   “Beyond Technical”   Narked at 90    If you are thinking of moving across to tech diving or completely new to diving, Narked at 90 can advise and guide on the best equipment and set up for your personal or commercial requirements  https://www.narkedat90.com/.  There is currently a code for you to use for purchases and the code is  BIGSCUBA2024.

If you are interested in the INSTA360 action camera we discussed then please click this link:   https://www.insta360.com/sal/x3?utm_term=INRAI8S

We hope you have enjoyed this episode of The BiG Scuba Podcast.  Please give us ★★★★★, leave a review, and tell your friends.   Contact Gemma and Ian with your messages, ideas and feedback via The BiG Scuba Bat Phone    +44 7810 005924   or use our social media platforms.   To keep up to date with the latest news, follow us:

We are on Instagram                     @thebigscuba

We are on Facebook                      @thebigscuba

We are in LinkedIn                          https://www.linkedin.com/in/ian%F0%9F%A6%88-last-325b101b7/

The BiG Scuba Website                  www.thebigscuba.com

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Visit   https://www.patreon.com/thebigscubapodcast and subscribe – Super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.

🎧You can listen to the BiG Scuba Podcast on all major podcast platforms including …. iTunes, SoundCloud, Spotify and Stitcher 😀.  ISSN Number 2752-6127

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Blogs

The BiG Scuba Podcast Episode 173: DEEP – Making Humans Aquatic

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Gemma and Ian visited DEEP and were hosted by Phil Short, Research Diving, Training Lead, and were given a tour of the facility at Avonmouth and then over to the Campus at Tidenham.

DEEP is evolving how humans access, explore and inhabit underwater environments. Through flexible, modular and mobile subsea habitats that allow humans to live undersea up to 200m for up to 28 days, work-class submarines, and advanced human performance research, DEEP completely transforms what we are capable of underwater and how we conduct undersea science and research.

www.deep.com

You can listen to Episode 173 of the BiG Scuba Podcast here.

We hope you have enjoyed this episode of The BiG Scuba Podcast.  Please give us ★★★★★, leave a review, and tell your friends about us as each share and like makes a difference.   Contact Gemma and Ian with your messages, ideas and feedback via The BiG Scuba Bat Phone    +44 7810 005924   or use our social media platforms.   To keep up to date with the latest news, follow us:

We are on Instagram                     @thebigscuba

We are on Facebook                      @thebigscuba

We are in LinkedIn                          https://www.linkedin.com/in/ian%F0%9F%A6%88-last-325b101b7/

The BiG Scuba Website                  www.thebigscuba.com

Amazon Store :                                https://www.amazon.co.uk/shop/thebigscuba

Visit   https://www.patreon.com/thebigscubapodcast and subscribe – Super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.

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