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Ten OTHER Things You Can Do Underwater

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As humans we’re not really equipped to spend much time underwater, but people are finding ever-increasing amounts of things to do beneath the surface. You might never get to be a dolphin or mermaid, or even Bruce the shark from Finding Nemo, but that doesn’t stop you doing some of the more spectacular, thrilling, or most insane things now available to take part in while submerged. Here, then, are ten things – from romantic to electrifying to utterly absurd – you can do while underwater.

  1. Go Clubbing

Burning up the dancefloor, scoffing disco biscuits, throwing shapes with your mates while the latest banger clanks from the sound system – all to be done on dry land, yes? Well actually, no – Subsix, the world’s first underwater nightclub opened in the Maldives, and is situated six metres below the surface so the local marine life can watch while you cut some rug. Also, there’s this TV ad that kind of makes me wish the club it shows it really existed. Something for the Go Freediving Summer Party, perhaps?

  1. Get Married

Increasingly popular, with lots of resorts offering various packages for your underwater nuptials, this is still a relatively unique way to say I Do and therefore remains pretty funky. And if you thought your wedding photos would look jaw-dropping with the glittering Indian Ocean as a backdrop, imagine them with you beneath the surface of that ocean and amongst the coral reefs…

Photo: Liz Cantor

  1. Go to a Concert

Want to see Paul McCarpney and Ringo Starfish play live? Then head to the Florida Keys, where its annual Underwater Music Festival has been running for the best part of three decades. Located at Looe Key Reef, you can wave your hands in the ‘air’ to music while submerged, stage ‘dive’ while the show plays around you, or just chill out on one of the party boats on the surface.

 

  1. Eat

Yes, you can grab a bite to eat while submerged, and usually in some of the world’s most exotic locations – think the Ithaa Undersea Restaurant on Rangali Island in the Maldives, or ‘the oyster shell’ Al Mahara in Dubai – but Norway is now getting in on the act with ‘Under’, a new sunken eatery on the country’s southern coast, due to open in 2019. Or if you fancy something a little more intimate, The Pearl restaurant is a small pod that lies at the bottom of the NEMO33 dive centre in Brussels, where two of you can scuba down five metres and dine on lobster salad and champagne in peace and quiet. It beats grabbing a burger before you go under the waters of a freezing Scottish Loch…

Photo: Conrad Hotels

  1. Ride a Bike

Aqua Cycling has been a bit of a thing in Europe for a few years but its popularity is growing, especially in America. It’s a simple concept: strap on your scuba kit, climb on a specially-designed bike (denser than normal, to keep it on the bottom of the pool or ocean) and pedal. Keeping going isn’t so simple, however – this is a fun pastime but also a proper workout, with even seasoned dry land cyclists feeling the burn after an underwater race…

  1. Sleep

After a long day’s diving a lot of people like to get a good night’s sleep – but what if you never had to leave the water to get some shuteye? If you’re ever in the States, the only underwater hotel in the country is in the Florida Keys: Jules’ Undersea Lodge, named after – you’ve guessed it – Jules Verne, author of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Farther afield there’s the stunning Underwater Room on the Manta Resort, on the island of Pemba just off the east African coastline.

  1. Be Born

Water births are nothing new, and many couples opt for birthing pools at home or in a birth centre or hospital. But the sheer scale of choice now available to prospective parents is mind-blowing, so even if you want dolphins to help out as midwives – yes, really – it can be arranged. And culturally, some countries are firm believers in their women giving birth while underwater – Russia, for example, sees lots of babies delivered in summer ‘birth camps’ in the warm lagoons of the Black Sea.

  1. Go to a Museum

Nearly three years in the making and containing 12 installations and over 300 life-size human figures, Museo Atlántico sits off Playa Blanca in Lanzarote, 14 metres below the surface, and is artist Jason deCaires Taylor’s latest stunning underwater sculpture museum. Or if you fancy examining some masterworks in Mexico, head for the MUSA (Underwater Museum of Art) in Cancun, where numerous lifelike sculptures sit frozen in time, with the reef growing on and around them.

  1. Jump on a Pogo Stick

Who hasn’t wanted to jump on a pogo stick while 6 metres underwater? Luckily for us, there’s the world’s first underwater pogo stick, the Sub Jumpa. Whether you’re in a pool or deep below the surface of the ocean, with this neat gizmo you can bounce, spin, fall over and generally laugh at yourself with a tank strapped to your back. World record jumping distances have been set on the thing, would you believe…

  1. Be Buried

It comes to us all eventually, so why not go out differently and do it underwater? The biggest artificial reef in the world can be found in Key Biscayne, off the coast of Florida: the Neptune Memorial Reef is man-made and designed as a recreation of the ancient city of Atlantis, and is referred to as a ‘cremation memorial’ location where people can have their remains become part of the site itself or scattered underwater. Initially half an acre, the site is growing in size to a planned 16 acres and can accommodate an estimated 125,000 remains.

And there you have it – ten things you can do underwater. The list is by no means exhaustive, so if you fancy trying Mermaid Camp, swimming with pigs, strutting down a catwalk as you model, or even pumpkin carving while submerged, the underwater world is, as they say, your oyster…


Find out more about free diving at www.gofreediving.co.uk

Emma Farrell is one of the world's leading freediving instructors and the author of the stunning book 'One Breath, a Reflection on Freediving.' Teaching freediving internationally since 2003, she is a founding member of the AIDA Education Commission, writing courses that are taught worldwide, has written her own standalone courses, and has appeared numerous times on television and across other media. She is a freediving judge, has competed internationally, and has worked with gold medal winning Olympic and Paralympic cyclists and swimmers to improve their performance since 2010 using her unique program of freediving and yoga techniques. Find out more about Emma at www.gofreediving.co.uk.

Blogs

CCMI alumni learn to freedive from world record holder Tanya Streeter

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CCMI

CCMI’s 25th anniversary celebrations included Tanya Streeter leading a freediving clinic for CCMI alumni, giving Festival of Seas keynote address

To help celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI), the organisation enlisted the help of world record holding freediver and former Cayman resident Tanya Streeter. Invited to give the keynote speech at the annual Festival of Seas gala on 4 November 2023, Tanya eagerly agreed to also host a freediving clinic for young Caymanians who participated in education programmes at CCMI to give back to the Cayman community.

CCMI

Returning to the island where she was born and raised, Tanya led a half-day freediving clinic at Sunset House with the support of Sunset Divers. CCMI education programme alumni were invited to register, and 11 Caymanians, ages 16-26 representing a span of 10 years of taking part in the range of CCMI education programmes, attended the clinic. Some of the alumni participated in more than one CCMI programme over the years, and several are now employed in a related industry in the Cayman Islands, a testament to the importance of CCMI’s scholarship opportunities for Caymanian students.

CCMI

When asked what it meant to Tanya to host this freediving clinic in Grand Cayman, she said, “I cannot overstate what a huge personal impact it has on me to come back to have this opportunity to work with young Caymanians. They are associated with CCMI, so they know about the ocean and about how important ocean health is here for us. But to be able to connect with young people in a realm that I’m good at and is important to me, and to see them grow a little bit personally, is huge. It’s my absolute favourite thing to do!”

CCMI

Called ‘the world’s most perfect athlete’ in 2002 by Sports Illustrated, Tanya discovered her record-breaking gift for freediving in 1997, and in the following decade broke 10 world records, many of them previously held by men. To this day, she still holds the longest-standing world record in the sport, having dived on a single breath to a depth of 525ft/160m in the No Limits discipline off the coast of the Turks and Caicos Islands in August 2002. If anyone is qualified to help others begin their journey into freediving, Tanya Streeter is at the top of the list.

CCMI

The clinic started with a briefing and a meditation session, led by Tanya, to get the mind and body ready to freedive. Participants practiced meditation exercises, breathing techniques to help open the diaphragm and work the lungs and muscles, and important stretches. Next, Tanya gave an in-water safety briefing, which emphasized buddy pairs, proper in-water breathing techniques, and not pushing oneself too hard. In total the group spent about 90 minutes in the water in selected buddy pairs practicing freediving while under the watchful eye of CCMI’s in water safety teams. Tanya spent several moments with each freediver individually, observing them, and offering underwater support and topside coaching. After everyone had one-on-one coaching time with Tanya, the group snorkeled to the famous Sunset House mermaid statue, practicing their new, finely tuned freediving skills to dive to the mermaid (a depth of about 45-50 ft).

CCMI

Before the clinic, participants had a wide range of skills and experiences in the water. Tanya provided one-on-one coaching, speaking to each person’s comfort level. One participant said it felt like it was only the two of them in the ocean. Tanya’s constructive corrections in the water helped participants realize instant success in their form and dives!

CCMI

The following night, Tanya gave the keynote address to the more than 350 attendees at CCMI’s Festival of Seas gala at the Kimpton Seafire Resort & Spa. A passionate voice for the preservation of the marine environment, Tanya announced she would serve as a CCMI ambassador, focusing her energy on engaging the youth and young people in efforts to protect the ocean. She left attendees with the realization that the connection we have with the ocean is meaningful, and it paves the way to create protections and policies that will sustain the marine environment for the future.

CCMI

While Tanya enjoys using her platform to communicate about the importance of marine conservation, she is very passionate about working with youth and introducing them to the ocean through freediving. “To see those barriers people are facing and to push through and grow even in a hour, and hour and a half. That’s huge. It’s absolutely my favourite thing to do.”

For more information about CCMI, please visit www.reefresearch.org.

About CCMI

CCMI is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1998 to protect the future of coral reefs, envisioning a world with vibrant oceans and healthy coral reef ecosystems. We seek to be the Caribbean’s premier marine research institute by delivering cutting edge research, transforming conservation strategy and developing education programmes of excellence – discovering and promoting real solutions to declining ocean health. Our plan is to invigorate key species and understand key ocean processes that drive reef resilience. We support early career scientists who are INNOVATING ways to improve coral reef health. We are TRANSFORMING conservation strategy and work to inspire the CHANGE that is needed to achieve our mission. CCMI are PIONEERS in the region working to reverse the declines of coral reefs.

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Equipment

Oceanic+ Now Has Freedive Mode on Apple Watch Ultra

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Oceanic is thrilled to enhance your underwater adventures with the launch of Oceanic+ 2.0. This updated version of the app is filled with practical new features designed to enrich the diving experience.

Divers can now use their Apple Watch Ultra and Apple Watch Ultra 2 for freediving to 130 feet (40 meters). The new Freedive mode is packed with advanced features specific to training and freediving with custom alarms for target depth, max dive time, sequential depth, surface time, and max session time. For each alarm, the diver will receive both haptic and visual notifications. Additional features include surface heart rate tracking, heart rate training zones, surface data, and more.

Freedive mode includes a feature called “Stealth mode” which will automatically dim the screen while underwater. Stealth mode disables all haptics and alarms and reduces the display brightness by 90% while diving. This clever feature ensures freedivers won’t startle the fish during their dive. When back on the surface, the display automatically goes back to normal brightness, keeping all surface alarms intact to help fine-tune training.

With a simple click of the logbook, a detailed view of each individual dive made is shown. This includes the total session time, max dive time, max depth achieved, total number of dives, and coldest water temperature. Also seen is each dive on a map with a start and ending point.

While the Apple Watch Ultra is great for real-time critical data, Oceanic+ on iPhone offers a closer view of freedives in much more detail. All dives are automatically saved in the logbook, showing individual session statistics with detailed dive information, and an overall summary. This includes ascent and descent times, heart rate data from each session to provide a recovery assessment, relaxation improvement, and enhancing carbon dioxide recovery resistance.

In addition to Freediving Mode on Apple Watch Ultra, Oceanic+ has received many new enhancements for an enriched diving experience. The new “Activity Map” on Oceanic+ allows divers to visualize their dives on a global mat, showing hotspots with color-coded indicators for different modes, such as scuba or freedive. Divers can also enter beginning and ending tank pressure and tank type in their Oceanic+ logbook, as well as easily export all dives to their preferred logbook.

“Oceanic+ continues to expand its capabilities,” said Mike Huish, CEO of Huish Outdoors. “Now with Freedive mode on Apple Watch Ultra and the many additional improvements to the app including advanced photo and video color-correction, Oceanic+ improves the way we will share our underwater adventures.”

Planning for dives is now easier with Diver Generated Content™ which provides real-time water temperatures at various depths as reported by our diverse diving community. The new Weight Planner assists divers in determining the right amount of ballast needed for their dive.

The updated logbook allows divers to instantly share their dive stories. Dive photos and videos taken with the Oceanic+ Dive Housing are now seamlessly integrated into their logs, allowing divers to overlay their dive profile alongside visuals to tell a complete story.

Oceanic+ 2.0 also includes advanced editing capabilities for photos and videos taken with the patent-pending Oceanic+ Dive Housing. The free version includes automatic color correction for both photos and videos, while the premium version allows access to advanced editing – adjust blue or green color dominance in images and videos; utilize keyframes to make color corrections throughout videos; and the ability to apply color correction to imported media, even if taken with other devices.

The Oceanic+ app is subscription-based and includes a free version and a paid subscription for more advanced photo and dive computer features as well as freediving. The Oceanic+ app can be downloaded here.

About Oceanic

Founded in 1972 by industry pioneer Bob Hollis, Oceanic is a global dive leader committed to providing modern, reliable, accessible, and easy-to-use dive equipment to recreational divers so they can focus on what matters most: exploring the underwater world and appreciating the wonders of marine life. For over 50 years this philosophy has been woven into everything Oceanic does and is the foremost reason the company is considered a best-in-class, recreational dive brand. Recreational divers of all experience levels benefit from the large selection of products like regulators, computers, and BCDs for all types of diving, as well as masks, snorkels, fins, bags, and accessories for watersport newcomers and veterans alike. Oceanic is one of Huish Outdoors’ premier dive brands. To learn more, please visit oceanicworldwide.com.

About Huish Outdoors

Since 2011, Huish Outdoors has been passionate about the outdoors and connecting people to their adventure dreams. Huish Outdoors unites the world’s best diving and outdoor brands – Atomic Aquatics®, BARE®, BARE Exowear, Hollis®, Oceanic®, Oceanic+, Stahlsac®, Suunto®, and Zeagle® – all under one roof, showcasing the best there is in outdoor sports from deep trenches to snowy peaks. From research to development, the Huish Outdoor brands combine leading design with advanced materials and proven technologies to define what’s next in diving. In partnership with retail partners and distributors across the globe, the company is working together to grow the above- and below-water adventures industries. For more information, please visit huishoutdoors.com.

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