Freediving Revolution Takes Hold on Utila
For many years, the Caribbean Island of Utila has been famous for SCUBA Diving. S.C.U.B.A. (the abbreviation for Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus), a wonderful recreational activity that allows people to access the underwater world aided by a compressed air tank, regulators, buoyancy compensators and now commonly, computers.
But, what if you could throw away all that cumbersome gear and explore the reef without that technology and investment? What if you could soar deeper than any Open Water SCUBA diver on one breath of air? What if you could say to someone "thanks, but no tanks"?.... Well, you can.
Ecomarine-Gunter's Dive Shop pioneered the SCUBA diving industry in Utila almost 30 years ago and now, along with Mark Rogers of Apnea Total, are truly Revolutionizing and redefining the dive industry on The Bay Islands.
No longer are people who would love to explore the underwater world obligated to enter a PADI dive course. No longer will they have to strap on a $1000 worth of dive gear. Now you can throw away the shackles of SCUBA and explore the underwater world with only a mask, fins and your own determination.
Apnea Diving or breath hold diving is as old as the human race. We Mammals have a unique feature known as the Mammalian Dive Reflex. In aquatic animals such as dolphins and whales this response is very strong. We as humans have this instinctive ability also, but in most cases, we just don't know it.
The moment our face touches water amazing physical changes start to take place in our bodies. These changes aid us underwater and with instruction and training we learn how to take advantage of them.
The first action the body takes is to slow the heart rate. This is demonstrated during a Freediving course by having the student connected to a heart rate monitor. Once the student's surface heart rate is measured, their face is submerged in a basin of water. Within a few seconds the heart rate starts dropping rapidly by as much as 25%. This reduction in heart rate provides greater efficiency in using the oxygen we have stored in our blood and lungs.
As divers go underwater the atmospheric pressure increases and with this increase in pressure more changes occur. The body reduces the quantity of blood traveling to the extremities, concentrating blood to the heart and brain. Increasing the time we are able to remain underwater.
These physiological advantages combined with training, the spirit of adventure and determination has made it possible for freedivers to reach depths greater than 100 meters (328') on one breath of air. Very few people on the planet get this deep, but with proper freedive and safety instruction anyone can improve their freediving abilities and see an improvement in fitness level.
In the beginner course you will learn the specifics of Freediving Theory, breathing techniques, diving disciplines and about masks and fins designed to maximize your depth and mobility. The course takes place over two days with two diving sessions and two classroom sessions. The maximum allowed depth at this level is 20 meters (65').
In the advanced freediver course you will learn high level breathing techniques, safety diving, static apnea training and dive to a maximum depth of 40 meters (131'). Amazing...
All instructors are certified Apnea Instructors. Training lines, freediving gear, water support and surface support are provided to ensure safe freediving practices are always followed. Once a freediver is finished the course freediving training sessions are available where you can safely practice and improve your skills and become all that you can be.
So if you have a love for water and want to be able to explore the underwater world anytime, any place with just fins and a mask YOU CAN DO IT! If you are already a SCUBA diver and want to improve your abilities and become a strong freediver YOU CAN DO IT! If you are looking for a life changing experience where you can challenge yourself physically and mentally while every day becoming stronger YOU CAN DO IT!
originally published on www.utilaeastwind.com