TripAdvisor has awarded One Breath Freediving a 2018 Certificate of Excellence! Thanks to all the freedivers that learnt and trained with us and especially a big thank you for all the wonderful reviews, it is greatly appreciated.
You know that feeling. You've just flown out for your annual holiday to the dream destination and you have been planning this trip for the past year. Warm blue water awaits you, long fins at the ready, and then you feel it. The soreness at the back of your throat and the tickling in your nose....the cold you dreaded is here! Pretty much a disaster for any freediver on holiday
After suffering one recently I thought I would answer and look at a few of the questions and myths around the common cold:
Are you are more likely to catch a cold on a flight?
Yes. But it's not the circulating air on the plane as most people think. Simply being in a confined space with so many other people, increases the risk of germs spreading. ALTHOUGH, re-circulated air is more likely to give you sinus problems (another issue for freediving). Also, low humidity in the pressurised cabin increases the risk of infection.
Why is a cold a problem for freediving?
The cold virus is attacking the membranes of your nasal passages and your sinuses which makes them swell up and increase mucus production. This clogs up the sinus passages causing increased pressure and pain. During a dive air in the body expandes and needs to be able to move which it can't do as easily if these passages are blocked.
So we know there is no cold cure, but what can degongestant medication do?
As we all know, there is no cure yet for the common cold. Antibiotics will only fight bacteria, not viruses. Decongestants (tablets or spray) can shrink the swollen blood vessels in the nasal passages, lessening the pressure and helping with drainage.
Is it safe to freedive using decongestant medication?
Most research and advice on this topic is related to scuba diving (diving and descended under pressure for 30-45 minutes at a time). In scuba it is possible for the medication to wear off in that time causing problems on ascent. Freediving has different issues, most notably faster ascents and a lack of time to be able to stop and react if a reverse block (sinus pressure increasing from expanding air on ascent that is unable to escape the nasal cavity) occurs. Generally speaking it is risky, and anyway, if you are sick with a cold your body is fighting the infection and so is weaker and will therefore not be transporting oxygen as efficiently. Therefore you wont be feeling great and should not really be undertaking strenuous activity or pushing your limits!
Are there natural solutions for reducing congestion?
Inhaling steam such as in a hot shower or from a bowl of hot water. Adding an essential oil such a eucalyptus which has anti-inflammatory properties, can help. The hot steam dilates the blood vessels allowing increased blood flow and circulation, alleviates soreness and inflammation and liquifies mucus secretions making it easier to clear. Keeping hydrated also will allow the body to fight the virus quicker. Nasal irrigation such as a 'Neti pot' allows you to wash through the sinuses but this must be done with sterilised saline water and sterilised equipment and might feel uncomfortable if you are not used to it.
Any other options?
Snorkel!!! Most of the colour and marine life is in the top 0-10m of the sea, so you can still experience the wonder of being in the water and make the most of your holiday, even if you cannot dive down :)
Training and coaching sessions!
Taking training sessions or a one-to-one coaching session with an experienced instructor can give invaluable feedback on your dive preparation and technique, give you new solutions to problems, give you feedback on your dives and give you the tools to perform at your best. For more experienced freedivers, coaching could help you overcome a plateau in your performance or open up new depths with easier equalisation methods, for beginners it could help refine your technique and increase your comfort and time underwater.
Freediving is a SPORT (unlike some other underwater activities that shall remain nameless :)), with strong mental and physical components and a high emphasis on technique. So to improve and achieve personal gains you need to practice and train yourself. Repetition and consistencey are vital to see improvments in performance, there is no way around that. Remember, if it was easy and came with no real effort it would not be half as satisfying to reach new depths or times!
"Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect."
- Vince Lombardi
+++ Training and Coaching sessions are available year round for certified freedivers. David is an experienced AIDA & PADI freediving instructor with additional qualifications in Sport & Exercise Science and Personal Training. +++
There can't be many places as alluring and iconic to freedivers as the Blue Hole in Dahab. With imposing, barren mountains just metres from deep blue water and a kaliedoscope of colours amongst the corals on the reef with every shape and colour of fish possible, it is a truely beautiful place and draws freedivers from accross the world.
A natural submarine sinkhole, the depth within the hole is 100m and just outside, on the reef's edge, the depth reaches over 1,000m. A sheltered location and lack of current just metres from shore means that this is a wonderful place to train for freediving.
One Breath Freediving will be conducting a Training camp in in Dahab Egypt in January and February 2019. Enquire for further information.
'One Breath Freediving is pleased and very excited to announce a new partnership with Malta a Vela (Malta by Sail). Together we will be offering freediving excursions and courses from the 41ft sailing boat 'Eau d' As', owned and crewed by Laurent & Rosa. This partnership is a first for Malta and an amazing opportunity to experience the sea around the Maltese Islands in the most natural and serene way possible, both above and below the water.
We start our 2017 summer programme with a freediving trip to Comino on Sunday May 28th. There are limited allocations (only 6 spaces!), making this a really exclusive and personalised experience. Plus, we are offering a special introductory price of only €100 per person for this day trip.
Contact me as soon as possible to book your space, and look out for more exciting activities coming soon.'
David, Laurent & Rosa'
We have some great news: One Breath Freediving is pleased to announce that it is now an official PADI Freediver Centre!
We now offer PADI freediver courses from 'PADI Basic Freediver', a one day introduction to freediving, right up to the advanced 'PADI Master Freediver' course.
This nicely compliments the AIDA freediving courses we already offer and makes One Breath Freediving the top destination for freediving, and the only place to learn PADI or AIDA freediving course from beginner to advanced, in Malta & Gozo
David Watson (PADI Master Freediver Instructor #650697)
One Breath Freediving (PADI Freediver Centre #s26038)
There was a total of 3 of us doing the course, so after we did our introductions we started on some classroom work. We also practiced the correct technique for ear equalizing and did some timed breath holds. Around midday we went to Malta's national pool to do the required 40m underwater swim. This is called Dynamic Apnea and the main points of this involved correct weight and buoyency, pushing off from the side of the pool and doing the first arm stroke, turning at the other end of the pool and getting to 40m. All these parts were covered in detail and we practiced our techniques until we were ready for the 40m. Rescue diver procedures were also taught and practiced during this pool session.
After the pool we went back to the classroom for the final theory for day 1 and briefly went over what the plan is for the second day.
After a brief classroom session we entered the very calm water of Cirkewwa and setup the buoys in 20m deep water. First we practiced Free Immersion where you pull yourself down the rope. There were a few things to get right, such as relaxation, initial accent technique, then equalising and pulling yourself down the line.
After this session we went onto constant weight where we used fins and the correct technique to efficient finning. The AIDA2 course requires a dive of 16m-20m.
The day was very calm and relaxed and this was clearly a major part of freediving. Not pressure or stress to get things done, take your time.
We met at the dive centre and had a quick briefing for the day's events. First off was the static apnea discipline at a sheltered area near Bugibba. To pass the course a 2 minute breath hold was required. I managed 3 minutes and felt like I could manage a few more seconds, but I was more than happy with myself achieving this time. We also had a go at being the coach. This involved steadying the person, timing, communication and watching for signals.
Next up was a trip to Cirkewwa again for the final open water dives before the exam. We did the constant weight again, like on day 2, but a little deeper and also practiced using a lanyard to keep you secured to the line as well as being a rescue diver who meets the other diver half way. With all the open water requirements completed we all headed to the classroom for the written exam.
My Final Points From a SCUBA Diving Background.
Very interesting learning about ears, equalising, lungs in lots more detail.
Knowledge of what's involved in freediving will allow me to be more aware of freedivers when I'm scuba diving.
Being relaxed is very important.
Finding a competent buddy you can trust. This must work both ways.
Learning what your body and mind is really capable of.
Overall the course was very enjoyable. David, the instructor was very informative and knowledgable. Detailed instructions and techniques were demonstrated and personal feedback was given throughout the day.
The 3 full days were good fun, calm, knowledgable and were the ideal environment for pushing your mental boundaries to an area it's difficult to imagine before the course.
Static: 2 minutes. I managed 3 minutes. (Holding breath floating on surface)
Dynamic: 40m. I managed 40m on my second attempt. (In swimming pool).
Constant Weight: 16m. My maximum depth was 20m.
The exam was a mix of multiple choice as well as full answers and was straight forward if you followed the manual and classroom ok.
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