Freediving Blog

Welcome to My Journey to Depth, a blog in which I share my training tips, freediving adventures and competition stories.

The small tropical island Pulau Weh is located north of Sumatra in the Indian Ocean. I arrived here 5 days ago to acclimatise and adapt to new conditions: high humidity, 3 days in the planes and diving in the open sea. The competition will start next weekend.

Island of Pulau Weh - Indonesia 01

We have already travelled around the island, and it is so different! On one side – tropical jungle, on another – white beaches or black volcanic rocks. On the roads there is almost nobody but monkeys and cows, rarely seen local Indonesians smile and surprisedly look at the triangular case of the monofin. There are a couple of large cities – where everything is as usual as in the city: the port, the embankment, and things happen at their own schedule.

Island of Pulau Weh - Indonesia 02

In the water is 29 degrees on the surface, goes down to 25 on the bottom. Because of the rains, the visibility may change – and it becomes quite dark. It feels like Bahamas Blue Hole at 60 meters 🙂 You can still see the rope – but it feels like a bit dark.
I decided to prepare very gently – and have one day to dive, one to rest. Therefore, I trained only 3 times. Plus first dive was to look around and check my buoyancy (here water is less salty than in the Red Sea and so I need less weight).

Marianna Gillespie - Indonesia Pulau Weh

Another thing in Asia for freediving is current. Here we dive in the bay, so it is not felt so much. But yesterday, for example, I was lucky: on the warm-up dives there was current, and the rope was at an angle, and when I started my dive, the current suddenly stopped.

Marianna Gillespie - Sabang International Freediving Competition 02

It is important not to overload yourself before the competition – I noticed that many athletes begin to train immediately on the day of arrival, leaving no time for acclimatisation. Or dive 2-3 days in a row. I think that training like this will not be beneficial: what is better – to rest for 1 day, but to dive well, or not to rest and turn early?

Marianna Gillespie - Sabang International Freediving Competition 01I started training right away on the official platform, and what is interesting is that a plate with tags is already installed – so it makes training exactly like a competition. First dive it was fun, the second time I thought that everything is somehow very official and I’d rather get tags on the competition days, so today I just touched the plate and took my imaginary tag, it’s so much more fun!

Welcome to My Journey to Depth, a blog in which I share my training tips, freediving adventures and competition stories.

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