Freediving isn’t a sport many people will be familiar with, could you talk us through it?
Freediving is the ability to dive underwater for a few minutes at a time on just one breath. It gives you a sense of freedom that you just don’t quite get from SCUBA diving. There are no distracting bubbles or bulky gear involved; all you need is one breath and a relaxed state of mind.
When did you start freediving and what qualifications do you have or need?
It was my Gran who helped me develop my love of swimming and snorkeling when I was a kid. She would throw pennies into the deep end of the pool and I would dive down to see how many I could collect in one breath. As a child that was definitely my favourite game! As someone who doesn’t take freediving too seriously, I wouldn’t say you necessarily need a qualification to do it but the SSI Level One is a great way to learn the proper techniques and theory behind it all. So far that’s the only course I’ve done but I’m planning on doing level two in June in Bali, which means I’ll hopefully be able to dive to 30m instead of 22m which is my personal record so far.
I used to love Into The Blue because I wanted to be a treasure hunter and freediver. Other films I love are Shawshank Redemption, The Bodyguard, Pretty Woman and White Chicks.
I have loads but particular favourites are Old Man – Neil Young, Sinnerman – Nina Simone, Hard Sun – Eddie Vedder, and Golden Years – David Bowie.
Favourite thing about Jersey, what do you miss when you’re not here:
St Ouen’s Bay and its amazing sunsets. And of course my Mum and Dad!
Favourite ice cream flavour:
Rum & Raisin or coconut!
I volunteer at Durrell so I am lucky enough to see some of my favourite animals every day; Sumatran orangutans and mission eyed tree frogs are very cool. I love all marine life – whale sharks, humpback whales, dolphins, turtles, oh and I have to mention hippos! … the list could go on! I recently went to South Africa on a shark conservation internship which was totally amazing; tagging sharks (pictured left), diving with Great Whites. It was one of my most eye-opening and beneficial experiences. I am hoping to do plenty more courses to develop my career in conservation.
I’m a vegetarian so traditional vegetarian Indian food hits the mark but you can’t beat a fresh baguette with cheese, and don’t forget the wine!
What would you wear to a fancy dress party:
We’ve had some pretty good fancy dress themes for parties over the years. The best were probably Ski Suit Surprise, Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, and Lords and Ladies.
Where has been your favourite place in the world to free dive and where would your dream place be:
Indonesia is my favourite without a doubt. Komodo and Flores are amazing to dive and Bali and Lombok are fun too. I would happily go back there every year for the rest of my life. My dream would be to freedive with whale sharks.
Where and when was the favourite moment in regards to free diving, so far:
I was on a 10 day boat trip from Lombok to Flores in Indonesia and we’d stopped off at an island along the way. Nobody else from the boat fancied coming in the water so I just went in alone. I dove down to around 15-20 metres and as I turned to have a look at my surroundings I saw a group of 12 manta rays swimming straight towards me. I couldn’t believe how lucky I’d been to jump in right as they were passing under our boat. It was incredible to swim alongside such large graceful animals. This is certainly one of the best moments of my life so far.
What’s coming up on your free diving calendar?
This year in June my boyfriend and I are heading to Bali to do a couple of freediving courses and then travel around a few different freediving spots. Very excited to be going back out there!
Do you have a tip for aspiring sportspeople for those that would like to learn how to free dive?
It depends if you’re in it for the competitive side or to dive with marine life. It was Tanya Streeter who inspired me years ago when I saw her in a documentary series all about freediving with lots of different marine animals and it made me realise that that’s what I want to do, there’s an instructor locally called Matt Le Clercq who runs Freedive Jersey and teaches a few different courses during the summer months.