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Family Vacation and training Benefits

Just came back from Long Island Bahamas… It’s been the second formal

training for me in the span of 3 months. The first one – last October in

Monrtreal with William Winram, member of the FreediveToronto club and World Cup

Champion – I wasn’t able to attend to the full extent (damn, I have to,

given the chance again!). This second training was actually during vacation

with my wife, which, quite conveniently, “coincided” with a depth training

course by another William – Trubridge, current World Record holder on CNF

and his wife Brittany, who is a Yoga instructor with an emphasis on

breathing techniques and lung exercising. Daily yoga practices (with one really

cool session which started at sunrise right on the cliff facing the Atlantic ocean),

diving off the platform on the Dean’s Blue Hole, the supernatural beauty of Long

Island, my October training in Montreal – all of these contributed to greatly

improve my depth range and confidence. The outcome? For the first time in my life,

I crossed the 40m depth mark and 30+ meter dives became much more

comfortable than ever before. There was also the pleasant surprise of meeting Carla

Sue-Hanson – she was assisting in our open water training. Carla is in pursuit of the

US National record for CNF diving. So if you’re looking to train for depth in warm

waters close to home, don’t think twice; Dean’s Blue Hole is hard to beat. It’s close

and accessible from Toronto on a 3 hr direct flight to Nassau and a few daily

connections to Long Island. There are no waves or thermocline at Dean’s Blue Hole,

hardly any currents, great visibility as well as a world-class dive setting.

Throw into the mix the super-friendly local people, fresh-off-the-sea

(definitely beats fresh-off-the-boat-and-into-the-freezer) seafood, excellent spearfishing

opportunities, miles and miles of white sandy beaches without a soul in sight and

you have the perfect place to train or just unwind and relax. This is our second trip to

Long Island and I hope there will be more like this in the future!

 

ALL ROADS LEAD TO THE DEAN’S BLUE HOLE!

 

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[slideshow]

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[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18CN5pXzi7Y&w=640&h=390]

Training CWT dive at The Blue Hole

 

Sergei

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Mayan Riviera, Mexico – Family Fun and Freediving

January 1st 2011 we left snowy Toronto for a week on the Mayan Riviera in Mexico. We stayed at the Akumal Beach Resort, South of Playa Del Carmen and spent most of the time at this waterfront resort located on Akumal Bay. ( Akumal = Place of the Turtles) Lots of opportunities to snorkel/freedive on the reef. Also just a short walk to the North is Half Moon Bay a great place for an afternoon snorkel. Both reefs are a little worse for hurricane wear but Akumal attracts a lot of tourists for the beach and reef tours. We were able to enhoy as a family the snorkelling and at the same time I got to practise some breath hold photography putting my digital point and shoot camera in a small camera drybag from MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-op) here in Toronto.

We made two off resort trips the first was to the ruins at Coba and Tuluum, both were awesome.

Mid day we stopped at two Cenotes (underground caverns) for a refreshing swim and a little free diviving.

Our second trip was to the “Hidden Worlds” nature/adventure park just a short cab ride South of the resort. This featured jungle/cenotes tours, including the “sky cycle”, very novel and interesting. Also a number of unique zip lines through the canopy, and also two that splashed you down in the cenotes. The tour finished off with a guided snorkel into the depths of their cenotes which connects up with others in the extensive underground river system of the area.

We all had a great time, there is tons of good snorkelling, ruins and beach to keep any family busy for a week. The diving/snorkelling opportunities abound in this area and I needed to be careful to keep in mind that this was a family vacation and not a frediving adventure.

Rob

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Simon Bolivar Pool

The first practices at the pool have been eye opening. We have been shown a basic techniques that I think will raise our play to the next level. We are making notes to hopefully pass this on to our club members back home.

The pool facility is beautiful with the Mountains in the background. The water is 28 deg. C and crystal clear. The air temperature and breeze is a real problem for people when they get out of the pool. Some team members are using space blankets to keep warm when the sub out. The change rooms are very small for such a large facility. Yes, being at an altitude of 2640 m does effect the recovery breathing.

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Touring Bogata

Before leaving on this trip we spent time looking into what we should see while in Bogota. With our team mate Rolexi (he grew up in Bogota) guiding us we visited The Candelaria. A famous part of the city with a great history. Highlights of the Candelaria that we say were.

Many small coblestone streets

The birth place of Bogota

The Botero Art Gallery

The Mint Museum

Mexican Cultural Centre

Parliament Buildings

presidential Palace

Several Churches in different architectual styles including the famous Catedral Primada seen in the image below.

Shopping plaza

Traffic is wild and chaotic and downright scary. We opted for Taxis and walking to get around. Only one out of 6 taxis so far had seat belts available in the rear seats. One cab that seemed like he was on a suicide mission and then tried to rip us off. So 11 out of 12 drivers have been good. The pollution from cars is especially strong during rush hour. We can feel the burn in our throats.

Armed with the knowledge from the trip with Rolexi, Gord and I visited the Gold museum (a must see for $2).

Below is a picture of Gord and I at the Mexican Culture Centre with the mountains in the backgroud.

Inside Catedral Primada