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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Free Diving

Free diving is an intriguing aquatic sport that involves breath-holding underwater diving. Free divers need to exercise self-control, and they learn how to discipline their bodies and minds in order to reach certain depths on one single breath. Watching the divers make their way through the water with such grace and strength is a constant proof of the new limits a human body can reach.

One of the amazing videos I've watched is of William Trubridge free-diving the arch of Blue Hole in Dahab, Egypt. It took him about 2:45m.

Blue Hole is a diving location on east Sinai, a few kilometres north of Dahab, Egypt on the coast of the Red Sea. The Blue Hole is a submarine pothole (a kind of cave), around 130m deep. There is a shallow opening around 6m deep, opening out to the sea and a 26m tunnel, known as the arch, the top of which is 52m. The hole itself and the surrounding area has an abundance of coral and reef fish.The Blue Hole is notorious for the number of diving fatalities which have occurred there earning it the sobriquet, "World's Most Dangerous Dive Site" and the nickname "Diver's Cemetery". The site is signposted by a sign that says "Blue hole: Easy entry". Unfortunately for some, leaving was not quite as simple. Accidents are frequently caused when divers attempt to find the tunnel through the reef (known as "The Arch") connecting the Blue Hole and open water at about 52m depth, 60m is beyond the PADI recreational diving limit (40m) and nitrogen narcosis begins to have an influence. Divers who miss the tunnel sometimes continue descending hoping to find the tunnel lower down and become increasingly narcotised.

The Blue Hole

William Trubridge (born on May 24, 1980) is a New Zealand free-diver and world record-holder. On April 11th 2007 William set a new world record in Constant Weight without fins with a depth of 82 m and a dive time of 3:09. He previously broke this record on the 9th of April to a depth of 81 m breaking the world record set by Martin Štěpánek on the 9th of April 2005.

Watch Trubridge's record-breaking dive here.

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