Week 13 – Jamaica Diving Training


I’m finally getting to do some real diving. Real diving meaning not looking around enjoying the reefs or scuba, I mean some challenging deep freediving. The depth of our diving spot in Jamaica, 51 meters, is not that challenging in itself, but believe me Rudi has found ways. He’s quite creative when it comes to making any training challenging. He’s had me dive to 50 meters on empty lungs, spend bottom time, bring up heavy weights from the bottom, go down without weights in very buoyant wetsuits, so difficulty is never a problem.

I had missed Jamaica very much. Freediving on David’s platform is comfortable, the nature is pretty, I miss seeing David and Olga and I had not seen their son “Lex” since he was born 5 months ago. So I was very much looking forward to this trip. On the other hand, the trip was coming after the 2 weeks of tough times we had with the dog bite, my sickness, antibiotics etc, and having been away from deep freediving for years I was a bit nervous. Not for the depths of course, but even though I was sick, if these 50 meter dives felt difficult by any chance, it’d be a tough blow to my confidence and motivation.

However, as before, diving is where I belong. I’m not a very gifted athlete, I’m not very strong (although we sure are working on this) and like any other athlete I can have good and bad training days. It can get bad or tough quite easily with slight health problems for me. But when I’m diving, no matter how I feel, I always perform well. Some strange magic happens where no matter how sick I am and how tired my muscles are, I feel very strong when I dive. Still, I was quite worried about these dives feeling difficult, but I happily found out that even after the 4 year break, diving is what it always was. Fun and rewarding.

We started our trainings with some regular dives, like equipment assisted and line assisted. My muscles felt a little bit tired, very understandable after the antibiotics and the sickness, but apnea-wise the dives were so easy I couldn’t believe it. Each dive each day felt easier and easier. We continued by testing different techniques. When we do this, before a diving day Rudi makes a plan for what I’m going to try on each dive and afterwards at night we download the profile from my diving computer, calculate the speeds in meters per second for every section of the dive and then compare the speed with the different techniques to decide how effective they are. This gives us a very clear idea of the minor adjustments I have to make to my technique and the particular muscles we need to train in what way.

One obstacle throughout this training we dealt with is that after the first couple of dives my left ear would get blocked right around 45 meters and I couldn’t equalize anymore. That’s because I have a wisdom tooth coming out wrong, putting pressure on the nerves there. Even though I was told -by my dentist father- that I have to have it removed, since the operation on the other one was quite painful I just kept postponing this. But now we realized that this is causing a problem that affects my diving so we have to get it removed as soon as possible. Which means more pain, more antibiotics and more time away from training. This is bad news. After the second diving day however, during one dive, all of a sudden this blockage opened and I equalized better than I ever did at 50 meters in my life. After the equalization problems and the pain were eliminated the dives were, once again, so much fun. I started doing bottom time at 51 meters and I felt so comfortable there, I could stay forever. In the last dive, Rudi asked me to not pass 30 seconds, but I felt so good I just didn’t want to leave, so I pushed it to 40 seconds and then went up to not worry him and be safe. But I felt like I could spend a lot more time there. This is when I remembered what freediving is to me. The feeling of being at that depth on a single breath of air and feeling so comfortable is a very unique and marvelous feeling. It’s like challenging mother nature at being a part of a beautiful silent world where we humans don’t belong, yet my comfort level in this alien environment makes me feel welcomed as one of its inhabitants.

After 4 days of heavy diving, very motivating results, some chilling time in the beautiful nature and beaches of Jamaica, playing with and adoring baby Lex so much and enjoying the company of our dear friends David and Olga, we are now back to Miami happy and satisfied.

2 Responses to “Week 13 – Jamaica Diving Training”

  1. Maxim says:

    It’s amazing! 50 m on empty lungs and spending time there. Yasemin , wish I can go 50 m even on full lungs ! That sound like dream for me. I try empty lungs only on 3-5 m depths.

  2. Kars says:

    Hi Yasemin!

    I’ve just read on the Deeperblue website you’re back! Also you had some really challenging medial issues, and needless to say I’m very happy to hear you’re doing great again!

    I like your reporting and your diving abilities are amazing to me, though I’ve been on 65m I cannot imagine myself doing 50m on empty lungs, maybe with much practice on FRC. Anyway compaired to the Netherlands this cove in Jamaica looks great!

    Also I’ve seen the 4th video you’ve posted, and I really like that one. A good show of technique, immersive, explaining how training is done, some great humour and comments by Rudi. He really sounds like a great trainer to have! In all inspiring to watch! btw you holding the log on the bottom was also really nice, maybe I should be a log instead of a frog waiting for a princes ;)

    Enjoy your dives and I love to see more of you!

    All the best,
    Love, Courage and Water!