Text & photo by Francine Kreiss
Votre lit ?
Un voilier indolent qui vous berce au rythme du clapot quelque part entre les îles d’Ulysse.
Votre réveil ?
Une eau chaude, turquoise, pétillante laissant surgir des plages de sable blanc et autre décor éblouissant.
Vos collègues de bureau ?
Quelques humains rigolos, bien choisis et palmés jusqu’aux oreilles.
Vos patrons ?
Deux aventuriers, des intimes de Poséidon, qui vous infligent des apnées au milieu de nulle part, entre paradis et île déserte.
Votre mission ?
Profiter de la beauté qui vous entoure, plonger en apnée quand bon vous semble, progresser à votre rythme grâce aux conseils personnalisés de deux champions du monde, dont la disponibilité et le sourire ne sont pas feints.
Alors ? On embarque ?
La journée commence par le bonheur des yeux. Petit thé siroté dans le silence iodé, la transparence de l’eau laisse présager une journée pleine de bleu. Quelques mètres à la rame pour rejoindre une plage à faire pâlir Robinson. William et Fred nous offre un cours d’étirements, de respiration afin de préparer le corps aux descentes qui vont suivre.
Instant zen dans un décor idyllique.
Direction le bleu et les descentes vers l’infini. Chacun son rythme et chaque descente sont accompagnées par William et Fred avec analyse et conseils personnalisés.
Les oreilles bloquent à la descente ? Pas de soucis, ça passera mieux demain, on en profite pour travailler le souffle et la détente sur l’atelier statique, à l’ancre du voilier. Apnée statique au milieu des bancs de poissons… ça change des piscines !
Matinée bien remplie, chacun remonte remplis de motivation pour la suite.
Et si on allait explorer une autre île magique ?
Allez on lève l’ancre, et on profite des quelques heures de navigation pour siester sur le pont au soleil, rêver sous les voiles, regarder les thons éclabousser la surface, manger un morceau tout en s’échangeant recettes gastronomiques des pays respectifs à chacun… « miam !» sera le cri de guerre de la semaine.
Après de belles heures de navigation, parfois ponctuées de rodéo avec la tempête, une crique somptueuse nous tend les bras.
On ancre ! Soleil couchant flamboyant, libre à chacun de se remettre à l’eau pour explorer les fonds, chasser les poissons, nager…
La nuit nous fait remonter à bord, la pêche a été bonne, repas au poisson frais du jour, légumes fondus aux épices, repas de prince.
Digestion sur le pont, sous la voie lactée. Compter les étoiles filantes et déjà rêver au lendemain…
Francine Kreiss is a champion freediver, accomplished spearfisherwoman and professional underwater photographer who took part to the October 2010 freediving cruises organized by Ocean Encounters.
For more information on how you can be part of the Ocean Encounters cruise in October 2011, please visit the courses page. Hurry, only a few spots left.
BREATH-HOLD DIVING & CRUISING: ALL IN ONE !
October 2010 cruises full and wait-listed
After last year’s success of sailing the Ionian Sea aboard a 2004 Bavaria 49-foot/15-meter sailboat, Ocean Encounters is pleased to announce that new liveaboard freediving courses in the Ionian Islands are underway.
Imagine spending 6 days and 6 nights on board a yacht with world-class breath-hold divers Fred Buyle and William Winram. Group size will be limited to 6 students for an intimate freediving/sailing experience.
Avid Watermen Fred and William will guide you through the blue waters of the Ionian Sea for you to discover and explore the underwater world the way it was meant to be experienced: while breath-hold diving.
Their teaching style includes the latest freediving techniques, environmental awareness and, of course, fun! Thanks to their extensive knowledge of the underwater world and its inhabitants, they add a primordial component that is often underestimated in freediving education.
Any level of practice is welcomed, 1*, 2*, 3* AIDA and CMAS courses are available and fine-tuning for advanced freedivers will be available.
The first cruise is leaving port on October 2nd and returning on October 8th. The second cruise is leaving port on October 9th and returning on October 15th.
Bookings were taken on a first come, first served basis due to limited spaces per trip.
If you are interested to participate in this kind of live-aboard freediving/sailing trip in 2011, send your enquiries now at info@OceanEncounters.net
Baja California | October 29 – November 8, 2010
Ocean Encounters proudly presents a live-aboard breath-hold diving adventure !
In October/November 2010, Fred Buyle and William Winram invite you to embark on an expedition of a lifetime… A 10-day live-aboard expedition and freediving course that will start in San Diego, California and finish up in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Fred and William are teaming up with Marine Biologist and TV personality Luke Tipple to bring you this breath-hold diving expedition. The one-way format of this trip gives us the time to intimately explore remote areas of the Baja coast as well as offshore destinations.
World renowned underwater photographer and 4 time world record holder, Fred Buyle has been freediving since his childhood. He is a committed educator and environmentalist, assisting scientists in their research through his exceptional breath-hold diving skills.
Considered one of the best overall competitive breath-hold divers in the world, William is also an avid conservationist. He has been using his breath-hold skills in shark-tagging expeditions along with fellow waterman Fred Buyle, to assist marine scientists in their efforts to protect these widely endangered animals.
A marine biologist passionate about the ocean and its conservation he has been involved with the Ocean since the age of 5. Luke has worked and dove with over 12 species of sharks and is considered an expert when working with Apex predators. He is also the founder and Director of the Shark Free Marina initiative.
This expedition departs 6am October 29th from San Diego via Motor Coach. After clearing Mexican customs and immigration and arrive to Ensenada Mexico, the Islander motor vessel will be boarded. The boat will depart between 9am -10 am.
From here on in, this expedition will “go with the flow” of what we find on site. We have 5 world class dive sites, each of which we could spend the entire 10 days diving and exploring. Our Guide, Captain Shane Slaughter was raised as a child fishing and diving throughout San Diego and Baja California and has an intimate knowledge of the area, so we are certain have some great diving. Ultimately the amount of time we spend at each dive site depends on the local conditions for weather, sea state and the presence of animal life.
Finally we will arrive to Cabo San Lucas around 12 noon November 8th, after 10 days of amazing diving.
Guadalupe Island is the worlds best location to dive with Great White Sharks. There will also be opportunities to dive with Guadalupe Fur Seals and Northern Elephant Seals, Yellowfin and Yellow tail as well as topside photo ops of marine mammals. Also included is a caged experience to get up close and personal with the famous Guadalupe Great White Sharks. Vis is normally 15 – 25m.
Best described as California diving 100 years ago, it’s the best kelp diving in the Eastern Pacific. We will have the opportunity to photograph, film and freedive with big game like Yellowtail and White Sea Bass, as well as to photograph the protected species like Black Seabass, lots of Lobster, Abalone, Guadalupe Fur seals, Elephant Seals, Harbor Seals, California and Stellar Sea lions. Vis is normally 15-30+.
A very remote pelagic location and more or less unexplored by divers. My best guess is that fewer than 100 people have ever dove here and most of that has been in the last 3 years. Visibility here often exceeds 100 ft. There are great opportunities to photograph sharks…lots of sharks. Large schools of Silky Sharks and Galapagos Sharks are common as well as Turtles, Tuna, Wahoo, Mantas, sometimes Whale Sharks and huge Yellowtail.
The Ridge includes Uncle Sam Bank and Thetis bank: This string of oceanic high spots are 60 miles offshore and are known for striped Marlin, Dorado, School sized Tuna, Wahoo, Dolphin, Mantas, sometimes whale sharks. This is a great place to photograph pelagics. Vis can vary 15-30m+.
Magdelena Bay and Banks like the Golden Gate, Jaime and Finger Bank are known for Striped Marlin (as seen in Blue Planet), large Broomtail and Gulf Grouper on the reefs, possibility of large Tuna up to 200lbs in open water associated with Dolphins. Shoreside there are also vast mangrove systems full of life.
This expedition course will teach the details of proper movement or silent motion in the water – refinement of your dive from the surface to the interaction with your subject and back again…learning how to hold one’s breath in a relaxed and confident manner is extremely useful for underwater photography,videography and science and observation. You will learn stalking techniques which will allow you to get up close and personal with marine life to capture the best possible images and video.
Throughout all of this, you will be working with two world champion freedivers with extensive experience under the water, working up close and personal with some of the worlds most exciting underwater inhabitants.
Aboard the Islander you will learn about proper breathing techniques for relaxation, preparation and recovery within breath-hold diving. The extensive competitive freediving and martial arts background that this team brings you will expose you to techniques that will allow you to spend more time under the sea with your subjects. You will also learn about the marine ecology and animal behavior from a marine biologist who works in the field and is intimately involved in the water with these animals.
Teaching methodology and experience
This expedition was designed to allow participants the opportunity to experience some of the worlds best dive sites, with some of the world’s leading experts in Breath-hold diving and marine animal interaction. All four of our instructors have a lifetime of experience in, on and under the ocean which they will share with you during this 10-day live aboard adventure.
Since this expedition is designed to be an intimate experience the instructor to student ratio is very low. This allows the Ocean Encounters team to work with students to maximize the learning experience.
We will take you in a new direction, re-visiting your basic human abilities and athleticism to explore and preserve our oceans during this critical stage in the earth’s evolution. We will do this without the use of technological aid as others before us have done. We are exploring our history as mammals on this great planet earth and we welcome you to join us!
Price: USD 5’250 / Bookings will be taken on a first come, first served basis / Limited spaces per trip.
Send your enquiries at email@example.com
Take your time. Roam around our travel journal and get inspired.
Who are we ?
Both avid breath-hold divers, they share their passion for the oceans with you, so that too, you may discover, through the purest form of diving, free of cumbersome equipment, the incredible satisfaction of being underwater, under your own power and a single breath of air.
This will bring about an unexpected sense of self-awareness and forever change your life.
Ocean Encounters welcomes you.