For the ones that aren’t familiar with the game of free-dive spearfishing, it entails using a breath-hold technique and swimming down to your target thickness where you would then take a fish with an elastic band-powered spear weapon.
This is a dangerous game for many reasons. With a breath-hold technique is dangerous because as you begin to push your limits in thickness, you face the risk of losing consciousness due to lack of oxygen to the brain. Once a person is unconscious, their autonomic nervous system kicks in and the brain tells the lungs to breathe, causing that person to draw in a lung full of water and drown. Another element of risk associated with this game is that the presence of predators such as sharks. When you are successful in swimming down, finding a fish and shooting it with your spear gun, getting blood in the water is unavoidable. Predators of the sea, like sharks are attracted to blood and some say they can smell a single drop from a mile away. The blood in the water can’t just attract them but also place them in a feeding frenzy with aggressive behavior. To get a free-dive spear-fisherman, seeing and dealing with sharks is practically guaranteed. It is not if, it is when.
All danger aside, free dive spearfishing gives you a pure, euphoric adrenaline rush. From the minute you enter the water, you’ve left your normal surroundings and entered an alien domain where everything is faster, more agile, and more conducive to the environment around them. This poor feeling is humbling as you swim down into the blue abyss. An extremely caveman-esque adrenaline rush washes over you while you swim down with just you and your spear gun, searching for prey and trusting another predator doesn’t materialize out of the blue.
When descending, sometimes there is what’s called a thermocline. This is a layer of water with a warmer temperatures and heavy salinity levels, causing it to be quite fuzzy and not conducive to good visibility. Immediately beneath the thermocline the water gets noticeably colder and visibility is significantly improved. Breaking through the thermocline is always an intense moment, one second you’re surrounded with this blurry water and can barely see your hand before your face and the next moment it is like a veil has been lifted and you can see clearly around you.
When one eventually reaches the bottom or their target depth, chooses which fish they need to harvest, makes the kill shot, and propels down themselves the surface, the feeling of success and achievement is incomparable.