Freediving and scuba are different, so naturally freediving with sharks and scuba diving with sharks is different. Here are a few things I think are important to consider when freediving with sharks.
- Find a good operator: Does the operator offer freediving excursions? Are they familiar with freediving and how to best support freedivers?
- Go with someone knowledgeable: If you have never been freediving with sharks, I would suggest buddying up with someone who has! It will make the experience not only safer, but far more enjoyable.
- Observe the sharks: While it is tempting to immediately start diving down to get closer, your interaction will be better if you observe the sharks for a few minutes. Are they looping around in a pattern? Which direction are they coming from? If other divers are diving down, do the sharks turn away? Watch and learn for the best possible interactions.
- Respect the animals: All wildlife deserves our respect and sharks are no exception. Freediving, in many situations, can get you closer to the animal, but respect for their space must still be maintained.
- Timing: If you are shooting photos or filming, it’s all about timing. Scuba makes is easy to sit there and wait, but freediving means you need to time your dive with the animals. Observing the animals will also help you perfect (or nearly perfect) your timing.
- Enjoy! Forget about getting the perfect photo for Instagram or rushing to update your status. Truly experience the moment, the freedom and the connection you are making.
Even if you are a die hard bubble blower, I definitely recommend slipping off the gear and exploring the ocean on a single breath. It will change your experience, your perspective, and hopefully provide a truly memorable experience.