Extreme Sport of Free Diving

Now I've snorkeled for years, but I quickly discover this is much harder than I expected. It's not holding my breath that's the problem: It's the pressure on my ears. I'm in sheer agony. I try all the diver's tricks to equalize the pressure, including blowing into my pinched nose harder than I think I should. Nothing works.

But I do not want to give up! Not on national television, with two cameras above water and one underwater taping my every pathetic attempt. So down I go. Again and again and again. Five times I try. Five times I wimp out, or at least my ears do.

Pipin says I made it down 18 feet. I suspect he's being charitable. (And this hurts to admit, because I'm told my colleague Don Dahler went down about 125 feet for a story he did on free diving for Good Morning America a while back. Ouch.)

But Pipin says, give him a week to train me, and I'll be down 200 feet, easy. Really, he says, 200 feet.

As for Pipin, this 40-year-old Cuban defector says his next goal is — get this — 600 feet. That's like a 60-story building. On one single breath of air.

Me? Next time I think I'll watch from the boat.

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...