It is a bizarre feeling, being immersed in a world that naturally is not yours, where water meets land and exhilaration and caution come hand in hand. Inquisitive fish gawk at you and seaweed tickles your thick rubber wet-suit as you brush past.
This Summer I went for my first free dive at Red Rocks on Wellington’s South Coast. With all the dive accidents this season of course I was apprehensive, but my partner (an experienced free diver) assured me he wouldn’t lose me.
I was a water baby growing up, a competitive swimmer and surf life saver. Water is in my veins but I have never lost respect for the mighty and unpredictable ocean.
With seagulls preaching, waves crashing and wind gushing, the silence under the water was surprising. All I could hear was the blood pumping through my body. I adjusted to breathing through a snorkel and commenced on my journey through the wet wonderland.
Similar to where’s Wally I dove for countless paua imitating rocks. I but managed to find some legitimate and “legal” paua eventually. I wasn’t leaving the water until I had caught something and felt like an empowered provider.
As I was frolicking in the shallows with the paua like a noob my partner went deeper with his spear gun on the hunt for cray and larger fish, a true provider.
My first dive was successful, I caught 4 paua and 3 kina, solid beginner effort. My partner caught a monstrous cray, a butter fish and a blue moki which he filleted and cooked up on the beach for us, washed down with a glass of Sav.
Definitely a day to remember.