Lubomir Stefanoff | freediving and UW photography

Trip to Halkidiki, Greece

by on Apr.23, 2009, under Freediving

It’s been over a month since I last went freediving, so when the Easter holiday came, we decided to head up for Halkidiki, Greece (it’s less than 400 km from Sofia). We spent 3 nice days there.

Since I was training mainly in the pool (and some gym sessions) I had to approach depth carefully, especially during the first two days. Luckily I had a dive buddy and a rope this time. On the first day I did some easy 20 m dives and played around with my underwater camera. Equalization was OK, obviously the exercises that I’ve been doing lately are worth the time. But still, I cannot equalise hands free and this compromises to a great extent my monofinning technique while going down :-( .

On the second and third day I felt confident and did several 30 m dives that felt great. This actually is close to my PB in constant weight – since I was novice and diving alone most of the time during last season, I was extremely cautious  and had never pushed myself to the limit.  Last October I was going easily to 25+ m and I knew that I can make 30+  meters when a dive buddy is around. So, I just went down the rope and did it – relaxed and confident. Di, my buddy, couldn’t equalize well, so I ended the ‘deep’ dives and again went to shallow depths with my camera. I tried hard to get an octopus out of his den and capture it on picture, but he was very shy (and scared of my rather rude interference) and stayed there.  I have to rethink my strategy of getting close to those creatures :-) .

Now I am training in the pool and looking forward to the 6 days of holidays in the beginning of May. Probably we’ll be heading for Gokceada (a Turkish island in the Aegean). I have to work on my equalization technique till then, cause I would like to attempt (gradually of course)  35 m. At this depth (35-40m) free divers often run out of air to equalize with, so more sophisticated techniques than the Valsalva are needed.At 32 m I felt that I have more air to equalise, even with my crappy technique (though I’m not 100% sure  what I’m doing is pure Valsalva).

I’ll keep you updated about my progress and experiences. And I promise to upload some nice pics and videos, too.

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3 Comments for this entry

  • Vov

    Congratulations!There are quite few people that I know who have achieved such progress in such short time!… Long ago I started as an amateur freediver and remained such for some time. Then I switched to spearfishing… So maybe you will do the opposite, who knows… Or maybe you will become Bulgaria's best?

    Good luck, Lubo!

  • Lubomir Stefanoff

    Thanks, Vov!

    Since I've started training more seriously in the end of 2008,I expect to achieve better results this summer. But still, the main problem is finding a skilled buddy (as you know, freediving is not extremely popular in Bulgaria :-) ).

  • Emilios Nikolov

    I am sure that your success will increase with more training

    the rapidly reaching a depth of down today

    one days to reach a very big success because of your love to this sport

    but as you noted, you must find a second freediver to keep each other safe

    Keep so happy for you

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