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Homo Delphinus

 Dusty 17.06.2013 098

Homo delphinus will be a man (or woman) who has understood that he is not separate from nature, nor from the ocean which he must respect and love like their own mother, nor from the universe in which he is reflected like a microcosm reflects the macrocosm.



He will will know that from the atom to the galaxy, from the microbe to the blue whale, nothing is inferior or superior, everything is connected. He will know that there are no walls that separate the body and the psyche, or isolate man from the infinite, immeasurable and non- temporal universe.

Jacques Mayol.

Jacques Birthday




Today amongst other things would have been Jacque Mayols birthday had he been around to celebrate it. Few others have had such an impact on any activity and become an icon of it. 1927-2001.

To be Free

as wild animals are.

To dive naked

as a dolphin.

Swift, silent, serene

into the depths of the sea.

To fly high up into the

infinite blue of the sky,

and glide quietly

over man’s shabby world

to blend in with the air

or melt into the water

becoming one with nature

and rediscovering the “Self”..

This is my motto!

Jaques Mayol.

Nice tribute video here.


Don’t be a twat!

coast guardSo another winter storm is about to hit our shores. It’s no wonder our coast is so rugged and craggy when it’s very outline is shaped by the perpetual power of  Great Atlantic Ocean.



These are the times you are happy to be tucked up warm and snug with a hot cuppa tea or even better a hot whiskey while the wind shrieks, howls and does its utmost to split the walls from round you.

These are the times when you thank God you are not on a trawler risking life and limb along with your crew for someones fish fingers. Think of the frightened souls all alone in the cold dank darkness, their vessel pitching and tossing like  the proverbial cork in the Ocean which is exactly what it is. Waiting and praying against the freak wave, praying they can stay and ride it out, praying no water breaches the engine and causes them to spin broadside to the very crests they were riding over just moments ago.

Now imagine our brave rescue services, the Coast Guard and the RNLI all on high alert over this weekend. Waiting in the comms room and hoping and praying they don’t hear the dreaded “mayday mayday mayday” cut through any noise and make everyone stand still for a moment. Now think and admire the bravery of these men and women as they don their survival suits and pilot their boats or helicopters. To set out and go try and find these souls at sea and bring them home to their anxious panicked families and friends.  Imagine the helicopter pilot as he juggles the risks of putting his crew in more danger or make the heartbreaking decision to return to base. Imagine the RNLI folk as their pagers beep and they rush madly to get to the station, put all their training into practice and put to sea when everyone else is hunkering down. Picture their bravery, their courage, their love of human life as they risk all to save another human being in trouble.

Now imagine the shout they got is to someone who was walking on a pier when they knew they shouldn’t be in this weather. Imagine they are going out to try and rescue someone who got too close to the cliff edge because they wanted to see the Oceans fury. They will respond of course, of course they will that’s their way and maybe in the middle of that shout the “mayday” comes in from out in the Atlantic, someone who couldn’t get back to shore and has been forced to ride it out. A fishing vessel that provided your dinner last week.  Someone who urgently needs an airlift to another hospital to save their life. Don’t have them out on a call that could have been avoided. I love looking at the Ocean in all its forms, and it’s especially impressive in times like these. Use some common sense. Stay well clear and don’t be a twat. These guys will have enough to do. Stay safe.

You really should play with yourself more!

Jans photo of me



Photo thanks to Jan Ploeg





As adults we really should play with ourselves more.

That’s a headline and a half right there. For those of you giggling down the back, I am deadly serious. On the freedive courses we use play a lot. Obviously there are serious bits about safety, technique and we tend not to play with them. But we should always play with and play in water. Despite what you were told when you were growing up. The proviso being when its safe to do so.

We learn when we play. One of my favourite things to do in water is play superman. We do this by pushing off the wall underwater. At mid-glide you perform a roll of 180 degrees so that you are now upside down in the pool under water. Just like Robin Williams you get a different perspective. But its much more than that. Yes you may see and feel the water differently. Yes you may pop up and break the surface and yes you may misjudge it and hit you head off the pool floor. (common) But you keep playing and like learning to walk as a baby after you fall down so many times eventually you get the hang of it. Eventually you are streamlined, sleek and move with the water. Now you can literally do anything. You have just added another dimension to your movement. As terrestrial beings we can only move forward, backwards or side to side. As aquatic beings we can now add up and down to that. We can roll, pirouette, spin, tumble and above all play. The body learns and use makes master. Try this with fins and without. You must either use a nose clip or a mask and yes you will get strange looks from other pool users but if you are not getting strange looks from people on a regular basis maybe you are not living life to the fullest.

The last thing we do is blow bubble rings like in the picture above. The dolphin is optional and never in a pool guys, that aint cool. So to blow a perfect bubble ring takes a little practice. Neck weight is good or a small weight belt and hold it beyond your head. Lie down on the pool floor. You may need to start with an exhale or not full longs to stay down. Wait and let the bubbles from you, the mask etc disperse and the water column settle. Take your time. Wait for a second between attempts. Keep practicing. Yeah its a neat trick and looks nice but it also ends up with you on the bottom of the pool with empty lungs so go shallow and play a bit.

Both of these playful acts do something other than make you feel like you are 8 years old again which in and of itself is no bad thing. It builds up what the master calls Aquaticity. If you ever watch Umberto dive just for fun you can see the way he moves isn’t diving, isn’t swimming. Its more like a dance, a flirtatious movement with the water where both elements, body and water really become one.  It’s beautiful to watch and even more beautiful to emulate. So go play.


Run fat boy,run!!


50, Fat, Diabetic, Ahead of you.

Had my first run in a few months. I rarely enjoy a run, I do enjoy the satisfaction of having done it at the end but don’t think I have ever got the runners high and sometimes, like last evening the scenery and weather is spectacular. Lets be clear I am a plodder, the earth shakes as I trundle down the road while slim long legged gazelles saunter pass me. That’s why I usually go somewhere quiet to run. I have two short loops near my house the longest of which is 5k so that will give you some idea of the lack of level I am at. The music does help and I consistently find myself sprinting ahead when a faster part of the song comes along. I think this is good.

Runners (I think) call this fartlek training, all I know is that it helped me lose weight over the years and it’s how I run. I have no mad desire to do more or certainly not much more. Ran a few 10ks but that’s it. (for the moment) So from being a pretty overweight 17.5 stone I managed to get down to about a 13.5-14 stone. Here’s the reason’s why I think.

1. I was aware that my weight was holding me back in freediving. I am a reasonably sized guy anyway so most people were shocked when they heard my true weight, I used to carry it well.

2. I was aware of where I was going, at the time I had a reps job, in the car a lot and stopping for tea and sweets and shit along the way so I have no doubt that 20 stone was in sight.

3. I didn’t lose it in three weeks or months but probably more like two years. I started to train consistently 3 nights a week to the extent I got pissed off if I missed one and felt guilty about it. I cut the sweet stuff to weekends only.

4. I transformed my swims from being like a slow walk to a more intense mixture of distance and sprints with drills etc thrown in. So the heart all of a sudden was challenged and had to beat a hell of a lot harder even though the overall distance may have been less.


Now maybe its body dysmorphia but anytime I feel I am putting on weight again I get paranoid and start training hard for a while and get back to cutting down on the crap.

All this has made my freediving better no question, probably because I have more confidence in myself rather than out and out fitness but also my physical health and mental health are far better. So go get a pair of shorts and runners, do it today and commit to building a better heart. You know you can do it. It will stand to you forever.