For the ones that aren’t knowledgeable about the game of free-dive spearfishing, it involves using a breath-hold technique and swimming down to your target thickness where you would then shoot a fish using an elastic band-powered spear gun.
This is a dangerous sport for many reasons. Using a breath-hold technique is dangerous since you start to push your limits in depth, you run the risk of losing consciousness due to lack of oxygen to the brain. Once a man is unconscious, their autonomic nervous system kicks in and the brain tells the lungs to breathe, causing that person to draw in a lung full of water and drown. Another element of danger associated with this game is that the presence of predators such as sharks. When you’re successful in swimming down, finding a fish and shooting it with your spear gun, getting blood in the water is unavoidable. Predators of the sea, such as sharks are attracted to blood and some say they can smell a single drop from a mile away. The blood in the water can’t just attract them but also put them in a feeding frenzy with aggressive behavior. To get a free-dive spear-fisherman, seeing and dealing with sharks is practically guaranteed. It’s not if, it is when.
All risk aside, free dive spearfishing provides you with a pure, euphoric adrenaline rush. From the moment you enter the water, you have left your natural environment and entered an alien domain where everything is faster, more agile, and more conducive to the environment around them. A very caveman-esque adrenaline rush washes over you while you swim down with only you and your spear gun, looking for prey and hoping another predator does not materialize out of the blue.
When descending, sometimes there is what is called a thermocline. This is a layer of water with a warmer temperatures and heavy salinity levels, causing it to be quite blurry and not conducive to good visibility. Immediately beneath the thermocline the water becomes noticeably colder and visibility is greatly improved. Breaking through the thermocline is obviously an intense moment, one second you are surrounded by this blurry water and can barely see your hand before your face and the next minute it’s like a veil has been lifted and you can see clearly around you.
When one finally reaches the bottom or their target depth, chooses which fish they want to harvest, makes the kill shot, and propels down themselves the surface, the feeling of success and achievement is incomparable.