Day 3 – Success, the boat remains afloat

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In association with Performance FreeDiving International

After a full day of prep yesterday, we need to test the counter balance arm to insure that it will handle the weight and stress we’ll be placing on it. While doing this, Doc and Martin will do some warm-ups on a separate line from the boat.

The wind has picked up and the North Wall is our location of choice to be in the lee of the island. Leaving the harbour Martin, Doc, Goh, Danny, myself and our new arrival Spence head off through the canal to the inquisitive looks of the passing boat captains. Off The Wall Diver must have looked like some Frankenstein contraption, with its counter balance arms hanging over the mid-beam of the boat. That, or it was a boat with training wheels.

Spencer Lofthaug arrived the evening before from Wainwright, Alberta and is to be our longest attending safety diver for this event. Spencer helped in a CAFA regional competition last year and he and his friends are excited to be involved in freediving from the safety diver point of view.

On the North Wall we’re met with less than ideal conditions, but it’s workable. Once hooked up, Martin and Doc hit the water while Danny, Spencer and I bring Frankenstein to life. We carefully hook the lines up and the near 300lbs / 136kgs of weight that will hang off the two arms. Success! The boat remains afloat, the arms don’t fall off. In fact they hardly flex, even when taking additional body weight walking the plank. We figure out a way to retrieve the 4 blocks totaling 300lbs / 136kgs.

While we work the arm, Doc and Martin practice some negative pressure dives and Martin works on his constant no-fins technique to 40m / 132ft. While on one dive Martin is greeted by a Spotted Eagle Ray, with a tip to tip span of more than 2m / 6ft gracefully gliding by.

Our day ends with some home made chicken curry and an early night to bed. In the morning we must heighten the counter balance arm to prevent its vertical swing landing in the waves. This way the athletes won’t require helmets at the surface! Tomorrow will hopefully see us in the ocean.

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