If you’ve followed the sport of competitive freediving at all in the past several years, one thing you very likely will have noticed would be the stunning pictures by underwater photographer — and friend of DeeperBlue.com — Daan Verhoeven.
Oceanographic Magazine recently chatted with Daan about his career photographing freediving competitions as well as his new Aquacity Freediving business in Cornwall in southwestern England with his partner Georgina Miller.
Here’s Daan talking about the psychological benefits of freediving:
“I was moderately depressed when I started freediving, and just the physical act of swimming a lot helped me become fitter, which in turn helped me to become less depressed. The diet is hugely beneficial. Then there is the sense of achievement, overcoming fears and breaking through barriers, which helps boost confidence. It was also nice to discover that I can remain calm under stress, that my brain recognizes panic as a not very constructive option. But most of all it was the sheer joy of being in water, the sensation of flying, that helped me be happier. No matter how rough the week was, on a Friday evening you could go to the lake or a pool and wash away all the stress.”
And here he is talking about setting up Aquacity Freediving:
“We wanted to make a living out of freediving. Georgina’s gardening business was doing well, but it’s also very hard work and her back was beginning to suffer, so we were looking for a way out. We’d found a house in Cornwall, on top of a cliff overlooking the Atlantic. It needed a lot of work, but we’d fallen in love with the place, and there was a dive center in the next bay, so we decided to take the plunge. It was scary, especially for Georgina since it was her house in London that we sold, but as soon as we made the decision, we got some great jobs in Cornwall and the school has been growing steadily. That’s mostly because George isn’t just a great freediver, she’s also a very considered, calm and well-prepared teacher, so our students really love her and tend to come back.”
Check out the full interview — replete with a lot of Daan’s amazing photos — at oceanographicmagazine.com.
(Photo credit: Daan Verhoeven)