It was, simply, the greatest experience of my life.I left my husband, my home and my career behind, and embarked with my monofins on an expedition to the interior of Brazil.
Some friends in Brasilia had invited me to meet the lake. It’s not easy or uncomplicated to get there – one needs authorization from the Ibama authorities and also the permission of the property owner. The lake is 90 km from the nearest town, Nequelandia-Goias, where the locals are certain it is haunted and "pulled people for the deep". Some truth to that, as the reduced buoyancy in fresh water had apparently been the end for more than one swimmer there in the past.
I spent twenty days there, and with only ten days of training and the help of Patrick Musimu achieved three new South American freediving records.
The first days were devoted to preparing infrastructure, both external and internal. Hard work, climbing up and down the mountain that spikes out of the jungle ( Cerrado ), a test of endurance at high altitude in a dry climate compensated for by special moments observing wildlife in a totally pristine environment.
Then, finally, the lake: deep blue crystal water, 27 degrees Celsius. A dream.
Three hundred meters deep.
Our expedition included safety scuba divers from Casa do Mergulhador Dive School, a truly outstanding and responsible group who helped me during training and record days. People who worked with their hearts, in the water and out of it, too. They renamed the lake Karol’s Lake with sincere affection. I liked it ! Thank you, guys! There were also spectators from town, genuinely curious people whose interest made me feel an obligation to reward them with the opportunity to witness record dives in the Blue Lake.
I was in good shape. Before the expedition’s departure I’d set a new Pan-American record in Static Apnea ( 7:18) during the National Indoor Championships, thus becoming the second woman in the world to pass the 7:00 mark. I set South American freshwater records of 65m in Constant and 60m in Free Immersion. I never train Constant /No Fins, but still managed a freshwater South American record of 35m.
These were not difficult dives. I felt strong, and am certain I’ll do even better next year. Especially in Constant/No-Fins, which I promise to train for next time! You’re all invited !
Special thanks to the judges, the Niquelandia City Hall and he Bucaina Inn.