Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Ultra Deep Spearfishing - Dentex

I just read a fantastic story. It is in the International Freediving and Spearfishing News Mag.
Gabriele Delbene tells how he hunted a dentex. Dentex are closely related to the south African soldier but tend to grow to about twice the size. Initially he was practicing variable weight dives on a wreck near Cagliari, Sardinia. The shipwreck is the Montepony – she lies in 58 meters of water.
He did a few variable weight dives to the sand near the wreck and after having done so decided to look around nearer the wreck – he noticed a shoal of dentex and hunter instinct kicked in. On surfacing he requested a speargun much to the surprise of his assistant and prepared for 10 minutes for the next dive. His descent was swift – as one would expect with an 18 kg weight rocketing you down at as much as 3 m per second. On reaching the bottom after about 40 seconds he waited and speared a 7.45 kg fish that went for the cover of the wreck but Gabriele deployed a float to tension the line and keep the fish from going deep into the wreck. His ascent took in the region of 40 seconds with the aid of a buoyant 8 mm wetsuit. Two dives later and after a second shot he landed the dentex.
Gabriele recommends weight dropping deeper that 30 m for safety.

Here is a picture I took of Dentex in Spain when we took part in the Euro-Africa Qualifier competition in Cadiz, Spain last year. These fish were about 9 kg.

Reading this article stirs my blood – as I read this article the megalomaniac in me now says:

“Me too! Why can’t I also do that?”

But I also hear:

“Well, well Gletweeen:
Hold your ponies Pepito!
You is too much unfit!
An de sharks is beeeg, very very BEEEG in Sudafrica!”

"But, hey if you get fit an you get brave den maybe you can try to shoota da stockfish or da Kingklip in de black deep water!"

Just maybe it could be possible, I did once do a belt drop at 53 m – that is only 5 meters short of Gabriele’s dive. A few years back I did a few deep dives but had equalizing problems below 43 m. I half-filled my mask with putty and that made the equalizing beyond 40 m easy. My descent was probably about 55 seconds and the ascent the same – I purposely remained on the bottom for only 10 odd seconds before returning.

Perhaps the risks are too high - imagine meeting a Great White on the way up at 45 m!

But ten seconds is enough to shoot a fish! If I had a gun on that dive and a fish was near I definitely would have taken a shot at it. I have a detailed description of that dive which I will post soon.
Diving 30 m felt really shallow after that dive.

In my mentorship lessons I cover deep diving in detail but perhaps I will add an extra lesson on Ultra deep spearfishing - But first I need to do before I can tell or else I would be too much a theoretician.

For detail on my mentorship program see www.freedive.co.za/mentorship.htm

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