We´ve been following the mermaiding adventures of Isa and Maria in their inspiring underwater explorations for months! We´re thrilled to finally catch up with the Ocean Galz themselves, before they head off to their next diving destination. Big thanks to Isa and Maria for sharing a few of their sea-faring stories and freediving tips with our ocean-loving Dkoko community.
We are so inspired by you two mermaids! How did you initially get into the underwater world of freediving?
We both initially started as scuba divers, exploring the depths with tanks and gear. Isa's journey began at an incredibly young age; she learned to dive before she could even walk, thanks to a baby swim class! As for Maria, her love for the ocean has always been a part of her life. She had been exploring the ocean´s beauty through scuba diving while traveling around the world. We serendipitously crossed paths while snorkeling with mutual friends, and that's when everything changed. The idea of exploring the ocean with just one breath was a revelation, a profound connection to the sea that we just couldn't resist.
Why have you chosen to make a lifestyle out of your passion for the sea?
Making a lifestyle out of our passion for the sea is a deeply personal choice for us. It's not just a sport or a hobby; it's a way of life, a form of meditation that allows us to connect with ourselves on a profound level. The ocean has an incredible ability to calm our minds and nourish our spirits.
What are some of your favorite places to dive and why?
Maria is currently soaking up the sheer beauty of French Polynesia, where you can witness magnificent whales and swim in the clearest of waters. Egypt has a special place in Isa's heart, as it was where her love for scuba diving first ignited at the age of ten. Even now, it remains one of her all-time favorites, with its enchanting coral reefs, vivid colors, and diverse marine life. Then there's Mexico, our new favorite! There, the sheer abundance of big wildlife is awe-inspiring.
What has been your most memorable experience in the ocean?
We had the privilege of observing orcas, one of the most intelligent predators on Earth, from our boat as they hunted dolphins. Nature's beauty and its unyielding force left us in a state of profound awe and contemplation. The remarkable intelligence displayed both in how the dolphins reacted and how the orcas hunted left us utterly captivated.
How do you manage any fears or unexpected challenges that arise while diving?
Managing fears and unexpected challenges in freediving is an essential part of our journey. It's not just about physical preparation; it's also a mental game. We've learned to stay calm, control our minds, and embrace the unknown with respect and caution. Certification and adherence to safety protocols are non-negotiables for us. We never push our limits recklessly which is how we are able to calm our minds.
Why is wearing sustainable swimwear important to you?
The choice to wear sustainable swimwear is a reflection of our deep connection to the ocean. We've seen firsthand the devastating impact of pollution, and the clothing industry's role in consumerism is a significant part of the problem. By opting for sustainable swimwear, we're taking a small yet meaningful step towards reducing our ecological footprint. It's our way of saying that we're committed to protecting the ocean we love and cherish.
What are some tips you would share with other women getting into freediving as beginners?
Just take that leap and get in the ocean! It's a journey of self-discovery like no other. But remember, you should never dive alone. There are freediving groups on Facebook that are a great place to find a dive buddy. Seek out a qualified instructor who can guide you, and prioritize safety above all else. Trust in your body, embrace the mental aspect of the sport, and always, always respect your limits. Most importantly, have fun! Freediving is about the joy of exploring the underwater world and forging a deep connection with nature and yourself.