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Diving 103: Freediving and Underwater Hunting

Original file found here:

Three Types
Near Shore (reef, kelp beds): water depth down to 100 feet
Deep Water (walls, edge of canyons): depth down to 300 feet
Blue Water (open ocean, off the continental shelf): depth down to many thousands of feet


* Low volume mask: especially important to conserve air when equalizing the internal pressure
* Snorkle: "dry" or open style, either is a good choice. Must have a large bore.
* Fins: long blade, scuba fins, or split fins (see below)
* Gloves: useful for protection
* Knife: needed to cut kelp, reel line or to finish the kill of your catch
* Fish stringer or float: used to keep your catch away from your body (danger!) [sharks, seal, sealions and predetory fish will attack your catch]
* Wetsuit (hood and boots too): needed in any water condition for thermal protection and skin protection
* Weights: optional for those in 3-7mm wetsuits. Not necessary for "skins" and possibly dangerous for weak or tired swimmers

Long blade--for strong leg swimmers and advanced divers
Scuba fins--for occational freediving and weaker legs
Split fins--for occational freediving and weaker legs, more efficient than scuba fins

Three Types
Rubberband--surgical bands used to propel speargun or hand sling
Pneumatic--air powered (CO2 cartrige or pump action)
Spring loaded--spring powered

For reliability, get the rubberband type (fewer moving parts). Riffe makes excellent rubberband spearguns. When the rubberbands start to tear, it is easy to replace the propulsion system. Keep in mind the kind of fish being stalked, the terrain, and visibility. West coast (U.S.) divers benefit from a 48 inche speargun. In low vis spearfishing, only use a hand sling to avoid spearing your buddy or other divers (better yet, don't spearfish is the vis is bad).

Stalking Basic

* Move with the current and drift to conserve air and bottom time
* Move gracefully with the ocean [be a Zen master :-) ]--sudden "out of sync" movements mean danger--sharks swim in a jerky side to side motion when aggrivated.
* Never look your prey in the eyes watch from the corner of your eyes until ready to shoot--eye contact means danger to any prey
* Move your head in a "NO" motion (side-to-side) to scan more area--do this in a slow and delibrate manner
* Fish respond to sound and motion (both make pressure waves in the water that are picked up by the vertical line organs that run the length of the fish's body)
* Sound carries 5 times faster underwater--creatures around you on any side will know of your presence
* Clear your ears before you start your decent--this eases decent and saves a minimal amount of air and bottom time
* Release no bubbles while you are stalking--seals and sealions don't blow bubbles when hunting so you shouldn't either
* Don't bump or scrape anything underwater--fish don't so you shouldn't

Posted at 04/09/08 on 2008/04/09 by Stephen - Category: Monterey Dive Site -
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