#3 travel report: Israel with Etay Nir
The next destination of our #apneaworldtour is the Mediterranean Sea. Israeli hobby diver Etay Nir has taken the Apnea Diver Automatic on one of his weekly dive trips and tells about a very special underwater experience in his report:
We live in a tough environment, the middle eastern sea is disloyal, the humidity is rising, the jellyfish season is starting – it's hard on the sea lovers.
There are rare days where everything is in order and the fish are out there. Too bad there are only a few of those each year… or maybe it's for the best. Free diving for me is a way of life, an addictive sport and a fascinating hobby, but most of all a haven from the daily routine. This is where I consume tremendous amount of energy and adrenaline.
Waking up at sunrise, checking the weather, drinking coffee in complete silence and heading out for the sea. This is what helps me get through the madness in Israel. When you get to the beach and look at that big blue thing, it's like meditation. A stranger wouldn't understand… and there is no need for explanations. Either it gets you or it doesn't.
Usually, before Wednesday the usual discussion begins: what's the forecast, where shall we dive, what equipment should we bring, who to invite and most important: what excuses to use when staying later than expected.
This week we decided on Friday morning: Diving Friday morning allows approximately two and a half hours of diving. We loaded that car with equipment at 8am, me and my partners for this madness get together on the beach and swim quite quickly towards the first spot. Head in the water and the visibility is quite surprising, although no big fish around. At least I have my DAVOSA to keep me smiling underwater. It looks so clear and robust – it feels like some of the equipment you must have on you. We are divided in pairs, one dives with the diving buoy and the other keeps an eye and keeping safe just in case. We try not to chase away the big fish and dive in cooperation.
After an hour and a half at the first reef, some animals arrive – but there's not enough action. We swim further to another location, but unfortunately nothing there as well. Having a look at my timing companion, the Davosa Apnea, to check whether it's time to go back home. It's 11:00 – one more observation and we're heading home.
Going down for last observation and suddenly I realize that Neptune is on my side. I find a cave that had been probably revealed during the last winter storms. I check one side and then the other, making sure there are no barriers and quickly going back up to let my diving partner know of my finding: "I found a new cave!" – I am excited like a little boy. "Prepare the big camera!". He immediately dives down for a quick look, surfs back up with a huge smile on his face and the same excitement as mine. At this point, we realized we will be way pass our curfew. My wife will definitely understand… I hope.
We call the rest of the guys and we schedule the next pairs to dive to the cave. I go down and all of a sudden, I see a stinger that apparently was disrupted during his Friday afternoon nap. After it swam away, I signal my partner and go directly into the cave. What an amazing feeling! My body becomes like an arrow, one quick look at the DAVOSA and I am going out. In no more than a few seconds, I meet my other partners outside the cave, with jealousy in their eyes. Each goes in one by one… what an experience! Everybody is so thrilled with the discovery.
We decide to go again, this time to explore from different angles. Planning my time and path, this time I swim with my face towards the ceiling. The Apnea's lume feels like warm sunlight in the cave. The underwater world is amazing. Slugs on the ceiling, small crabs and seashells are hiding from the strength of the sea, small fish surrounding us... It's all too good to be true.
After a few more trips to the cave, we begin heading back to the shore. Out of the water, washing the equipment, and going to the dive club. Everybody's intrigued with our new discovery, crowding to see photos on the camera, to see the underwater miracle. Back home, my wife's frowny face turns immediately to a smile after I promise to take her to the cave first thing tomorrow morning.