Eric tried his hand at Free Immersion at the Blue Hole and completed a nice 84m dive. He found that the narcosis was much worse due to the fact that FIM dives are much longer than CWT. He’ll be back in the water with his fin before the competition is out!
Eric Fattah set a new Canadian and North American constant weight record today, at the Vertical Blue Competition, with a depth of 104m! This makes him the ninth-deepest man in the world. Here is what he wrote about his dive:“I did my new breathing pattern and over and over went over the complex execution of the ascent that I have been working on lately.
I packed vertically, got light headed, waited 15 seconds, then finished my packing and started. The early descent was good, but I was very hesitant. I still thought I may turn at 90m. The 70m alarm went off, and I couldn’t deny that I was actually having a good dive. I thought that if I DO turn early, I will have to go through this whole thing again… why not get it over with now? So I decided to go for it. The 97m alarm went off, and I draped my leading hand on the line… waiting for the plate at 104m… I grabbed a tag blindly and stuck it to my suit, my head buzzing from narcosis in the absolute utter darkness where the line was completely invisible from 90m.I started the ascent, fast kicks with my arms by my side for 40 kicks. Then the 50m alarm went off, as planned. I then concentrated on the final 25m execution which is complicated especially when hypoxic and narked. I surfaced, and with more CO2 from the reduced breathe-up, I gasped for several breaths, eyes closed, trying to get a grasp on things, as everyone yelled at me to take off my goggles. I took off my goggles and gave the OK sign. Clean! I tried to reach the tag but my tag holder had fallen to my ankles in the last sprint. Eventually I raised my entire monofin out of the water to show the tag around my ankles. Many cheers and a white card!”
Eric Fattah set a new Canadian and North American freediving depth record in the Constant Weight With Fins discipline, becoming the first person to break 100 meters on the continent. The dive was made on April 27, 2010 on the final day of the Vertical Blue 2010 diving competition in Dean’s Blue Hole, Lond Island, Bahamas. Eric set his sights on 100m back in 2000, when none believed that such a depth was possible, and he was delighted to finally achieve his goal.
On April 21, 2010 Eric Fattah set a new Canadian record in the Constant Weight discipline, with a depth of 90m, during the Vertical Blue invitational competition in Dean’s Blue Hole, in the Bahamas.
Eric enjoying a victory conch salad on the shores of the Blue Hole
In his own words:
I got in the water around 10 minutes before my start time, just in time to watch Rob King ascend from an 87m American constant weight record. I did a quick drop to 7m on an FRC breath and was surprised how buoyant I was. I then went to the official line and put on the official gauge and connected my lanyard. I was still feeling confident, although I still was not looking forward to the dive. I was all set up with 5’30” left before my start time. I breathed and relaxed as Arthur called out the countdown…
But then, with just one minute thirty seconds to go, I realized I had forgotten to put my neckweight on ! The neckweight also has my dive light. My first thought was ‘things were going so well today… why this?’ My next thought was ‘I guess I should abort, and tell them I will not dive.’ Certainly there was no way I could go and get the neckweight at this point. I then realized that I had done 76.6m in practice with no neckweight, and the dive was easy but unpleasant, since I had to work much harder to get down. I realized that I could do 90m without the neckweight. I knew I would have to kick to 30m instead of just 20m, so I did. I also knew that if I could make it down without the neckweight, the ascent would be light and easy. While sinking, I compensated for the lack of weight by extending and stretching my legs, which I normally do not do — this streamlines me more, and I later found out that the extra streamlining made my speed similar to a descent with the neckweight.
Eventually the 70m alarm went off, and I waited for the 84m alarm. It too went off, and I waited a few seconds and looked up expecting to see the plate right there — no ! The plate was still far away. I sank in confusion as I saw the whole bottom plate setup in detail for the first time. I grabbed the line and reached around the bottom plate blindly, trying to find a tag. I touched and touched, nothing, then finally I found one. I started up and stuck the tag to the velcro gizmo around my right thigh. I extended my arms and started kicking.
I was happy that I got the tag ! I felt very confident now, I had a lightweight ascent and my lungs still felt good. As I approached 30 strokes I heard the 50m alarm, which was awesome. I heard the 25m alarm and then saw the safety diver soon after. I was already congratulating myself on the new Canadian record, before even reaching the surface. I looked up, grabbed the line, and did three hook breaths. I took off my goggles, nose clip, made the OK sign, said I’m OK, and then I peeled off the tag from my thigh and raised it, and many people cheered.
My old personal best was 92.01m… it was very close to my old PB. All in all I couldn’t have hoped for more; the dive was very enjoyable (relatively speaking), and I had lots of air left, for 105m or more. Obviously it was still stressful to the mind and body, and no words can ever describe what dives over 80m feel like — the experience is so otherworldy, dreamlike, transcendent, and exhausting, that the only way you can really understand the experience is to experience it yourself.
I was trying to explore the limits of FRC diving and be the first to register FRC dives in an international competition
Vertical Blue Invitational Competition - 67m FRC diveDean’s Blue Hole, Long Island, Bahamas
April 7, 2008
Vertical Blue Invitational Competition - feet first FRC descentDean’s Blue Hole, Long Island, Bahamas
Vertical Blue Invitational Competition - FRC training diveDean’s Blue Hole, Long Island, Bahamas