Juliette Sivertsen is Stuff’s Travel News Director and Certified Mermaid.
Expand your ribcage to fill your lungs with as much air as possible, hold your breath and dive below the surface, bending at the waist and pointing straight down like a pin, shooting arms and head first.
Cold water on your face can help you hold your breath underwater. This is thanks to what is known as the mammalian diving response. This is a physiological response that overrides the basic need for breathing, allowing you to stay underwater longer.
Beneath the sea, I enter another world, in another state of mind and consciousness. With its body rippling like a dolphin, its legs with monofins, its legs wrapped around its fabric mermaid tail, it propels itself towards the ocean floor, waving its seaweed past a group of blue cat cats. .
* Travel Associates: First Little Mermaid
* Chat: Mermaid Sacha Williamson
*I am a certified mermaid.how you can be part of it
Grace, strength, freedom. mermaid life.
Not many people can add a “certified mermaid” to their bio, let alone a travel journalist. But here we are. In fact, I believe I am New Zealand’s only licensed mermaid journalist.
I have been a scuba diver for many years and mermaid diving was not on my to-do list until I heard about this branch of freediving through the international diving agency PADI. Similar to scuba certification, you can start with Basic Mermaid, Advanced Mermaid, work through the levels of Mermaid qualification, and progress to Mermaid Instructor if you want to pass on your skills to others. Mermaids are exactly what you think they are – learn to swim and dive underwater wearing monofins and mermaid tails. there is.
Mermaid diving is fun, but it can also be dangerous. It is especially dangerous for those who do not have sufficient underwater safety skills. Inexpensive mermaid tails are easy to buy online, but for the untrained, there are risks of entanglement, potential damage to marine life from the costume, and other freediving risks such as power outages. This activity can be dangerous as you may not understand it.
You can learn how to manage and mitigate these risks by getting an official mermaid diving certification. Begin with a theory component to understand the mechanics and physiology of diving, breathing and breath-holding techniques, and safety skills such as how to rescue an unconscious diver and what to do if you are caught.
From there, head to the pool for limited water sessions, much like scuba training. Pool sessions put theory into practice in a controlled environment before heading out into the open water where the real fun and risk awaits.
The dividing point between freediving and mermaid diving is the way you swim underwater. The Mermaid course requires you to learn to use monofins instead of bifins and kick from your hips instead of your legs. Then there are C- and U-shaped side turns, backward somersault turns, back glides, mermaid bubbles and pillar blows.
As excited as I was about the prospect of becoming a mermaid, at first I felt a little weird telling people I was going to mermaid school because I’m a total sea baby after all.
Not entirely out of the realm of what Juliet could do, my friends were confused and bewildered when I told them my plans. It was kind of a twist while the strange man rushed to conclusions.
But the reality is simpler. Mermaid diving is pure pleasure and carefree fun. Some mermaids around the world use intrigue and charm to promote their conservation message, and the movement is growing worldwide as a way to involve people in ocean conservation.
Since qualifying, I have plans to do more mermaid adventures in New Zealand and abroad, trying to connect with other mermaids and educate others about what this activity is all about.
Sacha Williamson, my instructor at Freedive Aotearoa, conducts mermaid events and training nationally and internationally. Even those just starting out in freediving will find joy in finishing the course with a splash on a mermaid’s tail.
I don’t think you’ll ever use the Little Mermaid as a side hustle at an aquarium or party, but I’m not saying never, but just for fun.
I do not comb my hair with a fork and can walk or use my legs. But mermaid diving brought a unique skill to my life. It reminds me that no matter how heavy the world feels, there is always a place to feel free. For me, that place is underwater, happily connected to a mermaid’s tail.