Participants can learn the art of freediving and share extraordinary encounters with marine creatures.Soneva Fushi has partnered with the I AM WATER Ocean Conservation Foundation to host an exclusive Ocean Experience, where participants will learn the art of freediving from some of the world’s best instructors and have a once-in-a-lifetime marine wildlife adventure.
The ‘Last Wilderness’ Ocean Experience will be held at Soneva Fushi, located in the Baa Atoll, Maldives, from October 05 - 10 and November 25 –December 02, 2015. The events are timed to coincide with favourable conditions in the Baa Atoll, which in turn attracts vast flocks of feeding Manta Rays and occasionally Whale Sharks.
Over the course of five days, participants will learn the physiology of the human body underwater and practice breathing techniques that will enable them to share unique encounters with marine creatures. The classes will be taught by Hanli Prinsloo, South African Freediving Champion; and Peter Marshall, an eight times Backstroke World Record Holder. A maximum of five people can participate in each of the two courses.
“This is once-in-a-lifetime transformational experience in one of the world’s best dive locations, staying in one of the world’s best resorts. In the past we have had students who have gone from thinking that they can’t hold their breath for 30 seconds, to holding their breath underwater for between two to five minutes. At the end of this course, participants will go from being surface snorkelers to a 50 foot freediver and experience the ocean in an entirely new way,” said Hanli Prinsloo, founder of the I AM WATER Ocean Conservation Foundation and Principal Freediving Instructor.
The Ocean Experience is open to all ages and fitness levels, and the programme is customized according to ability and comfort of the participants. The course fee will cover an inclusive stay for five nights at Soneva Fushi, including transfers, room, full board and all tuition. Plus, proceeds will go towards ocean awareness and experience programmes supported by I AM WATER Ocean Conservation Foundation in underprivileged communities around the world. Also included in the fee is professional freediving equipment; a custom-made freediving wetsuit and carbon fiber fins, a mask, weight-belt, weights, snorkel and dive socks in addition to a yoga mat, sweater, t-shirts and rashguards. All interested participants will also be provided with copies of personalized underwater ‘Last Wilderness’ photographs.
“Freediving is not something I ever considered learning, but hearing Hanli speak at a Philanthropy event inspired me to explore this new world. From learning to hold my breath, slow down my heart-rate to diving deep on one breath and then using all these new skills to interact with animals under water is probably one of the most exciting things I have ever done! I AM WATER combines world class instructors and coaching with a very strong conservation ethic, and of course knowing that my experience gets underprivileged kids in the water makes this one of the best holidays of my life,” said Nina Hoas, Executive Director, UBS Philanthropy Advisory.
The I AM WATER Freediving Instructors have taught freediving around the world and worked with top athletes, celebrities and individuals with debilitating aquatic phobias.
Hanli Prinsloo is the South African Freediving Champion and ocean conservationist. With a competitive freediving background, Hanli has a keen sense of interacting with large creatures. Her deep respect and love for the ocean has led her to dedicate her life to Ocean Conservation through Human Experience.
Peter Marshall is an eight times Backstroke World Record Holder who does the videography for The Last Wilderness. Filming on freedive and natural light, Peter captures the encounters in a uniquely intimate manner.
Soneva Fushi is the original desert island barefoot luxury hideaway. Fifty-seven private villas with their own stretch of beach are hidden among dense foliage within touching distance of the Baa Atoll UNESCO coral reef.