February / March 2000
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Many see free diving as fishing for dangerwhich in many ways it isbut for its lovers, it is much more. Free diving is a way of life. It requires an attitude and training different from those of scuba diving. Anyone, even a 90-year-old with a pacemaker, can scuba dive given the proper training and provided they have no chronic sinus problems or claustrophobia. Yet with free diving, every dive can be your last, whether due to shallow water blackout, reckless and ignorant boaters or even attack by sharksan experience Yazbeck has twice undergone.
Free divers are certified scuba divers, yet unlike scuba divers, they dive on breath hold using only their lungs as air supply, a wetsuit, a pair of fins, and releasable weights when a deep dive is desired. Free diving is lung-powered and muscle-powered. A free divers duration record underwater depends on individual endurance against lactic acid buildup. Scuba divers never experience what free divers do in their underwater exploration. Because free divers are tank-free and seek being part of the oceannot aliensfish act naturally in their presence.
Diving for Foodor rather Spear-Hunting
I am a sportsman, a fish-hunter rather than a fisherman, says Yazbeck, I dont go annihilating an area. I release before I catch. Thats my motto. I take pride in being selective. I take only what I eat. I always eat what I catch. I hunt for food, not trophies. We are all, he reminds, living in a material circle of being, of ingestors and the ingested. In one sense, everything feeds on another. Even the plastic we use is derived from petroleum and decayed bodies.
Yazbecks stand: Every life demands respect. I respect my prey in that magical
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