I met Ben through a mutual friend at a party, he was a friendly, engaging guy, who seemed very genuine and humble. We struck up a conversation about various activities and passions and eventually ended up talking about the Nsw coast and oceans. Ben told me he was a diver, a Free diver to be more accurate. Having seen some insane video footage of what these guys do and the depths they can dive to I immediately bombarded him with a hundred questions and wanted to know everything about the sport. "How far do you dive down", "how long can you stay under for", "Have you ever passed out under water". "What was your scariest moment", and so on and so on.
Well, in the interests of accuracy and lazy writing, Ill let Ben tell it in his own words..
"So I started fishing when I was living up the Northern rivers, It was pretty much a subsistence style fishing with a group of us going out for dinner that night. As I got older I was taking the gun less and less and then rarely loading or firing it if I did take out as I was preferring the diving to the fishing. It's a weightlessness which you can experience with scuba, but the agility you have underwater is amazing without tanks and the sharks and fish don't get spooked by the bubbles but quite often come up to you out of curiosity. Favorite dive spot would be magic point off maroubra, it's only a shallow dive, about 15m, but there is a grey nurse colony there and at that depth you get a few minutes sitting on the bottom to watch them glide around and they'll come out to see you occasionally and let you rub up against them. It's a dive where you can really loose track of time, just immersing yourself in the environment and as you're just sitting on the bottom and using no energy, you can get dives of up to 4 minutes. My most memorable dive was just after I had a orthopedic boot taken off my ankle after an accident and it wasn't strong enough to wear fins. The dive wasn't that deep at 25m, but which is deep for Sydney and with no fins it was a depth that felt like I was really pushing my limits."
Yeah, diving to the bottom of the ocean for 3-4 minutes to cuddle sharks without fins to help you get back up. Ill add but one word to his..... legend!