With Hanli Prinsloo from I Am Water

Iain Ewing and I attended the freediving course presented and instructed by Hanli Prinsloo. Hanli is a dedicated, motivated, free spirit who dreams of introducing freediving and marine conservation to the world by offering freediving courses (theory, practical and spiritual), mentoring and motivational speaking.

Iain has experienced freediving to a certain extent because he is an avid spearo (spearfisherman) but this course was a learning experience for both Iain and myself. I have never tried freediving and had no idea what to expect or how my body would react to something that foreign to me.

After Hanli explained the theory and basic science behind holding your breath and the depths of diving, she instructed us in yoga exercises followed by deep breathing and breath hold exercises. Once Hanli was happy with the breathing exercise we got to put it in to practice, firstly in the safety of the pool then, after lunch, into the deep blue Indian Ocean.

Well, I must admit, we did not have the perfect calm quiet ocean day for the practical session held after lunch. It was fair to say that the conditions were pretty dire BUT not unsafe. Hanli and her Blue Wilderness crew took us out to sea, dropped a buoy and weighted rope over the side and in we jumped in to test our theory and pool practical, all the while thinking about the yoga relaxation and breathing exercises.


It is incredible how strong your mind is and how your body reacts to what you interpret as ‘unnatural’ because you have never tried it before. Testing personal boundaries and fears is always challenging. Holding my breath for 2min40sec and freediving to 15m in the ocean has opened a whole new world for me!

Iain managed to hold his breath for 5min! Freediving to 15m was pretty standard for him but the challenge was the technique behind it.

In future the Ewing Trust Charitable Division will be looking to help fund PDI’s and introduce them to and experience Apnea and freediving under the guidance of Hanli and her crew.

Hanli does not know it yet but she will also be helping in the mentorship of individuals to ensure the continued custodianship and conservation of our precious oceans.

Sally Brown
Ewing Trust Company Charitable Division

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