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Video: Freediving the Blowhole at Lady Elliot Island

Here’s a short sequence from last weekend’s freediving trip to one of my favourite dive destinations: Lady Elliott Island, on the southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef.

The weekend’s primary goal for the experienced folk was to dive through The Blowhole on a single breath.

The Blowhole is a very well known site on the exposed eastern side of the island. The L-shape tunnel starts as a sinkhole in the reef ledge approximately 15-25m (50′-80′) down. The horizontal section is 20-25m (65′-80′) deep and approximately 20m (65′) long.

Over the years, this cavern is a place where I’ve enjoyed plenty of bottom time spent filming critters and cleaning stations, hunters hunting and glassfish getting terrorised by divers and coral trout alike. On this trip, I was sad to discover the red fan was missing from the bottom of the blowhole.

There were no glassfish last weekend, either… and no time for critter hunting, anyway. This time, it was all about the freedivers.

A steady stream of freedivers from the first group dived through the deep hole and out the shallow exit. Then, a few minutes later, the second group came through in the opposite direction. There were some pretty awesome pros, instructors, former and future competitors and record holders among the group—making it look easy.

The shoot was a bit spur-of-the-moment, but worked out okay. The weekend was a change of pace from the regular scuba trips, but surprisingly just as much gear, planning, and [even more] rules. The usual scuba cameras and stories were replaced with GoPros and amazing tales of spearfishing, deep diving and mind-numbing static breath-holds. Not a nudibranch or Nemo was mentioned, but a fine time was had by all.


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