Meditating into the Deep
Alex Davis set a Barbadian freediving record last month, dolphining down to 82 meters without the aid of breathing apparatus. Davis, who is sponsored by Kaiju Capital Management, made the record at Vertical Blue 2021. The international competition takes place annually at Dean’s Blue Hole in the Bahamas, the second deepest sinkhole in the world.
A British national who gained citizenship in Barbados, Davis came to the sport via deep-dive spearfishing. He entered his first competition in 2017 and holds successive national records. At Vertical Blue alone, he set a record of 76 meters on the first day, which he then surpassed on the fourth day.
Davis is the owner of Freediving Barbados, which offers freediving courses and guided spearfishing tours. Davis has likened freediving to extended meditation, instructing his students as much in mindfulness as in sport. In his recent Oceanographic Magazine essay, Davis wrote: “Freediving definitely requires some level of physical fitness, but a good 80 percent of it is mental. If your mind is not present and relaxed, it’s very difficult to do anything in the water.”
Photos by Alex Davis