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Abyss Scuba Diving
Freediving Fun: Getting Up Close and Personal with Australia's Fur Seals
If you're a thrill-seeker looking for a unique and unforgettable underwater adventure, look no further than freediving with Australia's fur seals. These playful and curious marine mammals can be found along the southern coast of NSW, from the chilly waters around Montague Island to the warmer currents near Martin Island and Jervis Bay in between. And let me tell you - there's nothing quite like the experience of getting up close and personal with these furry creatures in their natural habitat.
A Closer Look at Australian Fur Seals
The Australian fur seals are fascinating creatures renowned for their exceptional diving skills. They can submerge for up to 10 minutes, swim at speeds of up to 40 km/h, and reach depths of 200 meters. Adult males can weigh up to 360 kg, and females can weigh up to 120 kg, making them Australia's largest fur seal species. These seals are crucial to the marine ecosystem, and their conservation status is stable, thanks to effective protection measures.
The Experience of Freediving with Seals
Freediving with seals is more than just observing them from afar; it's much more than practising freediving skills during line diving; it's an incredible and thrilling experience that allows you to bond with these magnificent creatures. These friendly and social animals often playfully swim around divers, showcasing their impressive underwater skills. It's an unforgettable experience that brings humans and nature closer together.
It is common for seals to approach and engage in play while freediving. They may exhibit playful behaviours such as blowing bubbles, spinning in the water, and making sounds to attract the diver's attention. Some seals may also nip at the wetsuits or fins of the diver as a way to initiate play. While it is crucial to remain respectful and avoid disturbing their natural habitat, interacting with these magnificent creatures on their terms can be an amazing experience.
Experience an indescribable sense of freedom and connection with nature as you explore the breathtaking beauty and tranquillity of the underwater world. You will feel refreshed, rejuvenated, and inspired. Don't miss the opportunity to go on a once-in-a-lifetime freediving adventure with Australian fur seals.
Tips and Techniques for Maximizing Your Interaction
To make the most of your freediving adventure with seals, keep these tips in mind:
1. Understand their behaviour: Did you know that seals are naturally curious and love to play with freedivers? If you spin and turn in the water, they become more interested in playing with you. While seals play with scuba divers, their interaction with freedivers takes it to a new level.
2. Learn to read their communication signals: Body language is the primary means by which seals convey their feelings and intentions. Familiarizing yourself with these signals can significantly improve your ability to communicate and interact effectively with them.
3. Safe interaction: It's important to always show respect towards seals by avoiding any attempts to touch, chase or provoke them. Instead, it's best to give them space and let them dictate the encounter.
Exploring the Underwater World of Martin Island
Martin Island is a 1-hour drive south of Sydney and only a 10-minute boat ride from Port Kembla. The depth range at which you can spot seals is 5 to 24 meters. Between June and September, you can enjoy freediving with 30 to 50 seals at Martin Island. While out seal diving at Martin Island, there is also the opportunity to do some whale watching as the humpback do their annual migration from Antarctica.
Freediving Jervis Bay Marine Park
If you drive south from Sydney for 2 hours, you'll reach Jervis Bay, where you can find some seals. Steamers Head, located in Booderee, is home to several of them. At the season's peak, around 120 seals can be found at the new haul-out site of Drum and Drum Sticks in Beecroft Peninsula. The colony at Drum and Drum Sticks is permanent, and it's possible to freedive with the seals throughout the year. To get to Drum and Drum Sticks from Huskison Wharf, you must take a 45-minute boat trip. Jervis Bay has several sea caves, which are also attractive to freedive.
Freediving at Montague Island
Montague Island, located 9 kilometres off the southern coast of Australia, is a popular destination for scuba diving and freediving enthusiasts. The island is accessible by boat from the coastal town of Narooma, roughly 4 hours south of Sydney. Montague Island is home to diverse marine creatures, such as seals, sea turtles, manta rays, dolphins, and whales. The journey to the island takes approximately 45 minutes, and the water depth ranges from 10 to 25 meters. The seals can typically be found at a depth of 11 to 14 meters, and during the winter months, more than 200 seals congregate in this area.
PADI Freediver Certification Requirements
To go freediving with seals, you must be a certified PADI freediver or have an equivalent certification from another certifying agency. If you're interested in becoming a PADI-certified freediver, you can enrol in a PADI Freediver course as long as you're at least 12 years old and have adequate swimming skills and good physical health. Prior experience with snorkeling, skin diving, or freediving is not necessary. The course will cover safety protocols, dive planning and techniques, and equalization methods.
Freediving with seals is an incredible experience that can provide you with a lifetime of memories. Whether you’re looking for the perfect adventure at Martin Island, Jervis Bay or Montague Island, our team at Abyss Scuba Diving has just what you need. If your goal is to dive and interact safely with these majestic creatures, make sure to get certified by enrolling in one of our PADI Freediver courses. We believe everyone should have the opportunity to explore this fascinating underwater world! So don't wait any longer - book one of our amazing freediving trips today and start creating unforgettable experiences!
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