Blue Water Spearfishing the Santa Barbara Channel

I watch my flasher slowly sink into the deep blue water.  Taking a deep, full breath, I prepare to follow.  My flasher is going to another world.  Freediving gets you there.  This world is sublime, relaxing and euphoric; unique, to this Earth.  It can connect you more deeply to the other world.

Here, I am in liquid outer space, gliding through the water, weightless, with nothing surrounding me, no reference to direction or dimensions; no walls, nor floors, only the foil like surface above, disappearing from vision as you slip deeper into the blue. 

The surface now a flicker of light at the edge of my view, my senses are heightened, my tensions gone, my mind is recording, taking note of every detail of life in the water engulfing me.  In my peripheral vision I see a school of yellowtail rapidly approaching. I pivot my fins slowly leveling out my decent, suddenly, below me, a huge yellowtail swims languid, broadside towards my flasher. 

I lift my speargun, for a moment, methodically tracking the fish … just enough time.  Snap!  I pull the trigger. The yellowtail bursts away, leaving a disappearing trail of taught, yellow spectra, as far as I can see, into blue water.  My reel is spinning fast, its content quickly dissipating.  I keep it tethered, brusquely kicking away from it, towards a safe return to the surface.  

Time is in slow motion; one big kick…, another…, another…and another…, adrenaline rushes as my head breaks the surface, I tighten the drag, a resounding, “WOO HOOO!” peals from my mouth.  I pull the fish up from depth, carefully clean my catch; ensuring the best tasting fillets, thankful for this gift of life. 

In its entirety, spearfishing is much more than a sport.  It is a holistic experience with the connections ranging from the physical aspect- its focus on breathing, active relaxation which slows the heart rate. This state of being melds into meditative qualities, syncing with the rhythm of your catch and the rhythm of the ocean. The thread that binds these aspects of spearfishing is the act and intention of harvesting your own sustenance. It can give you a deeper appreciation of where our food comes from and the amount of effort it takes to put one fish on the table.  

Where does it come from?  It comes from that part within you that longs for a connection to life, in the blue.

Note: Matt Davidson is a spearo, and world record holder for Rooster fish.  Matt passes his knowledge and experience on through his company, Blue Tuna Spearfishing. Blue Tuna Spearfishing's new location 2555 E Main Street, Ventura, CA 93003. 

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