My name is Cary Gibson, I’m from about as far away from south Florida as you can get!
I live and dive, 99% in Ontario, Canada, mostly in the St. Lawrence river, the 1000 islands region. I had found freediving and spearfishing on the Internet, 2 years prior, and had ” self-taught” myself how to do it, or so I thought. Sure, I bought the stuff, and read Spearing magazine, shot fish, and dove holding my breath to do it, but that was the extent of my “knowing “, ANYTHING about safety, physiology, and techniques important to staying alive in this game.
Through coincidence, I became friends with Jeromy Gamble, owner of spearing magazine, who invited my girlfriend and I for a stay at his place on the Gulf Coast Of course, as a rookie, I wanted to do well, so upon arrival we all went out on the famous Spearing magazine baykat,and headed to some numbers Jeromy had, and yeah I shot some fish, first saltwater fish actually.
I became a bit bummed at the lack of fish I saw, and was politely informed my entry, frankly sucked. Jeromy tried to show me, and that night over some beers, he raved about this Captain America guy, and how he was the best and that anybody who was serious, needed to take his course.
This guy’s name was Ted Harty, and he ran Immersion Freediving, out of the south Florida region. I filed it away, and bought more stuff, you know, better gun, better fins, to help me get deeper. I went another season, coming up scared, going down scared, not being able to relax, constant thoughts of blacking out, diving alone. Plain stupidity.
So I bit the bullet, booked the course, my room at the hotel and the flight. It all added up to a big chunk of cash, but what price is my life? Or someone else’s? There isn’t one, so I was ready. It became apparent after 5 min in the class, I was going to learn and change my diving 100% For the better.
Ted has learned from the best, and his enthusiasm and knowledge, beam through as he leads people down the path of better, safer diving. Not only did I hit a new PR in wet- static, I also hit new bests in almost every ocean dive.
Who would have thought that I would actually be doing pull-downs to 82’! My previous best dive here at home ” might ” have been 50′, and that was an uncomfortable, panicked dive, with a bolt, full speed to the surface. Hauling ass the whole way.
Ted taught me, good entry, good kicking and relaxed diving , the pool work was tough and demanding, and I know I have a long way to go. But I will keep practicing, and remembering what he showed me. The ocean sessions were amazing, with crystal clear blue as far as you could see. And Ted’s custom carbon fiber pole rig that made the sessions comfortable.
Even when a shark came in to the plate, at 66′, I still hit that, a new PR!
I ended up pretty much doubling my maximum depth, and my last dive was controlled and comfortable, unlike my previous diving at home. The class, the boat, captain Bob, the pool, the ocean and the bluest water I have ever seen, even with the big swells, was the greatest experience I have ever had.
We did not get to do the last ocean session due to conditions, and I have the option of doing them here in Canada, but I’m going to go back to Florida. Why? Because Ted does it right, and makes it hard, yet fun.
He is there with you on every dive, and had drilled in me safety, being close enough to grab, hook 1 2 3, all of it, has become ingrained.
If you have not taken a course, I would encourage, no, I would have to insist, look up immersion freediving, give Ted a call or email, set this up. It will change your life, save your life and possibly others. Dive safe and a huge thanks to captain America!
Cary Gibson 4 day PFI Intermediate Course