16.07.2018

I spent a lot of time preparing myself for this kind of diving. Initially, I was motivated by Katarína Linczényiová and her intention to create the world record in freediving, as she planned to dive into 105 meters on one breath in constant weight category. I had to get ready for filming at the bottom. Even though we did not get those 105m into the movie “To the Bottom”, a beautiful documentary was created.

Now I have the film “The Sea under the Sinai Mountain” to finish and that’s why I have planned the Blue Hole bottom again. I should do at least four dives here, and this is the second one. I am going to meet Barbara. I’m falling down the wall, at the end of the 40’s, the muddy water ends, dim because of strong winds and waves which complicated the start of the dive. I can almost see the outlines of the mighty Arch in front of me. As I am falling down this monumental gate, I am trying to film, but I have little time, because at least for the ninth minute I want to be near Barbara. From the previous dive I remember that she lies in 116 meters, which eventually turns out to be a big mistake and magic of nitrogen. I’m holding myself to have the wall on my left and trying to fall as far on the sandy bottom as I can. Still, I have to slow down to make at least one shot of Arch from the view above myself, which is now up to a height of almost 50 meters above me. I come down to one hundred and ten, so I think I should see her. But there is only sand in front of me, and I see another break in about a hundred and sixteen meters. She’s probably underneath it. I do not remember exactly how it was, I just reflect that in this depth I turned left and she was there. So I’m going to the break, but there’s nothing.

“She must be here.” I turn around and when I turn completely, I see her. She is six meters above me, lying on sand below a small rock. The unmistakable feature is the apparently bubbling aluminium bottle, which is released and floats on the hose above it. So I had to be well into the nitrogen when I was here for the first time! I climb to her and I have such a special feeling. This girl has been captivating me for many years. Actually, since my first visit to Dahab in 1999, it has been unattainable and unimaginable to me. Now I am here. On one hand, I am extremely sorry for her – her life has gone so drastically and in such dramatic circumstances, but on the other hand, she is surrounded by what I love so much. I actually envy her, what a wonderful place of last rest she has. Her story is already part of and symbol of Blue Hole’s dark side. Although the data differs, hundreds of divers have died here, either overestimating their strengths or just having to pay for the failure of the technique. I cannot imagine I would have finished “The Sea under the Sinai Mountain” without her. Her fate includes several aspects of contemporary diving. But about that, I will talk in the movie.

Of course, this is occupies my mind now while writing the story. There were other aspects to follow in the water. Time has quickly passed and I have had to start off. Somewhere above me, my support is waiting for me in 60 meters, Zak with Bohuš and Miša and then another 90 minutes of decompression.

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Text: Jaroslav Blaško, Videofoto: J. Blaško, Bohuš Čalkovský