COSSIE DIVES IN: FREEDIVER STEPH SCHULDT
Master Freediver, 7x USA World Record holder, COSSIE lover and Captain of her own ship Sail La Vie, we dive in with Steph Schuldt to learn about her experiences since turning her back on corporate America and embracing nature and life on the ocean.
Freediving is a far cry from your days in corporate America, tell us what inspired you to first give it a try.
I took my first freediving course because I loved snorkelling + catching lobsters with my brother-in-law, Jared. He could hold his breath three times longer than I could and would catch three times as many lobsters. That motivated me, I decided to take a course! I wanted to be able to hold my breath longer + dive deeper.
The ocean is your office and you must really have a connection with the sea and marine life. What has been the most astonishing + eye-opening thing you have seen?
So far, the most eye-opening thing I have seen is the shark's behaviour. I started studying sharks 5 years ago when I got into freediving, and sharks, by far, are the most surprising to me. They are extremely misunderstood and one of my passions is introducing people to sharks so that they can reset their minds about these beautiful animals.
My favourite encounter is pictured above. This beautiful tiger shark swam right into me and I put my hand on her nose to move her to the side and then she just kept on swimming, completely unfazed by my presence. I think the ability to co-exist with marine wildlife is so magical and so important.
What would be your top tip for anyone looking to get into freediving?
If you are interested in exploring the underwater world without the need for the extra gear of scuba diving, my advice would be to go and take a course! Make sure you learn techniques and safety the right way so you can fall in love with the sport in the best way possible.
What has been your most memorable/favourite dive yet + why?
My most memorable dive was when I free-dove with my boyfriend in Norway. We put on 7mm wetsuits and jumped in the water as it was snowing and free-dove with a pod of Orcas. It was absolutely magical, an experience I will never forget.
What are your travel essentials, what can you not be without and why?
I dive almost every single day, and there are a number of things I absolutely could not live without! Swimwear is probably my most used and most important. I wear swimwear the same way other people get dressed in the morning. It’s the first thing I put on and the last thing I take off! My other essentials are my mask, snorkel, fins, weight belt, dive knife, gloves and pole spear. If I have those items, I am set for a great day!
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