30/09 - 07/10 2004 " "Opening the gates""
The same team was ready for this training session. Jutta once again had made the trip
from Germany to complete it. Helped by the IMEI team, she had prepared all the different components for the dive (sled, rope, lift bags..) before Patrick's arrival. During the training, supervised and assisted by Alaa Eldin, she took the opportunity to set her own personal scuba record. For this trip, Patrick was accompanied by his fiancee. It is amazing to see how confident she can be: " I' ve been diving with Patrick for the past four years, I know what he is capable of, the world doesn't realize it..yet".
FLTR: Isabelle, Jutta
This training marked a radical change in Patrick's preparation. I had never seen him so relaxed. He spent the first to 2 days to practice on shallow depth. All the team was puzzled because compared to the previous training sessions Patrick seemed to go backward. I've seen him reached incredible depth free falling so fast to the bottom, and there he was, accepting to increase his dive time by a factor of 2 ! Every day during the briefing, he was asked the same question "WHY? ARE YOU SURE?", but he kept that ironic smile and answered the same "...trust me, I know what I'm doing, depth is not important, technique is!" And once again he proved
us to be right. Surfacing from his dive on the 2nd day, which seemed to me not specifically impressive in terms of depth (compared to what he had already done) I saw him laugh and heard him screaming of joy. I asked Isabelle what it meant, but all she could say was "..it's incredible, HE IS READY".
Patrick has now opened the gates to the depth he has been dreaming of. The next dives only confirmed his preparation. He jumped from a shallow 72m to a +100m in only 1 dive. For the extreme dives that followed, Patrick was now assisted by the Red Sea Search and Rescue team. After the fifth day of training he smiled back at us and said "..now, I AM ready, are YOU ? ".
At this stage, I can tell you that they are looking for a 200 meters underwater housing camera. Patrick has now completely finished his technical preparation. And I still have difficulties to understand how a man can feel comfortable diving without mask and flooding his sinuses with salt water. In spite of the several warnings from Patrick and drained by curiosity, I decided to try his equalization technique. Believe me or not, but I've learned my lesson well: I couldn't dive for 2 days after that.
But freediving is not only about records, on Tuesday Noran flew over from Cairo to enjoy some recreational dives, and we also assisted to a freediving "hall of fame" contest between Rami and Tarek. The "loser" had the pleasure to go through a make-up session.
I want to thank Mr Alaa Eldin, owner of the IMEI DIVING CENTER and all the boat crew: , Captain Yussri, Yussef, Tarek, Mustafa and Amr, for their incredible personal input. Most of them have been assisting me since February 2002 !