Southern Adriatic Naked Free-diving
by Nick Staveley Stanley from Coventry, United Kingdom
I first visited Croatia (then Yugoslavia) in 1964, as a boy with my family, and we travelled from Zagreb to Dubrovnik via Rijeka, Zadar, Split, Hvar and Korcula.
I have since returned on countless occasions taking holidays on Kurcula, Lopud and at the Hotel Croatia at Cavtat - which I think is an absolutely superb hotel!
I have been a naturist for all of my life. The doctor who delivered me at birth (our neighbour and friend) was a naturist who always took his naturist holidays (starting in the 1930's) on the island of Rab! So our respective families were always used to naturism and comfortable with the idea.
I learned to swim in the beautiful
clear sea when I was at Lopud in 1964!
As a little boy I had always been a bit scared of the water but, once I had
the confidence of those first few strokes, there was no stopping me! Within 4
days I had purchased a mask, snorkel and flippers and a book by an Croatian
author called Petar Stevcic on "Underwater Swimming in Jugoslavija".
I taught myself from this book and thus began a life-long hobby of snorkelling,
free-diving and skin-diving which has given me 45 years of great pleasure and
also made me very aware of marine ecology and the need for conservation.
I still return, year-by-year, to the Southern Croatian Adriatic, as I think
that it is one of the best places to do naked free-diving. Free-diving is
diving to around 20 metres without the use of scuba. At 58 years old, following
4 recent hospital operations, I am not as fit as I used to be but I am an
expert on conserving muscle-energy whilst underwater.
To free-dive naked, with just mask and flippers, is the best and most
invigorating form of underwater swimming. I would always recommend Croatia as
being the perfect place to do this!
The sea around Dubrovnik, the Elaphite Islands, Mljet, Korcula and Hvar is so
clear and so full of all kinds of marine life (even new corals) that the
pleasure of diving never diminishes. Every year I always manage to find
something new that I have never seen before.
Nick Staveley Stanley for this report and a photo.
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