2016 has been such a great adventure year for me. Apart from a host of new professional challenges, I managed to freedive in new places, hang out with friends, and be overwhelmed by encounters with marine life. What more can a freediver ask for!

One of my favorite parts were three weeks spent with my friends Mike and Kate at their home, Gili Trawangan island in Indonesia. It is a weird and wonderful place, where your biggest freediving risk is getting run over by a horse cart on the way to the water:

To give myself some contrast, I finished the travel year with a trip to Norway in November. This was not to see the aurora borealis, although I was lucky enough to be out hiking in the dark when the clouds cleared and streaks of eerie green lights lit up the night sky. The aim of the week was to use every bit of available daylight to jump into the water and freedive with two enormous marine creatures: orca and humpback whales. I can't thank friend, freediver and photographer Jacques de Vos enough for organizing this amazing experience and keeping a place for me on the little katamaran.

photo: J de Vos
I have fallen in love with the polar night. I never thought the absence of proper daylight could be quite so beautiful. I also never thought I would be itching to get into my (5mm only!) wetsuit to jump into the water when there is snow on deck and it is hailing! Truth is: you forget your cold when an orca swims by. Check out the next trips organized by arctic freediving for the 2017/2018 season - it is worth every moment!

Meanwhile, we have crossed into a new year. I tried a final lift on the last day of 2016, and failed it - devil coach Sebastian Werner had to rescue me. Looking at this picture afterwards it struck me how closely it resembles the attention and focus we share when we provide safety for each other in freediving. This connection enriches us and is a great part of training, having adventures, life. It is complete trust. I love having those moments, and sharing the failures as much as the moments of success with my buddies, freedivers, coaches, crazy, lovely, adventurous friends.

Thank you! Here's to more fails in 2017!


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