Freediving: Exploring Schieferbergwerk Nuttlar (Germany)

by   Profile Mares   When 17th May 2023
Doris_Nuttlar_104 copia

Freediver Doris Hovermann recently took a trip to the Nuttlar mine in Germany for a special photoshoot. It was the result of a lot of planning and teamwork - discover more about the trip in this blog from Doris! 

Camerawoman Susanne Schmidt came up with the idea for this project. She has been a member of the Nuttlar mine team for several years, and has already captured numerous fantastic images there.

Susanne and I have known each other since 2010, when she did her diving certificate with me. Now the circle closed again when "Cavewoman" Susanne showed me the underwater world of the Nuttlar mine.

Some challenges

Such a project needs to be planned very well in advance - we started planning months before.

It is pitch black in the mine, even the numerous underwater lamps and flashes we brought with us gave little light. The shale literally absorbs all the light.

We had to be very careful not to stir up any sediment. That's not so easy with long-bladed freediving fins!

Because of the low water temperature of 6°C, I couldn't stay in a wetsuit for hours. That’s why we had to discuss the entire procedure, all the movements and scenes, well in advance.

The photoshoot

On the first day, we spent a lot of time inside the mine and did two dives with tanks. I was able to get to know the dive site from my point of view. In the evening, we discussed our freediving photoshoot and made a detailed plan for the next day.

For the second day, which was supposed to be the freediving day, we planned around six different locations for the photos. A detailed plan, like we had, makes things much easier and safer, for example, among the team, we discussed who would be securing where, and where the flash lights would be installed.

All the photos were taken in just one day by Susanne Schmidt, aka "Cavewoman". I am impressed at how well Susanne mastered her craft, and I’d like to thank all the divers for their professional support and safety.

Thank you

Thanks to Michael Keimes, Rolf Movilla, Jens Klaas and Ralf Franke who are the excellent divers and guardian angles who provided us with safety and support. I would like to thank all of you again for the great support and backup! I felt safe with you at all times.

Early on, we got the manager of "Bergwerktauchen" on board, Mattias Richter. He also supported the project.

Thank you also to Mares - the new Polygon 80/65 suit kept me warm in cold water much longer than I would have expected.

Blog by Doris Hovermann

Written by
Profile Mares
When 17th May 2023
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