As a Mares Ambassador and model, I received an invitation from a great Turkish photographer, Murat, and ship owner, Ahmet Durmaz, to join them on a completely different diving trip, sailing on the beautiful Okyanus JD ship!
Ahmet greeted us with open arms and a huge smile despite the late hour of our arrival. Before going to sleep, he only managed to explain to me that the morning meeting was at 6:30am, on the upper deck. I was pleasantly surprised when I woke up - we did yoga at sunrise! At the beginning, I found it hard to focus my thoughts, as I was already thinking about what I would find below the surface…
What will I see? Are there any fish, amphoras, wrecks? How good is the visibility?
During the following 7 days of morning yoga, I learnt to meditate and enjoy every moment. I was very surprised and proud when, after yoga and three dives, I didn’t feel tired at all for the first time. Yoga did what it does. It prepared my muscles and mind for the upcoming efforts. Bear in mind that, when you are an underwater model, dives last much longer than usual and are often very physically demanding.
The food was very good, courtesy of chef Burak, enriched with additional fruits and vegetables for diving. The ship was fully equipped for scuba diving. Due to its size, we couldn’t even hear the tanks being filled during breaks.
Ahmet held briefings and adapted the dives for our photoshoots. Visibility was exceptional, with the water temperature varying between 19-25°C. During dives we saw moray eels, large groupers, featherstars, trumpet fish and even lionfish, although they are not considered native to this area.
Being far from civilization is one of the reasons I like scuba diving trips. You sleep and wake up surrounded by an endless blue horizon, enjoying every sunrise and sunset. Most of the guests didn’t sleep in their cabins but on the deck, under the clear blue sky full of sparkling stars.
I first met Murat in Belgrade when he was our guest with his dive buddy Baris for an underwater photography competition. Despite of the fact that he doesn’t speak much English, it was incredible how we established a fantastic cooperation on a model/photographer basis. We used our hands to communicate easily underwater which ended up with a great series of photos.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank both Murat and Ahmet for welcoming me as their guest during this wonderful journey.
From the 19th – 26th October 2019, Mares Ambassador and Freediving Instructor Nik Linder will be holding apnea courses on this same ship, the Okyanus JD, in Turkey. I am going to broaden my knowledge and you should feel free to join me to experience this immense adventure on a phenomenal ship.
Written by Ivana O.K
Photos by Murat Kaptan and Ivana O.K