With one deep breath, she ducks under the waves to film the many marine creatures that live below with her GoPro Hero 6. Every day, Jules Casey walks her dog along the Blairgowrie pier as she speaks to the fishermen and checks the visibility conditions. The cold doesn’t put this water baby off from freediving — only poor visibility.
Always having been at one with water, she’s tried every water sport. It was only when Jules was ticking off a bucket list item to swim with whale sharks at Exmouth in WA that she found herself in awe of the freediving underwater photographers capturing her encounter. That was it; she needed to learn. Fate handed her the next step when she attended a party back home and was introduced to the secretary of Melbourne Freedivers.
Now, holding a Level 2 qualification in freediving, Jules has found her calling. Portsea, Rye, Flinders and Blairgowrie are her usual haunts. You’ll normally see Jules diving for just over an hour and holding her breath for up to two minutes. “I’ve never pushed the boundaries to reach a great length of time. It’s a matter of relaxation and getting into a meditative state to increase your numbers. For me it’s never been about how long; I just capture enough footage for an Instagram post, which is generally 30-40 seconds in length.”
It’s become an obsession. “Once I started freediving and grabbed a GoPro I couldn’t stop myself. I wanted to show everyone what’s there. It opened my eyes to how beautiful our waters are. Most people go overseas or to the Great Barrier Reef; however, I want to show everyone what’s a few kilometres up the road. Shock them and show it off.”
With her quirky video of a spider crab and a leatherjacket having attracted two million views and another of an octopus trying to steal her GoPro going viral, it’s little wonder that social media agencies have come calling. Storyful has a channel licensing agreement for all her Instagram and YouTube videos as One Breath Diver, while LADbible has a channel licensing agreement for her Facebook videos on her Girls That Freedive page. “I’m very excited by this opportunity, which will showcase what the Peninsula has to offer underwater,” she says.
And her video style? “I take it as it is. I don’t edit or manipulate anything; I only shorten the videos. You can see it as I see it; they come straight from the sea.”
Fate struck again when Moonraker Dolphin Swims followed her on Instagram. “I commented and said I’d have to come and photograph the dolphins. I went and they offered me a job as their snorkel guide. The stars aligned; it was perfect. Seeing the dolphins and seals never gets old. It never dulls. There’s a feeling you get when they look you in the eye.”
Her next goal is to cage-dive with great white sharks at Port Lincoln in South Australia. We can’t wait for those videos, right here, safely behind a computer screen.
Explore the unbelievable diversity of creatures in our waters without getting wet on Instagram at @onebreathdiver.