Freediving and spearfishing in Timor Leste
At Freedive-Earth, we recently met and interviewed Christian Nicoll who recently opened a school in the wonderful country of Timor-leste.
So Christian, who created the school? Where are you guys from?
The school is the brain child of both Katrina and I (Christian Nicoll) after spending some time in the Philippines and Bali, our mutual love of the water led us to want to open our own school so that we can share the beauty that we both enjoy with other people of the world.
Can you tell us a bit more about your school?
Our school is a Freedivecentere and swim school that caters for people who are complete non swimmers right up to Master freedive instructor through Austswim Australia and RAID's World Series Freedive. We also run a Spearfishing course (very soon hope to run spearfishing tours), Stand Up Paddleboards, snorkelling tours, Swim & Survive lessons and Surf survival for people looking at big wave riding.
Where is it located exactly?
We are currently located in Dili which is the capital of Timor-Leste or East Timor, a brand new nation only gaining independence in 2002. Timor-Leste is situated approximately 1 hour North of Darwin with direct flights from Australia, Singapore and Bali.
Why did you choose to open a school in Timor-Leste?
As we were both living in the Northern Territory of Australia it was just a short flight (less than an hour) to Timor-Leste. Through mostly word-of-mouth, we believed it had perfect conditions for freediving, crystal clear deep waters and very close to the shore. what we didn't know at the time was how good the diving was here. It has been recently announced that Atauro Island has the highest bio-diversity of any known dive site in the world and that the straights of Timor is a super highway for the densest population of cetaceans known to congregate in one area including migrating Blue Whales to giant pods of dolphins.
What else to do around the school?
Timor-Leste has unspoiled natural beauty including dense rain forests, deserted beaches, majestic mountain ranges, hot springs and waterfalls. Timor is the place of adventures. You can be 4 wheel driving or dirt biking through the mountains one day and be sitting beachside sipping a cocktail the next day. Every day brings a new perspective. The snorkeling is superb both off the main island or catch a water taxi to Atauro island, stay at the eco resort and get involved in local culture. You can also visit the very historical spots that show the world what the people of Timor had to endure to become a nation. It is truly a nation of contrast.
What make your school special?
something that we pride ourselves in is our customer service, we prefer to treat people as if they were not just guests but brand new friends. we are very flexible and will always try to do our best to make your stay as fun as possible. We believe we are one of the very few schools who can offer formal training from qualified instructors to cater for people who can't swim and be able to take them all the way to becoming a master freediving instructor. As you have also mentioned we have developed a spearfishing course which I created after many years of spearfishing and seeing others who have wanted to come into the sport but have no way of learning how to avoid the inherent dangers involved in breath hold hunting. the course is a 3-day course incorporating the level 1 Freediver course or can be run as a stand-alone specialty for already qualified divers. the course covers equipment, rigging, blue water and reef hunting, species selection and hunting techniques. the course is heavily focused on all aspects of safety.
Thanks Christian for the interview, Timor-Leste is definitely a place to visit, with beautiful reefs. if you like nature, spearfishing this is a place to go.
If you own a school and want to feature your school, feel free to contact us.