Interview with Donny Creator at The Freedive café Podcast
At Freedive-Earth, we have met with Donny McFarlane who launched The Freedive Café Podcast:
So tell me more about yourself, where are you from, what is your background?
I'm originally from Scotland, from a small town on the west coast, but I left when I was 19. I spent the best part of the next 10 years living in Amsterdam. I lived an extremely hedonistic lifestyle, living from one night to the next. Although hedonism should be the pursuit of pleasure, I never really got much pleasure out of that lifestyle and after a serious health-scare in 2011 I decided I needed a change and started working towards a new life far away from the old one. After living for periods in Greece, Australia, Indonesia and Thailand I eventually settled down in Taiwan where I've been living for the last three years.
You are freediving too, you are currently in the Philippines, doing your AIDA 4*, how is it going? Any plan on becoming a freediving Instructor?
Yes, I'm loving every moment of it. I'm training with JP Francois at his center in Moalboal. There is a 100m drop-off a few meters from the shop and the conditions are generally favorable so it's perfect for training really. It is probably inevitable that I will become an instructor but I'm not in any rush. I love being an educator but I have a lot to learn about freediving and all that must come first before I continue my education beyond the ADIA 4 level.
Why freediving, how did you come to freediving and where did you start?
It's probably the biggest cliché in freediving but I saw the film Le Grand Bleu when I was about 12 years old and the thought of it was imprinted into my brain. I don't know why, perhaps it is just the romanticism of the film, but I knew that was what I wanted to do. However, as I explained above, negative lifestyle choices got in the way and I forgot the childhood dream. It was only 20 years later(!) that I remembered. I looked around me and saw that now my life was ready for this dream to be fulfilled and I signed up for my first courses, which I did at Freedive Gili, Mike Board and Kate Middleton's amazing facility on Gili trawangan in Indonesia.
What are your favorite disciplines and how do you train?
Despite my passion for freediving I still consider myself a baby of the sport and I'm still working on mastering the basics. However, since being in the Philippines I've discovered the joy of diving deep with no fins, which apparently I'm not too bad at. I also love free immersion without the fins and mask and just the noseclip which is such a beautiful feeling for me. In Taiwan I train infrequently in the pool (there is nowhere in my city where I can bring the gear into the pool) but we have a small island not far from where I live with beautiful clear, warm waters, reefs, sea turtles, sharks and rays, and a 45m drop not far from the shore. It's perfect really. The only difficulty is that it's difficult to find suitable dive partners. If I could find them, I'd be in the water every day.
You launched your Podcast The Freedive Café, in this Podcast you interview some freedivers from all around the planet. Being a big fan of podcasts myself, I have to say I really like the idea, what made you start this podcast?
I'm such a huge fan of podcasts. I was an early adopter ten years ago and now I listen to podcasts every day. I love taking this educating information with me everywhere. I especially love anything to do with science, or health and fitness. I thought how amazing it would be if there was a podcast that spoke only to freediving. It's probably the most boring idea in the world for non-freedivers but for freedivers it's like freediving porn for the ears, haha. It occurred to me that there wasn't yet a 'pure' freediving podcast in English. I'm a big believer that we create our own lives on a moment to moment basis and anything is possible when we take the first steps towards a dream, so I decided to become the freediving podcast guy. I sat down one day and made a huge list of freediving personalities and started emailing them like a crazy person. To my astonishment, almost everyone replied quickly to say they wanted to do the interviews! And for purely selfish reasons, this is the best freediving education I can get for myself, but I can share it with everyone else, too.
What is the frequency of your podcast?
At these early stages, I'm aiming to release two episodes a month. I'm a pretty busy person between working full-time, running another website (theplantbasedplan.com), and doing my own training. But further down the line, I foresee the ability to expand the Freedive Café to have weekly episodes and eventually, later down the line, I may start making videos and tutorials, etc.
What is the next step for you?
I teach English to young kids so I will return to Taiwan to those little monsters. Over the next year I will be busy recording tons more interviews with some of the biggest names in freediving and continuing to improve the podcast and the website. Ultimately I would love to move into freediving education full-time, but I won't rush into that. I'll let the ocean decide what happens next.
You can find The Freedive Café Podcast here:
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/freedivecafepodcast/