We have all heard of swimming with dolphins, but spinning with them? That is a skill that takes some learning and one that Italian-born Simone Arrigoni, seems to have honed in really well. On Thursday May 19th, the free-diver completed 13 circuits powered entirely by two friendly dolphins - Leah and Quina.
By doing so, he broke his own record of 12 circuits or 'voltas' (Portuguese term to define circles), which he set a few years ago. It took Simone 1min 53 secs to complete the circuits, during which time he 'swam' a total of 675 meters.
And, while it may look easy, there are a lot of different skills that have to be learnt before one can spin with dolphins. For one, Simone had to be completely synchronized with the mammals, which was a little tricky, especially since they surfaced at least twice to breath, while the swimmer remained in position underneath. Simone, says that he accomplished this thanks to the Zoomarine trainers at Torvaianica, Italy, who taught him how to listen to the mammal's conversation and position himself accordingly.
Then there is the issue of being able to hold one's breath during the entire time - For while the dolphins emerge to breath, the swimmer does not. In order to be able to do that, Simone used what is known as dynamic apnea - A common technique used by free-divers, whereby they learn to hold their breath for long periods of time.
While it took Simone three years to break his own record, we have a feeling he will continue his quest for even more 'voltas' powered by these gorgeous friendly marine mammals.