Natalie Avseenko had a dream to swim with white whales – rare and friendly animals which live only in cold northern seas. But only many years after she decided to fulfill her child dream. She trained a lot, she learned to swim in cold water, even in very cold. Usual people die after 10-15 minutes in water with temperature below zero. But there are techniques how to train yourself and feel comfortably under these conditions. Natalie is experienced freediver and yoga expert, so she created her own schedule of trainings.
Usually belugas and other whales and dolphins do not like scuba divers because they wear a lot of iron and synthetic materials and sea creatures do not like to touch artificial materials. They prefer to interact to freedivers, because they look like whales and move smoothly. The only barrier between these sea creatures and freedivers is their wet suit, made of neoprene.
That is why we thought that white whales would be more friendly and confiding with naked human. They would trust him (or her) that they ‘are of one blood’.
Natalia explaines her deed so: “I thought approaching belugas on equal conditions – to be as vulnerable as they are – would allow them to reciprocate. I had to be exposed to the climate, the cold water and to the people around me. First of all, my soul had to be “naked”; the body being just a derived demonstration of the soul. This was what I thought about when I was going to dive with the belugas without any thermal protection. It was purely for research.”
The project has resulted in numerous publications and documentary “On the Edge”
On the Edge Documentary Backstage is here