Kate Hamsikova, FREEDIVER
When Kate first arrived in Ireland 15 years ago, she wasn’t the most confident swimmer. Today, with the help of her family and a solitary local dolphin, she has become an experienced freediver – diving in many of the world’s great oceans, and sharing her passion for the sea with others.
My name is Kate Hamsikova, I'm living on the West of Ireland and I’m a baby and toddler swimming instructor, and free diver.
I love the ocean... When it's calm and you can free dive, you can see everything, but on the other side I love it when you see the huge waves, the wind, the tides... because you're actually finding out how small you are and how powerful the ocean is.
So, Dusty is a wild dolphin, but she's living alone. She chooses to be alone, she doesn't have any family, and we've been swimming with her for 15 years.
When I came to Ireland I wasn't really the greatest swimmer, and dusty and the sea, the connection, it was very powerful and challenging for me because I wasn't the happiest swimmer.
With her I actually started to work on myself quite a lot. You can do much more than you think... you can hold your breath for much longer than you think, you can dive much deeper; so for me the ocean is the best teacher in self-knowledge, to find out who I actually am and what I’m able to do.
Because many times, in the winter, we're swimming and we see the waves bringing in so much rubbish. The funniest thing is that many times we went swimming with Dusty and we jump into the water, and the first thing that she did was bring up plastic bag on her nose. She came to us and she gave it to us and we were cleaning the bay like that for at least an hour. It was amazing to see how... We think the animals don't care, but the animals are very cautious about it.
I think the most powerful thing was when Natalie saw a video of a turtle and they were pulling out, from her nose, a straw. And Natalie, since that, she doesn't like to use straws, she's very cautious about plastic. So I think it's important to show kids what is happening, because they will protect it.
I think with the sea, the most important thing is that the people going into it enjoy it; surf, free dive, because those people who love it will always protect it.