Few years ago when I did the photoshooting with one of the best apnea divers in Croatia, we had no doubts that some of those pictures will end up on many cover pages and inside of various magazines. On the beautiful island of Vis in waters with unbelievably good visiability, while preparing for the new record in No Limit 110 m apnea discipline, we had the most enjoyoable photo shooting with lots of unique and unusual images. Veljano Zanki, the “deepest Croatina” as we also know him, enjoys partying and wildlife, but when it comes to apnea diving he is very dedicated and concentrated. We will most definitely heard a lot about him in the future regarding apnea diving and underwater fishing.
Born in Comisa, Croatia this passionate apnea diver, underwater fisherman, record holder and big lover of the sea, with his childish apperance certainly won’t leave you indifferent. Besides the fact that he is the only man in Croatia at the moment who had descended to the depth of 100 meters, he is also cheerful guy who loves to party. He can hold his breath for about 8 minutes, in the pool he can dive more than 200 meters, and descends more than 100 meters… He is natural apnea diver, and neither sleepless night nor a few glasses of wine couldn’t spoil his dive. He gave his interview for scubalife magazine about his experiences and future plans. Here you can read why Veljano is so special, or you can simply go to Comisa.
HOW AND WHY DID YOU START DIVING?
I’m coming from the island of Vis, city Comisa in Croatia and the love towards the sea appeared in the early school days. While my friends went for swimming I was diving and exploring the sea and the depths that are hiding the biggest secrets of the world. My biggest joy is underwater fishing which is my escape from everyone and time when I can enjoy in the beauty of the sea. I remember when I got my first underwater gun in fourth grade of elementary school, I had to go back on the boat to reload it since I didn’t had the strength to do it underwater. Those were the years when I met my diving instructor and friend Sinisa Zarkovic who opened Diving Center on Vis island. He was the one who tought me all the apnea diving techniques and underwater fishing. I went to Zagreb to high school and couldn’t wait for the summer to get back to the sea.
WHAT ARE YOUR BEST RESULTS IN DIVING?
After high school I went to Split to University and decided to start professional diving. I went to Egypt to contest and set the first croatian diving records. Currently I am the first croatian who descend to a depth more than 100 meters.
You are also known as “the deepest” croatian, NL 110m. How did you prepared yourself for that?
The preparations were complicated and lasted for three months. I mostly practised statics and body adjustments to depths, and various compensation trainings as well. I practised every day with my team and my father.
How did you feel at the depth of 110 meters?
That day I felt very intense. When I took a dive I felt relaxed due to adrenalin and calmness that flowed inside me and I was aware of every single meter. The dive went well and we didn’t hide the joy that we were the first croatians that set the record for the deepest dive.
WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS FOR APNEA DIVING AND UNDERWATER FISHING?
After I finish with my exams I will dedicate myself to sports. There are upcoming events in which I would like to attend, and we will see the results. As for the underwater fishing, I can say that I spend a lot of my time doing it, and I would love to compete, which I intend to do in the next two years.
How are stretching and meditation important for apnea diving?
Stretching is very important for impact of the depth on human body, as well as blood shift. Everyday stretching and breathing exercise are important for underwater fishing and apnea diving. Mental stability is also very important, I’d say even more than physical. When one fail he must stand up again and proceed forward, and there are the differences between many athletes.
WHY SO MANY DIVERS DIE EACH YEAR?
Divers die because of lack of knowledge and experience. Each diver should have the time to understand his/hers body and possibilities. There are so many factors that one must fulfill like breathe practise, fish feeding, hydration and resting of course. Every begginer should educate himself and learn from his older and experienced colleagues.
What are your favorite diving locations?
My favorite locations are arround island of Vis, especially fish hunting on island Brusnik and Jabuka. I am also very fond of Palagruza but since it is far I rarely go there. As for the world destinations I have to mention Egypt because of the clear waters and water temperature. I also wish to see the Dean’s Blue Hole at Bahammas.