Manuel Menendez Hunting for Dinner by Felix Leander

If I were stuck on a deserted island there is only one person I would want to be with in terms of survival and having "food on the table".  When I was approached by a friend who was tasked by AJ+ (part of the Al Jazeera) to do a segment on "Hunting for Dinner" - I knew Manuel Menendez would be the person to feature.

Manuel is a Miami native who has been diving the South Florida waters for over 30 years.  He knows where to find fish and how to catch them (pole spear, spear gun, hands, whatever it takes) while freediving.  You go out with Manuel and you are pretty much guaranteed to have a delicious dinner and a better understanding of the SOFL wildlife.  

We have been friends for over 5 years now and it is always a pleasure to explore the ocean with him - solid guy who will be there when you need it.

Below is the video that was featured on AJ+

Hawaii Skin Diver Magazine by Felix Leander

Growing up I would anxiously wait for our subscription to Skin Diver and National Geographic (particularly for those issues that featured underwater photography).  Of course National Geographic had a much higher standard than Skin Diver and over time - looking at divers with SCUBA gear on above a coral getting blasted with a flash was just boring.

For a short while there was Ocean Realm Magazine with absolutely stunning images - unfortunately this publication no longer exists.  There were a few others that focus on Freediving and sharks but they definitely are definitely not top tier.

Freediving with sharks featured in HSD...

Enter Hawaii Skin Diver (HSD) - by far in a class of it’s own.  Not only does the publication focus on spearfishing and freediving - the quality of the photos, design / layout of the magazine / articles are world class and award winning.

HSD became what it is today thanks to Sterling Kaya and Clifford Cheng.  In 1999, Sterling bought the magazine and brought on Clif as a partner.  Clif has an exceptional eye for design (he studied graphic design at the University of Hawaii).  The team is extremely small and the magazine relies on help of photographers and writers that contribute articles from all over the world.  And while the name of the magazine has “Hawaii” in it…it covers spearfishing / freediving from all over the world.

Manuel Menendez on cover of HSD

The magazine is published on a quarterly basis - if you do not have a subscription yet, I encourage you to subscribe.

Logan Mock-Bunting Captures Freediving Competition by Felix Leander

Came across a Wired article about freediving yesterday that features the photography of Logan Mock-Bunting.  Logan was in the Bahamas late last year to document the 2014 Vertical Blue freediving competition.  He captured the ups and downs (literally and figuratively) of the participants - from the celebrations to the black outs.

Shallow water black-out.  Image by: Logan Mock-Bunting

Be sure to check out his work at