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Under 40 metres - an interview with Michal Procajło!

Wojciech Zgola talks to Michał Procajło, a diving and freediving enthusiast who runs the underwater-passion website , about diving below 40 metres. Michal, how did you end up in Croatia? I started as an intern at Viking diving centre in Hvar town 11 years ago. There I took my first steps, and my adventure with
Published: December 2, 2017 - 13:00
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 16:02
Under 40 metres – an interview with Michal Procajło!

Wojciech Zgola talks to Michał Procajło, a diving and freediving enthusiast who runs the underwater-passion website , about diving below 40 metres.

Michal, how did you end up in Croatia?

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I started as an intern at Viking diving centre in Hvar town 11 years ago. There I took my first steps, and my adventure with diving and Croatia continues until now. I have always cooperated with local diving centres, thanks to which I learned the Croatian language well and got to know their culture. The last three seasons I spent on the island of Vis in the diving centre B-24 under the wing of Veljano Zanka, world champion in freediving. I recommend! Fantastic place and great spots.

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And where did the idea of diving come from in the first place?

My father infected me with his passion, he was a lifelong apnea diver and taught me the good basics of snoorkelling. The underwater world enchanted me and I started to develop in this direction by practising freediving. Only when the opportunity to work in a diving centre arose did I start diving in equipment.

Have you counted how much time you spent underwater, adding up diving on held breath and with equipment? How many hours did you leave the Adriatic Sea?

In the Adriatic alone I have done about 1000 hardware dives. As for apnea dives, it is hard to count them. I do not use a computer during freediving. Sometimes I spent in the water even up to 7h, but how much time I spent on the surface and how much underwater – it’s hard to say.

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At what point in your adventure with the big blue did you start capturing images photographically and on film? What made you decide to do that?

I took my first pictures with a film camera. I wanted to be able to share my impressions of my dives with friends and family. I was always inspired by underwater documentaries. Gradually, I tried to improve my technique to achieve better and better results.

What objects fascinate you most and why?

I like the wilderness the most. Locations that are little frequented by divers, hard to reach, where there are strong currents. These are the places where I love to dive. On such places I find the most of underwater life and I can count on good shots.

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I know that you have prepared a short and at the same time interesting film, which will be presented on 3 December on our portal… how will you encourage the audience to watch it?

The video shows the most beautiful reefs around the island of Vis. Some of the positions I filmed are practically unknown and very inaccessible. All the shots in the film were taken in the depth range of 40 – 65 m, where I found red coral, gorgonians of the species gerardiasavaglia and countless numbers of pythros, which are rather rare. Although the Adriatic waters are crystal clear, at these depths everything is grey-blue. To bring out the depth of colours I used strong “Big blue” lighting, the effect you will see soon.

Do you ever dive without a camera or camcorder? How do you feel then?

In my job I rarely take my camera underwater because I am responsible for the people who dive with me and they come first. When I dive for myself, I always take my camera, except maybe on apnea dives.

Tell us what your plans are for the coming year and whether you are taking part in the “Głębiny” Film Festival to be held in Ruda Śląska?

Next year I am planning Spitsbergen, Croatia and Scotland. I hope it will all work out. As for the festival I’m still hesitating, I’d like to be there, but at this point I don’t know yet if I’ll be in the country.

Thank you very much for the interview!


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About author

Marcin Pawełczyk
Marcin’s journey with diving has been an adventure. Starting as a recreational diver, he soon found himself drawn to the fascinating stories and mysteries of Baltic wrecks. After gaining experience, Marcin decided to go beyond just leisurely exploration and took his training up a notch by completing the TMX course, allowing him to explore even deeper and uncover the secrets of inaccessible places. His next challenge has been cave diving, where he is honing his skills to become a certified diver. Not content to simply take in the breathtaking beauty of underwater life, Marcin has also embraced underwater photography since 2018, capturing stunning shots that bring these worlds alive for those who are unable to experience them first-hand. Marcin’s passion for the underwater has taken him far and is sure to continue doing so as he dives into new depths and captures breathtaking images.
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