Interview with James Nestor


This is a wide ranging, free flowing chat with James Nestor, the Author of Deep: Freediving, Renegade Science and What the Ocean Tells us About Ourselves. I found out that James is also a spearo and came to it through freediving. Spearfishing was the logical next step after pairing his strong sense of responsibility towards the ocean, along with his new found passion freediving. His selective mindset towards fishing is awesome and its something that many of us recognize in our own spearfishing mindsets.

In this interview we delve into his experience starting both freediving and spearfishing, which were both unusual introductions to say the least. We also discuss his bestselling book Deep and many of the situations and information that intrigued me. If you have a lot of curiosity about the ocean in which we spend countless hours chasing fish, then you will enjoy this chat and probably the deep book as well (links to everything we chat about as well as the book are below). Listen in:)

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James Nestor Interview Time Stamps

4:00 James Nestor Introduction (thanks to Chris Schlenner who recommended the Deep book and suggested we have an interview!)

  • How did you get introduced to freediving?
  • Who were your biggest freediving influences?

9:00 Overview of some of the freediving concepts discussed in the Deep book

  • What is the masterswitch?
  • How do people tap into the mammalian dive reflex?
  • What intrigued you so much about freediving?

11:00 What were some of your obstacles getting started freediving?

17:00 How were you introduced to spearfishing?

25:00 What is one of the toughest situations you’ve been in in the ocean?

27:00 Veterans Vault

Marine Mammal Communication

  • What is the experience like diving with sperm whales?
  • What are some of the research challenges that freediving is helping to overcome?
  • What are you guys investigating currently with marine mammal communication?

CETI Foundation – get involved

Interview with James Nestor. Here pictured with a Roatan Dolphin

Freediving Physiology

  • What do you understand about blood-shift?
  • What other physiological responses do our bodies have to freediving at depth?
  • Can diet affect or improve our freediving performance?

Deep Book free on Noob Spearo

Mentioned in the interview are these people and situations:

  • Herbert Niches deep dive injury
  • Diving with the Ama (ancient Japanese female diving group)
  • The conservation aspect of spearfishing
  • Taking a homemade submarine journey down to depth
  • Diving with sperm whales
  • Magneto reception and magnetic fields
  • Aquarius Underwater Research Station

52:00 What is one of the funniest things you have seen spearfishing?

54:00 What is in your spearfishing equipment bag?

58:00 California Spearfishing and Abalone diving

60:00 Spearo | Freediver Q & A

  1. What is the best advice you have received freediving or spearfishing?
  2. Who has been the most influential person in your freediving and spearfishing?
  3. What are the current challenges you face freediving and spearfishing?
  4. Who is your favorite person to go spearfishing with and why?
  5. What three pieces of advice would you give to someone starting spearfishing?

James Nestor Spearfishing for dinner

Websites and Articles Mentioned

Deep: Freediving, Renegade Science and What the Ocean Tells Us About Ourselves

Find James Here

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