Charles Matthee has over twenty-five years experience in spearfishing and freediving having grown up on the coast of Kwazulu Natal in South Africa.
His passion for the ocean was evident from a young age where Charles spent most days at the beach fishing, surfing, and spearfishing. “The ocean is a domain that puts me at ease and makes me feel at one with the elements around me, a place of peace and serenity without distractions. The water has provided me with a unique opportunity to interact with a vast array of marine inhabitants including dolphins, manta rays, sharks and whales. Growing up in this environment really makes one appreciate the unique and privileged upbringing we experienced and were exposed to.”
Charles has travelled widely to explore his sport by spearfishing in Ascension Island, Ghana, Mexico, Mozambique and across Southern Africa. Charles broke the South African National Spearfishing record for Yellowfin Tuna in 2004 with his capture of a 95kg fish, which was shot off Cape Point in South Africa. “Being able to interact with huge pelagic fish and an array of shark species in the ocean is a exciting experience. Each dive is unique with a sense of the unknown, at times it can be exhilarating full of pumping adrenalin yet you must retain the ability to remain calm and composed”
“Freediving has enhanced my spearfishing abilities by entwining my knowledge of breathing, physiology and safety allowing me to relax more in the ocean to achieve better depths and breath-hold.” This combination puts Charles in a stronger position to venture deeper into his “marine playground.”
Charles is brilliant in the water, both as a diver, spearfisher and educator, and all his students compliment him on his patience and good humour. “I thoroughly enjoy imparting my experience and knowledge on to students and get a great sense of achievement in enabling people to push themselves outside of their comfort zones and succeed in their freediving endeavours.”