A pair of divers have returned home to France after spending 10 days conducting frigid freedives off the coast of Qikiqtarjuaq, Nunavut.

Laurent Marie and Cedric Batteur visited the hamlet as part of L'Ame Bleue, an organization that uses the sport of freediving – deep diving without any artificial breathing apparatus – to teach people about the marine environment.


French freedivers Laurent Marie (pictured) and Cedric Batteur recently spent 10 days diving in the frigid waters off the coast of Qikiqtarjuaq. (Submitted by Laurent Marie)

During the trip, Marie was able to freedive in the frigid waters off Baffin Island — temperatures hovered around two degrees Celsius during the dives — for over two minutes.

L'Ame Bleue also dove with a local fisherman who harvests clams beneath the ice, and collected Arctic plankton samples for a French university. 

Marie and Batteur also used their time in Qikiqtarjuaq — their second trip to the hamlet — to outfit some of the hamlet's youth to attempt their own dives, if only for a few seconds.

Laurent Marie 2

Laurent Marie helps a young diver from Qikiqtarjuaq put on a dry suit during L'Ame Bleue's trip to the Nunavut hamlet last summer. (Joël Marie)

"I hope that they continue diving," said Marie. "We've offered them dry suits and we hope that they are future divers. I hope they keep their confidence, their determination, in the future and the rest of their lives."