Born in Johannesburg, Hanli studied acting and filmmaking in Gothenburg, Sweden. An inspired and passionate free diver, Hanli holds multiple South African records. Her decade-long competitive freediving career enabled her to travel to and get to know the world’s finest dive locations. Having taught her beloved sport to over 500 individuals, Hanli is a world-class instructor with an unbridled love for sharing the ocean with others.
Growing up in rural South Africa, her love of nature and the human need for wilderness was instilled at an early age. Her passion for the marine ecosystem led her to found the non-profit I AM WATER Ocean Conservation in 2010, promoting ocean conservation through human experience and reconnecting people with nature.
Born in Atlanta in the USA, Peter graduated from Stanford University with a degree in Economics before pursuing his dream of becoming a professional swimmer. During his career, Peter claimed two world titles, eight world records and enjoyed eleven consecutive years on the US National Team. Peter is a qualified freediving instructor, Los Angeles County ocean lifeguard and acclaimed underwater photographer.
Using his extensive in-water skills, Peter is best known for capturing human/animal interactions underwater on one breath, with no artificial light. Passionate about seeing sustainability in both business and sports, Peter is the driving force behind the social entrepreneurship model of I AM WATER Ocean Travel and Program Director of I AM WATER Ocean Conservation Foundation in Cape Town.
The I AM WATER mission is to inspire people to fall in love with the ocean. Much of today’s ocean degradation is fundamentally due to human disconnect. Many people feel very little, or no connection to the ocean, behaving in ways that negatively affect the well-being of this precious resource. Hanli and Peter feel especially passionate about working with underserved and low-income coastal communities where, despite living within walking distance to the shoreline, many young people have never seen the world that exists beneath the waves.
Cape Town is one of the most picturesque cities in the world with travellers drawn to the majestic mountains, inspiring culinary scene and delicious wines. Yet few people come to the Peninsula to explore the spectacular world beneath the waves where two very diverse ocean currents converge – the warm Agulhas from the east and the cold Benguela from the south – resulting in an abundant marine ecosystem with a thriving kelp forest, seal colonies and hidden secrets.
Freediving is an age-old practice for exploring the ocean in one breath. With its roots in subsistence living off the sea, freediving has become a competitive sport with disciplines, competitions and world records. In contrast to scuba, freediving is the most natural way of being underwater and enables you to get closer to the animals while having the least impact on the ecosystem.
Joining Hanli and Peter requires no more than a general interest in the ocean, basic swimming abilities and good health.