season: October - April



Within all of us there is a calling to explore the remote places, to experience things that very few people have and to challenge ourselves using the natural environment as that medium. When we find ourselves in these situations we feel a sense of freedom, of self empowerment, camaraderie and purpose.


Personally guided by professional waterman Joe Knight and Julian Hansford, you will experience the highest quality of training in the following areas:


  • Apnea
  • Advanced Swimming Techniques
  • Freediving
  • Sea Survival
  • Training Principals 
  • Planning and Preparedness
  • First aid and Rescue
  • Panic / Fear management


During the coaching sessions on the fundamentals of watermanship you will be guided around

some of the best ocean systems that New Zealand has to offer.

By applying your newly learned watermanship techniques and under the supervision of Joe and

Julian a new world will open before you, a world of unlimited possibilities in ocean adventure.

The days will be alternating between watermanship training, guided waterman exploration, underwater photography and selective/sustainable spearfishing.


what is the spwp?

South Pacific Waterman Project is a project that started in 2015 with the aim to provide a community service by promoting education of watermanship skills in the Pacific Islands. So far, various programs have been run, with the locals being trained in an aim to improve their skills and safety in the ocean, their lifestyles, their diet and as a result, that of their villages.

We are really excited to keep sharing this valuable knowledge with the local communities and also, keep learning from their culture in their beautiful islands.

Each program that is run through the South Pacific Waterman Project will directly help fund and provide the local community with valuable training and support.


What is waterman?


“A waterman is someone who is competent and confident in the ocean without the aid of a craft, has a well rounded ability in all ocean disciplines, has a compassionate, proactive and respectful approach towards the ocean and is a natural leader and mentor of other ocean users. In other words a waterman is an ocean ambassador.”  Joe Knight


What is watermanship training

Whatever your core ocean discipline is; Surfing, Surf Photography, Freediving, Paddleboarding, Kiteboarding, Ocean Swimming… One Ocean Watermanship Training aims to contextualise the training to suit your needs and give you the broadest training in general watermanship possible. The program covers principals from the freediving, lifesaving and watermanship.

Pre Requisits: 

Must be physically fit, medically fit (see below) and have good knowledge of general watermanship, e.g. surfer, freediver, ocean swimmer, windsurfer, life guard or a general ocean enthusiast. No prior training in watermanship, surf survival, breath hold or freediving is necessary. Minimum age is 16.


Course Duration: 1 - 4  Day Packages

Cost: From $500

What is supplied?

  • Accommodation
  • Vessel and Skipper
  • Mask
  • Weightbelt
  • Wetsut
  • Fins
  • Spearfishing Hardware
  • SUP
  • Yoga Mats
  • Accreditation under Apnea Academy
  • Food
  • Study Equipment
  • Safety Equipment


Medical Fitness

You will be asked to complete a medical declaration and unless you suffer a medical condition that is a contradiction to watermanship you will not be required to complete a medical examination. Students with contradicting medical conditions will be required to undergo a dive medical that meets the Australian Standard 4005.1. 

Medical conditions that are of concern are: lung conditions, heart condition, epilepsy, diabetes, any ear problems or any other major medical conditions. 







Joe Knight

Joe was raised in Flinders, Victoria and since the age of 10 he has been full time in the ocean. Freediving was his first and still major ocean passion. Joe was one of the three initial juniors to join the Southern Freedivers Spearfishing Club based in Victoria in 1994 and this is where his underwater education officially started.

Joe’s first official employment was with the Royal Australian Navy where he served for 6 years. After honourably discharging in 2008 with a Maritime Commanders Australia Commendation 

he moved into ocean safety, first with an offshore survival training centre called ERGT based in Perth then founding his own company One Ocean International which he continues to run to this day.

Joe has been in and around the ocean under many hats which include:

  • State, National and International Spearfishing Competitions 1994 - 2012
  • Navy medic and ships diver 2002 - 2008
  • Sea Urchin Diving in New Zealand 2010 - 2011 
  • Trochas Shell Diving 2013 
  • Greenlip Abalone Diving 2014
  • Safety Officer 2005 Australian Spearfishing Championships
  • Safety diver for Vertical Blue 2013 International freediving competition
  • after safety team for Farm House Films 2014 - 2015 big wave surfing expeditions
  • Freediving instructor and guide Byron Bay Dive Centre 2011 - 2013
  • Underwater photographer 2012 - Present
  • Freediving and Spearfishing safety trainer for Blue Water Explorer Tonga 2014
  • Specimen shell diver / deckhand 2016 - present 


Julian Hansford

Julian was born in Auckland and since a child has lived his life in and around the ocean.

Julian is a well rounded professional waterman, from freediving, windsurfing, sailing, surfing he has done it all.

Julians watermanship career continues to thrive with many great achievements thus far which include:

  • Commercial Boat Skipper
  • Commercial free diver abalone NZ
  • Commercial air diver abalone South Australia
  • ADAS L3 construction diver- AUS and NZ
  • Diver Medical Technician -Aus and NZ
  • Beche De Mer Diver- Queensland Aus
  • Tuna harvest diver- Port Lincoln SA
  • 7x New Zealand Spearfishing champion
  • 2 x World Spearfishing Championships Competitor