How do you make your tails?

How long can you hold your breath?

What animals do you swim with?

How do you become a professional mermaid?

How many tails do you have?

How do you see underwater? Doesn't the water sting your eyes?

How do you stop water going up your nose?

How deep can you free dive?

What's your favorite dive location?

Aren't you scared of sharks, sting rays and big whales?

finis competitor monofin Blue Tail gold tail How do you make your mermaid tails? 

I don't currently make mermaid tails for other people because they are very time consuming, expensive and difficult to fit to the exact dimensions of another person's body shape. When I can streamline the process in the future I plan to offer specialty tails for sale. At the moment it takes over 4 months of full time work and thousands of dollars in materials. However, if you happen to have a production budget of over $20,000.. we can create a custom tail for you. I am happy to share tips on tail making so you can go through the creative process yourself! I made my tail out of a FINIS COMPETITOR MONOFIN.  I can offer you a 10% discount if you use a special code when purchasing : The code is 'Hannah'  (partner or affiliate code)  You enter the code at checkout. Finis also sells a kids mermaid monofin, which is a smaller, cheaper option. The main part of the tail covering is made from 3 mm wetsuit neoprene material. Cut it into the mermaid tail shape by lying on the fabric and tracing your outline while wearing your monofin. It needs to be skin tight so that its not baggy and water doesn't get inside and slow you down when swimming. Cut a zipper line down the back of the tail down to the ankle. Use a very strong, stainless steel (from outside awnings/ furniture manufacturer) type of zipper that wont break or rust in water. Use screen printing heat set paint to color the tail with your scale design, and/or sew on any decorations, such as sequins, shells etc. Sew the 2 sides of the tail together with the decorated and painted sides facing each other, then turn it right side out.  Leave the fin end and the top waist area open. Insert the monofin into the bottom of the wetsuit tail. Hand sew or use E6000 bonding glue to seal the end of the wetsuit tail closed. You can add extra fins onto end of the tail using flexible plastics such as floor matting or curtain fringing material of your choice. Use E6000 glue to adhere. I create the mermaid tops out of bras, and cover them with sequins, shells, diamontes, fake seaweed and netting, and I use stretchy transparent beading string to hold them on while swimming. Creating your own tail is a pretty laborious process with some trial and error!! But it's a lot of fun to create your own tail. Without the professional competitor fin it probably costs about $600 in materials. Please use your own creativity... I think each tail should be unique and an expression of each persons individuality. Please create your own original colors and designs. You can use my tips to help you create your own unique tail that is different to my patterns and look. Good luck and happy mermaiding!~ 

fish feeding How long can you hold your breath? 

I can hold my breath for about 2 minutes while swimming and performing underwater. Yoga, deep breathing and breath hold practice, as well as aerobic/dance practice help to strengthen and expand the lungs so that you can hold your breath longer. Blowing up a large balloon every day will also strengthen the lungs. While in the water, relax, slow down the breathing and in turn slow down the heart rate, which then uses less oxygen for the body. Before submerging, deep breathe for 1 minute.. focusing on a very slow exhalation... then take 3 long breaths and as you go under release a small portion of your breath to take the fullness out of the lungs. As with most things, breath holding is practice, practice practice! note: DO NOT ever hold your breath longer than you feel comfortable, as there is a danger of blacking out underwater, and drowning. Always dive with a buddy so you can look after each other. I suggest taking a free diving course to learn how to extend breath hold safely and with techniques to get faster results.

Hannah with Whale in Tonga Hannah with dolphins in Hawaii Great White Shark What animals do you swim with? 

Humpback Whales, Dolphins, Great White Sharks, Whale Sharks, Nurse sharks, Caribbean reef sharks, Dugongs/Manatees, Seals, Sea Lions, Turtles, Leopard Sharks, Stingrays, Bat Rays, Manta Rays, all kinds of fish, eels and shark rays are among some of the animals I have interacted with.

Mermaid press release How do you become a professional mermaid? 

Being a professional mermaid is a SELF CREATED job. There are no schools you can go to, or agents that will find you specific mermaid work. You have to be self motivated and creative in your approach to making it happen! Create or buy a tail. Practice with it in the ocean/pool until you are very comfortable and can do a range of movements and can hold your breath for at least 40 seconds. Search for underwater photographers or film makers in your local area that would be interested in taking some test shots of you. Some pools have viewing windows that you can film through so you don't need an underwater filmer. The best place to look for an underwater film or photographer is dive shops or you can also try to find surf photographers. You need to know how to model in front of a camera with confidence and success before you try it underwater, so get practice with that and get a portfolio or test shoot done. Once you have successful photos of you in and out of the water, you can approach a model agency to get you work modeling for more experience and contacts. You can post your videos to Youtube, and many other online modeling websites. You can start to promote yourself as a mermaid through working for kids parties, or model shoots or press releases. Working with environmental projects or organizations that help the ocean and its animals is a great way to understand the environment you want to work in and is a great way to give back to this amazing resource. I have begun collecting performers and experienced models who have the natural talent to be mermaids and booking them out for events when I have requests for extra mermaids. At some point in the near future I will offer mermaid schools and workshops… stay tuned. SOME MERMAID TAIL CREATORS:

Hannah Mermaid age 9 silver tail Tail collection How many tails do you have? 

I have 6 in action now.. and 3 retired. I have another 4 currently under construction. At the moment I am using a gold tail, a light pastel pink/aqua tail, a rainbow green blue tail, a black/silver tail, an orange/white Koi tail, a zebra Tail and a blue/gold tail.. Each tail I make has new features as I learn more with each experience. I made my very first tail when I was only 9 years old, which was created with a plastic orange table cloth and pillow stuffing and I wore it in the pool until it fell to pieces! It wasn't very functional, but it satisfied my creative endeavors at the time, and has now expanded to create a lifestyle doing what I love. Each tail has different characteristics that create a different swimming feeling. some have more rigid fins that give stronger propulsion, some have more flexible fins that allow more twists, turns and aquabatics!

Hannah eyes Shark Shipwreck Whale Shark and Mermaid How do you see underwater? 

No-one can see clearly underwater.. human eyes are not made that way. However, you can learn to be comfortable with the blurry vision and operate as best as possible within that. Many people say that salt water and chlorine water sting their eyes, but you do get used to it.. Although there are some oceans that are especially salty, such as the Mediterranean, which I found very difficult to keep my eyes open in. Ocean salt water is not bad for your eyes. Our tears are salt water. Salt water cleanses and flushes. However if you stay in the ocean for a long time with your eyes open, you will get sore,red and possibly blurry eyes for a few hours afterwards. Your eyes will return to normal after they have settled down. Chlorine is worse for your eyes. It is a chemical that is an irritant to the eyes. I have worked in a pool for 6 hours in chlorine with eyes open and my eyes were so blurry, teary and sore afterwards that I couldn't see well enough to drive home! People have told me that you can put milk in your eyes to calm and soothe them, but that is an urban myth from what I understand. I've never tried it. I once paid $1000 for specially designed underwater contact lenses that had a convex magnifying spot over the pupil to re-adjust the angle of vision to be able to see clearly underwater. They were uncomfortable to wear and hard to see while out of the water, but they worked about 80% as good as a pair of goggles while swimming. However, the design seems faulty as they fell out of my eyes within 5 minutes of wearing them underwater. I followed all the instructions, tried again and the same thing happened. So I cant endorse that product.

Whale Shark surrender How do you stop water going up your nose? 

You can wear a nose clip.. but that doesn’t look like a real mermaid! so.. the short answer is.. You cant! You get used it it.. and it's not bad for you unless you are swimming in polluted water.. although you will have water streaming unpleasantly from your nose in social situations for hours after you dive! ;) It's not great for a first date!

Mermaid and Dolphins How deep can you free dive? 

About 50 ft deep without an oxygen tank. When I am shooting deeper than 20 ft it is beneficial to work with a buddy breather scuba partner. He has an extra air-hose on his air-tank that i can use in between filming when I hold my breath. This presents a danger because I cannot go up to the surface with compressed air in my lungs or I might die, so I have to trust my air supply diver with my life, and my own abilities to get back to him in time for more air.

Bali - Indonesia What's your favorite dive location? 

I have been to some really great locations and each is wonderful in its own way for different reasons : Fiji: Such pretty reef and fish! very tropical warm water that you can laze around in for hours and hours! The beaches are really gorgeous and sunsets are really beautiful. Tonga: Swimming with Whales should be on the bucket list of every mermaid! Totally life altering experience! There are also some great cave dives there. East Coast of Australia.. I went diving a lot in Byron bay.. wonderful natural playground ocean sanctuary with sharks, manta rays, fish and turtles. The great barrier reef has many beautiful spots. Galapagos Islands: amazing birthplace of many ocean species, and a wonderful melting pot where warm water currents meet cold, and life is exploding in the ocean! Bali: There are some really beautiful spots here including Tulamben shipwreck where I shot a great mermaid video clip. Guadalupe Island: Pretty cold water, but very clear visibility, and it's amazing to swim with great white sharks and seals in the wild! Oslob in the Philippines: Whale sharks gather here naturally, and the local fishermen have created a small eco tourism opportunity taking people out in tiny paddle boats to see them in their natural environment. I support this fully as that area of Asia is renowned for shark finning, so its great to see the tide turning to non-invasive viewing rather than slaughter! Tonga in the South Pacific: One of the only places in the world where you can legally swim with humpback whales with a registered whale watching boat. AMAZING!

Atlantis Manta ray Mermaid and whale mermaid and dolphins Aren't you scared of sharks, sting rays and big whales? 

We were swimming way out in the ocean and looking down at the endless blue depths, gorgeous rays of sunlight shooting down into the endless depths of the ocean, and a huge mother whale began to surface underneath me, getting larger and larger! I realized I could end up in this whale’s blowhole or its mouth and I didn'’t know what to do. But the whales seemed so aware —of their own size, where I was it came up within a couple of feet of me. It was amazing how conscious it was of its effect on me, down to the swishing of its tail. You can feel that intelligence emanating from them. You look them in the eye and there’s this ancient consciousness looking back.   The whales started singing to each other. It was mind-blowing. This big mama’s song was so deep and so rumbly, it was like standing in front of the largest speaker stack in the world, just this massive whale rock concert where your ribs vibrate. I felt like it was rearranging my DNA molecules; it was reverberating through every cell in my body. The baby whale was singing in such high-pitched trumpeting notes that it was nearly too loud and too high pitched for my ears to deal with. And of course water carries sound so you feel it coming from every angle. It was just phenomenal.   When we got back in the boat we were crying. This emotional release happened that was so powerful, and I knew at that moment that I would put my life on the line to protect these creatures. They’re just so special, so beautiful, and so conscious. I felt so grateful that even after hundreds of thousands of years of humans decimating their species, they’re still so curious, interactive and show so much joy and curiosity. As we were driving back in the boat there was another young whale that kept up with our boat and kept breaching, jumping, leaping out of the water, so full of this joy to be alive, until it couldn’'t jump anymore. It was beyond amazing.   Swimming with 14 ft great white sharks was totally overwhelming!! I was so scared before I did it, I had sweaty palms and nightmares for weeks beforehand, but when I did it.. Although I was definitely in a fight or flight, moment of facing death experience, I was very calm and focused on where I was, what I had to do and being super conscious of every move that the sharks made! I was on a stinky old fishing trawler off Guadalupe Island in Mexico, The experience was an incredible opportunity to face all of my fears of the predator of the ocean. Although I’d been swimming as a mermaid for quite a few years I’d never seen a shark, and of course that’s the first question everyone asks: “Aren’'t you afraid of sharks?” And I was always replied, “Well, yeah, but that’s not going to stop me from following my passion!” So when I had the opportunity to go swim with sharks I thought ‘well this is the moment, if you want to be a REAL mermaid!’ I threw myself in the deep end, and as far as I know I was the first mermaid to ever be filmed swimming with great white sharks in the wild, with no cage, wearing a tail, breath holding, with no safety gear! Swimming with giant manta rays was nothing short of having an encounter with aliens from another planet! They are so graceful, unusual and beautiful it's very surreal to spend time with them. They are totally peaceful animals and wont hurt you in anyway. A common misconception is that they have a stinger like sting rays but this is not true. The only time I was in danger swimming with a manta was when I got too close to one of it's wingtips. It got scared and flapped its wing hard to swim away, and the muscled wing tip flicked my head quite strongly. I suggest you give them plenty of space so as not to alarm them and scare them off:) Most animals (with the exception of some sharks) are more scared of us than we are of them, so as long as you are aware of the dangers, respectful and keep your distance from sea life, they will not go out of their way to hurt you. Generally people only get hurt when they frighten an animal, try to touch it or are unaware of crowding it. Learn about the ocean and the creatures before you try to interact with any animals.