Bermuda’s water is famously gorgeous, calm thanks to a coral reef that surrounds the island and takes out the swell, with a steady breeze for sailing and a rich abundance of sea life. It’s home to sailors, fishermen and travelers. It’s also home to born-and-raised Bermudian Taylor Barit.
Most people don’t free-dive, surf and have five world records for spearfishing. But then again, most people aren’t Taylor Barit. “I started going out on the boat with my friends just to be on the water. One day I got a mask, and then I got a spear, and then I got my first fish and I loved it,” Taylor said. “I spearfished a little bit when I was living in California, but I lived near a Great White shark sanctuary, and not a lot of people didn’t want to come out with me,” Taylor tells us with a chuckle. “So I surfed more. Then when I moved back to Bermuda I started getting back into spearfishing.”
That first fish turned into another, and another, and soon Taylor was spearfishing regularly. Then the records started to come.
“The day that I broke my first record, I didn’t really even want to go out, I woke up feeling under the weather and my stomach was killing me,” Taylor told us. “But then my friends teased me, saying ‘well you know, this could be your record day,’ and then I had to go out. We were just covering ground on this reef and all of a sudden a big male hogfish was cruising right next to us. I went down and got him, and that one turned out to be 17.5 pounds. That’s a big fish, I think that record will stick for a while.”
For Taylor, it’s not just about the records or the fish. It’s about centering her life around the outdoors, and spending as much time as she can with friends and family. “My Every day should feel this good moments are when I’m with friends, outside or just recharging by myself. Maybe having a good yoga practice or a good run,” she said, “that’s what matters. That, and when I can get in a good dive before work!”