From our regular columnists

Australia: Victoria's Secret

August 22, 2017 - 17:36
The story is found: 
on page 41

“You can dive in Melbourne?” was the baffled response from a Queensland hotel concierge upon telling her I was heading to Victoria to dive. And this was from an Australian who WAS a diver! When overseas visitors think of Australia, the Great Barrier Reef immediately comes to mind. However, Australian diving is not just about coral. Along the continent’s southern coast is an undersea world far removed from the tropics.

Although a long-time tropical diver, trips to the Great Lakes, South Africa and Denmark have triggered my interest in temperate diving. Seeing new environments and species have amped up my enthusiasm, especially with regards to photography.

Australia: The Little Life on the Great Barrier Reef

July 28, 2017 - 12:33
The story is found: 
on page 53

There is nothing small about the Great Barrier Reef. It is not only the largest coral reef system on Earth, but probably the most well-known. You would be hard-pressed to find divers who do not have it on their dive wish lists. It is Earth’s largest living structure and reaches over 2,300km (1,400 miles) down the coast of Queensland, Australia.

Love and respect for this massive reef system goes back many years (possibly with the exception of Captain James Cook, who found himself run aground on it). It has been a marine park since 1975 and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Oceanic Whitetip Sharks of Cat Island

July 18, 2017 - 13:29
The story is found: 
on page 33

Until quite recently, the Red Sea was generally considered as the best place to see and photograph oceanic whitetip sharks—typically in remote locations such as the Brother Islands and Elphinstone Reef in Egypt or the isolated reefs of southern Sudan.

Oceanic whitetip sharks are formidable animals that can reach almost 4m in length when fully mature and have a reputation to match their size, with Jacques Cousteau once describing them as "the most dangerous of all sharks." That said, they do not feature highly on the common shark-attack registe

Great Hammerhead Sharks of South Bimini

July 18, 2017 - 13:27
The story is found: 
on page 61

Like a fashion model up on the catwalk, great hammerhead sharks sashay into one’s field of vision, and, if they were human, you would probably say they have just “made an entrance”. Their strange mallet-like head, robust body girth and tall sickle-shaped dorsal fin make them well-nigh instantly recognisable, and most other sharks in the immediate area spot that too and give them a wide berth.

The great hammerhead shark has a unique and distinguished presence in the water, cautious but confident, and seemingly in control of its environment. As it approaches, its distinctive head sweeps from side to side, causing the rest of its body to move in an almost snake-like manner.

The Future of Scuba Diving in a Flat World – Part II

July 18, 2017 - 13:19
The story is found: 
on page 62

At the end of my article in the previous issue, I referred to the fact that developing technologies, expanding markets and customers with different backgrounds and expectations have presented diver training agencies with challenges as well as opportunities. One major challenge has been to adapt training programmes to a changing world, while endeavouring to maintain the structures and paradigms that have been in place for over 50 years.

— This is the second piece in a two-part article, adapted from a chapter in my book, Scuba Professional – Insights into Sport Diver Training and Operations.

Pushing the Altitude: The Quest to Document the SS Tahoe

June 27, 2017 - 11:53
The story is found: 
on page 69

June 2017 — Fifty-six-year-old explorer Martin McClellan is determined to revisit the SS Tahoe to conduct an extensive photogrammetric survey of the wreck. The 169ft (52m)-long 19th century steamship, which was scuttled in 1940, rests intact on a steep underwater slope at a maximum depth of 470ffw (144mfw) beneath Glenbrook Bay in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, USA.

McClellan was the first to dive the Tahoe with Brian Morris under the banner of his organization New Millennium Dive Expeditions (NMDE) in 2002, and has conducted 10 open-circuit dives on the wreck over the last 15 years.

Aircraft Wrecks of Papua New Guinea

June 08, 2017 - 15:29
The story is found: 
on page 6

World War II came to the Australian territory of Papua New Guinea in January 1942 when the Imperial Japanese Army invaded Rabaul in New Britain, followed shortly after by the taking of Kavieng in New Ireland. The invasion turned Papua New Guinea into a major theatre of war in the battle for the Pacific, and there were many brutal encounters between the invading Japanese and the defending Allied forces.

Conditions were often appalling and the fighting was incredibly fierce, with many young lives lost on both sides. To this day, relics of those battles are part of the fabric of Papua New Guinea.

Risk-Taking in Diving: Is it Worth it?

May 26, 2017 - 15:01
The story is found: 
on page 55

Diving is a sport which has an inherent risk of death or serious injury due to the aquatic environment in which the activity takes place. These risks are not just limited to drowning or decompression sickness, but many other issues like entanglement, injuries from the flora and fauna, or trauma.

It is this balance of risks that is often hard to understand when something goes wrong and a diver is killed, injured or has a really “scary” moment. We often forget that there are ever-present, low probability, high consequence risks whenever we go diving.

The Future of Scuba Diving in a Flat World – Part 1

May 20, 2017 - 14:04
The story is found: 
on page 52

In 2005, Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas Friedman wrote his book, The World Is Flat, describing the epoch-defining effects of technological globalisation in the early 21st century. He explained his use of the word “flat” as meaning “equalising.” That is, equalising power, knowledge, opportunity and the ability to connect, compete and collaborate.

— This is the first in a two-part article, adapted from a chapter in my book Scuba Professional: Insights into Sport Diver Training and Operations. Part two will be featured in the next issue.