From our regular columnists

Indonesia's Komodo Island

July 19, 2016 - 12:37
The story is found: 
on page 10

It was one of those diving vacations where the weather was perfect, the seas were calm, the sun was shining, and the waters were warmer than expected, with good visibility and plenty of life. The boat was beautiful, the crew was fantastic, the food was amazing, the coffee hot and the beer cold. And the diving location was like no other. Let me take you to Komodo.

(I will warn you in advance: This story is about one of “those” trips. It might make you green with envy, but it will definitely make you wish you were there, and will probably have you planning your next dive trip to take place in this magical spot.)

To Shark Dive or Not to Shark Dive

June 21, 2016 - 15:05
The story is found: 
on page 61

It was seven in the morning and my coffee hadn’t kicked in yet. The dive guide was giving me a slightly more thorough dive briefing than normal. I wasn’t supposed to wear anything colorful or shiny, and black gloves and a hood were required. Also covered in black neoprene, he was putting on chainmail gloves and told me he’d have a pole with him. He said it was more for the potato cods though, not the sharks.

Taking a giant stride off the back on the boat, the chill of the water snapped me out of my early-morning haze. Below me, the sharks were already there; at least ten were circling below the boat.

Choose Wisely: How to Spot a Good Dive Instructor

June 20, 2016 - 15:56
The story is found: 
on page 48

This issue's column is taken from a chapter in my new book Scuba Fundamental—Start Diving the Right Way, which aims to help people prepare for scuba diving, understand how the process works and make the right choices once they start.

The chapter “Choose Wisely” is a guide to making probably the most important decision of all: selecting the right instructor. I thought the topic might be interesting for current divers too and not only so you can advise friends who are thinking of learning to dive.

British Columbia's Newest Wreck Celebrates First Year

May 04, 2016 - 16:49
The story is found: 
on page 9

For the local diving community, it is hard to imagine a full year has already passed since the sinking of the HMCS Annapolis in Halkett Bay, off Gambier Island in British Columbia, Canada. It only seemed like yesterday when crowds of onlookers gathered to watch the sinking on 4 April 2015. In little over two minutes, the ship was on the bottom, and Howe Sound had its first substantial wreck at 371ft (113m) in length!

According to Jan Breckman, co-owner of Sea Dragon Charters out of Horseshoe Bay, business continues to be strong a year later: “Yes, it looks like another great year is coming up!

Shark Diving: Tips on Photographing Sharks

April 28, 2016 - 16:57
The story is found: 
on page 63

On one of my recent dive trips, a post-dive dinner conversation turned to the topic of capturing epic shark photographs. A magazine photo editor was in our group, and I wanted to know how photographers got those perfectly lit, very close shots of sharks, which are typically quite shy around divers. He told me shark feeds, or using bait to lure the sharks, is one of the only ways to get sharks close enough for those types of photos.

There are a few places in the world where one can see sharks quite close naturally (without divers changing the natural environment with food), such as the sardine run in South Africa where huge bait balls attract sharks.

British Columbia's Sunshine Coast

April 07, 2016 - 14:57
The story is found: 
on page 30

With over 53 miles (86km) of scenic picturesque coastline along Highway 101 and less than 40 inches (104cm) of rainfall per year, it’s no wonder the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia in Canada is a popular getaway for travelers from around the world. Both the upper and the lower sections offer an array of great dive sites and a myriad of other fun activities on a year-round basis.

The lower Sunshine Coast is located between Langdale and Earl’s Cove, accessed via a car ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Langdale (40 min sailing). The town of Sechelt is a 30-minute drive north where divers can explore Sechelt Inlet.

The Other Side of Checkout Dives

April 02, 2016 - 17:33
The story is found: 
on page 50

Francis was an instructor working at a dive centre in French Polynesia. One day, he picked up a couple from a nearby hotel to go diving. They had asked to do a drift dive through a pass in the reef, a site notorious for fast currents and scores of reef sharks.

Given his doubts, he considered recommending that they go to another dive site instead. However, he knew that when they called to book the dive, they had insisted on being taken out to the famous pass.

Masking the Problem

March 07, 2016 - 17:10
The story is found: 
on page 72

There are many divers who harbour a dangerous secret. Hermione is one of them. On a recent dive, the latest of over 200 she has done over the past 12 years, the unthinkable happened. Despite having carefully followed her usual predive cleaning routine, her mask started fogging up halfway through the dive.

She screamed into her mouthpiece in frustration and the guide, looking at her, indicated that she should clear her mask. She dimly perceived his signals through the mist and squealed again, signalling with her thumb that she wanted to go up.

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