From our regular columnists

Port Hardy (British Columbia) aboard the Nautilus Swell

October 13, 2011 - 23:36
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The story is found: 
on page 86

It wasn’t until Wayne and I were actually leaving Port Hardy aboard the new liveaboard dive boat, the Nautilus Swell, that I realized how much I missed this area of British Columbia. The beauty of a calm ocean at sunset with fresh air all around and the tranquility of stillness allowed the hustle and bustle of city life to simply melt away.

Al Spilde, a seasoned mariner for over 25 years and very familiar with this region, was our captain for the journey and predicted fair weather and good underwater visibility ahead.

Technical Diving Equipment

October 13, 2011 - 23:36
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on page 80

The equipment used by technical divers differs considerably from that used by recreational scuba divers. Even when it appears similar, the technical diver will usually either carry more equipment or configure it slightly differently.

Over the years, recreational diving has developed a standard set of equipment configuration. Despite different makes and models there is a consistent set of gear shared by the majority of recreational divers. Buoyancy control is usually provided by a jacket style buoyancy compensator (BCD). The diver’s main cylinder contains the majority of their breathing supply, which is delivered via a primary regulator. A spare regulator or octopus is usually carried to provide a source of air to the buddy, or in the case of a problem with the main regulator.

Guadaloupe's Great White Sharks

October 13, 2011 - 23:34
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on page 51

My first shark appeared head-on in the distance slowly swaying from side to side. With elegant grace and composure it continued towards the cage with mouth opened just enough to boast a healthy set of triangular teeth. Like the star of a grand performance, the shark held everyone in awe as it turned slightly just in front of the cage to examine an offering of tuna.

It was a huge 14ft (4m), 2,175-pound (987kg) female. Her body was sleek and muscular, capable of high speeds if necessary. She ignored the bait and gave the caged divers a once over then slowly swam away, never changing her pace.

Diving the hot spots of Vancouver Island

October 13, 2011 - 23:34
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on page 48

My dive buddy and I enter the cool clear water and descend down a mooring line to the deck of the 110-meter (366-ft) wreck Saskatchewan. The water is 8°C (47°F). I look up to see the rest of the group silhouetted in a light emerald hue arrive like slow motion skydivers.

Upon the railings and deck resides an outline of white plumose anemones, all varying in height. Small swimming scallops, curious juvenile rockfish, brittle stars, decorator crabs and colourful nudibranchs seem to occupy the rest of the deck structures.

Digital Camera Choice

October 13, 2011 - 23:34
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The story is found: 
on page 86

So, where do we start? And what type of camera do we buy? Should we go for the DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex)—basically a digital version of the old single lens reflex (SLR) camera where you compose your photograph through the lens of the camera—or should we go for a compact point-and-shoot camera, which has live-view screening.

The other type of camera, which comes in two different versions, is the manufactured PHD cameras (Press Here Dummy). These are essentially point-and-shoot cameras with a large continuous viewing screen on the back, so you are actually composing your photograph by use of the movie screen.

Ambon

October 13, 2011 - 23:34
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The story is found: 
on page 35

“Have a great time, but keep your head down!” This was the response I received from a diving friend after announcing I was planning a visit to Ambon. At least he knew where it was; my announcement to friends in Toronto drew blank stares. When I mentioned the Spice Islands, a dawn of recognition crept into their eyes. It was a place they’d vaguely heard of but had no idea whatsoever as to their location.


Socorro

October 13, 2011 - 23:33
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on page 28

Located 386km (250 miles) southwest of the tip of Baja California and over 720km (446 miles) west of Manzanillo, the Revillagigedos are one of three Mexican island groups in the Pacific Ocean. All four islands that make up the Revillagigedos Archipelago are remote, volcanic in origin and offer some of the most unpredictable, wild diving in the world.

Topside, the islands are completely different in appearance and are home to many endemic plant and animal species. Overall, the area is recognized as a distinct terrestrial eco-region, which is part of the Neotropic ecozone (tropical and subtropical dry broadleaf forests).

Lessons from Technical Diving

October 13, 2011 - 23:33
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on page 82

Diving is an activity that appeals to a huge selection of people, and within diving, there are almost as many ways to enjoy the sport as there are participants. During the 1990’s scuba diving became a mass participation sport.

While the barriers to this underwater world were gradually being broken down, a small group of experienced divers were starting to push the limits of traditional recreational scuba diving. This movement, which has been christened ‘technical diving’, started off with just a few dedicated individuals. Over the last few years, this area has seen a huge increase in interest, and now a significant number of divers are moving towards technical diving.

Cephalopods - Jet-powered Masters of Disguise

October 13, 2011 - 23:33
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on page 64

Most cephalopods—the group in which scientists classify octopuses, squid, cuttlefish and nautiluses—can change color faster than a chameleon. They can also change texture and body shape, and if those camouflage techniques don’t work, they can still “disappear” in a cloud of ink, which they use as a smoke-screen or decoy.

Cephalopods have inspired legends and stories throughout history and are thought to be the most intelligent of the invertebrates. Some can squeeze through the tiniest of cracks. They have eyes and other senses that rival those of humans.

Field Work

October 13, 2011 - 23:33
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on page 85

Now, we have our camera and all of its ancillary added on bits. We have checked that everything works. We have our chosen format decided. We have our laptop and portable hard drive all packed up and ready to go on location, but where are we going and why go there in the first place?

Getting to know your subject is perhaps easier than you think, however, we really do not have a whole lot of spare time underwater collecting knowledge on our subject matter.

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