From our regular columnists

Diving Coastal British Columbia

May 18, 2017 - 14:09
The story is found: 
on page 29

Referred to as the Salish Sea by local aboriginal people, the coastal inland waters stretching from Puget Sound to Johnstone Strait provide a vast and diverse area for scuba divers to explore. Not only are these temperate, nutrient-rich waters teeming with colorful marine critters of all sizes, visitors can enjoy underwater activities like photography, shipwrecks, deep walls and drift diving.

British Columbia (BC), located just above the US state of Washington, on the northwestern coast of North America, provides all of this and more, along with countless topside activities like fishing, skiing, hiking and great wildlife viewing.

Diving the Azores

May 18, 2017 - 14:06
The story is found: 
on page 43

Like the tips of icebergs, the islands of the Azores archipelago are just the visible peaks of a remarkable chain of underwater mountains that rank among some of the highest in the world.

The Azores Platform is some 2,000m below the ocean surface, but the Mid-Atlantic Ridge is grounded on to the seabed another 2,000m below that, while the tip of Pico (the tallest island of the archipelago) is 2,350m above sea level, making the mountain that is Pico about 6,500m high in total eleva

Air Supply Emergencies

April 08, 2017 - 20:59
The story is found: 
on page 73

What do you do when it all runs out?

In the last Scuba Confidential column, I took a long, hard look at the buddy system and solo diving. Whatever you may feel about the issues, there are definite benefits—both tangible and intangible—to diving with someone else. We are human beings, after all.

Indonesia's North Sulawesi

March 18, 2017 - 12:29
The story is found: 
on page 14

The current felt like the wind on a breezy day, and it was blowing me past the coral-covered sheer wall that disappeared over 60m (200ft) below me. Looking directly down, I noticed the color blue fading into slightly darker shades and finally into darkness, at the edge of how far I could see.

To my right was a gorgeous wall of color. Pink and purple soft corals extended fully, reaching out into the current to feed on plankton passing by and numerous giant purple barrel sponges extending away from the wall. Looking to my left into the open water was more blue and thousands of fish.

New Zealand: Poor Knights & Bay of Islands

February 28, 2017 - 16:14
The story is found: 
on page 17

Ever since the release of the Lord of the Rings, New Zealand has been synonymous with Middle-earth—a South Pacific wonderland of forests, mountains, volcanoes and geysers featured in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies. Although revered for its topside beauty, New Zealand remains somewhat obscure as a diving destination.

Situated off the Tutukaka Coast, a three-hour drive north of Auckland, the islands have long been on my radar. Featured in documentaries, including BBC’s original Planet Earth series, they have captivated me from the get-go.

Treasures of Tasmania

February 22, 2017 - 15:02
The story is found: 
on page 35

There is an island at the bottom of the Earth playfully referred to as the end of the world, or the edge of the world, and if I did not know better, I could picture this to be true. Standing at the edge of some of the steepest cliffs in Australia on the Tasman Peninsula of southeastern Tasmania, I looked out over the steep, jagged coastline and the steel blue Southern Ocean.

The previous day, I was at the other end of these cliffs and 10m underwater, getting my first glimpse of weedy seadragons, a unique and strangely beautiful marine organism endemic to southern Australia.

Maldives: The Central Atolls

January 16, 2017 - 15:46
The story is found: 
on page 16

I was not planning to go on the night dive. It was the first night of the trip and I was a little tired, I already had my camera batteries charging and was all settled in with a book for the night after a fabulous first day of diving with turtles, sharks and tons of fish. But Fernando, our dive guide, told me I had to go.

The dive site was Alimatha Pier at Vaavu Atoll. We did our giant strides into the black water and were immediately greeted with a ripping current. They said to bring reef hooks if you had them (which I did not), so after getting to the bottom, I found a rock to hold on to.

You are on your own! A hard look at the buddy system

January 16, 2017 - 13:44
The story is found: 
on page 52

In this issue, Simon Pridmore takes a look at the buddy system and concludes that on many occasions your buddy is not your friend, and you would be much better off assuming that this will be the case and preparing yourself, always, to assume full responsibility for your diving.

The buddy system, as it was originally conceived, was a procedure whereby two confident divers operate as independent members of a two-person team—with their shared equipment, experience and gas supply—making the team stronger and safer than its individual members acting alone.

The Wild Side of Hawaii

December 08, 2016 - 16:00
The story is found: 
on page 20

The idea of Hawaii conjures up images of blue water, white sand, palm trees and soft breezes. One pictures a calm, easy-going, relaxing sort of place where one can recover from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. But if one looks hard enough, there is adventure to be found beyond the sun-soaked beaches and mai tai cocktails, and so I went in search of them on both ends of the island chain that make up the Hawaiian archipelago.

The main Hawaiian Islands, which make up this US state, consist of eight islands stretching from the easternmost island of Hawaii, to the westernmost island of Ni’ihau, with Maui, Kahoolawe, Lanai, Molokai, Oahu and Kauai in-between (east to west).