From our regular columnists

Tonga's Humpback Whales

January 06, 2015 - 13:48
The story is found: 
on page 51

Our skipper, Ali, carefully maneuvered the boat into position and cut the engine, shouting, “Go, go, go!” at the top of his lungs. And go we did—straight into the deep blue water, with cameras held in vice-like death-grips and onto the path of over a dozen mature and rather excited humpback whales.

Humpback whales average around 14m long and about 35 tons in weight―that’s a lot of mass coming at you―but there was no time to feel scared or even count these huge submarine-like mammals, because we were finally witnessing one of their famed heat runs, when a female humpback has signaled

Jonas Brandt—From Cars to CCRs

January 06, 2015 - 00:11
The story is found: 
on page 35

The CEO of Poseidon discusses his move from the automotive industry to diving, big data, the role of automation, safety and the future of rebreather diving.

"I want to give divers the time to think before they act, based on the huge task load under water. But primarily it is the underwater experience that is the key for future innovation."
— Jonas Brandt

Cold Water Photography

December 31, 2014 - 18:48
The story is found: 
on page 85

Perhaps one of the most difficult, but also most rewarding aspects of all underwater photography is to be able to photograph an animal, or fish, in this instance, in its preferred habitat, without inducing any undue stress or obvious invasion of the creature’s life space.

Firstly, it is much better to stay well clear of the subject and its habitat, approach the subject slowly and sympathetically, and at least this way you are able to keep off the seabed or wall without causing any unnecessary damage.

Scuba's Silent Killer

December 31, 2014 - 18:44
The story is found: 
on page 70

It was a beautiful Caribbean day, water conditions were excellent but Anna was feeling confused. Water had started to seep into her mask and, although she knew how to clear it, somehow she was unable to get the water out. She started to ascend.

Concerned, the divemaster followed her up, signaling to Pauline, the other diver in his charge, that she should wait and he would come back. On the surface, Anna removed her regulator, adjusted her mask, gathered her thoughts and decided she had been foolish.

St. Abbs & Eyemouth

December 31, 2014 - 18:36
The story is found: 
on page 61

Marine conservation has always been important around St. Abbs and Eyemouth when a voluntary ban on the removal of shellfish was first imposed by divers back in the early 1970s with many diving clubs supporting this move.

Located just 15km (9 miles) north of the English border, the reserve now extends from the Hurkar Rocks at Eyemouth to St. Abbs Head and includes 7km (4.5 miles) of coastline and out to the 50 metre (165ft) depth contour.

But I can't be bent

October 21, 2014 - 20:03
The story is found: 
on page 82

One might be forgiven for assuming that as a certified diver, one would understand the science and common-sense behind the basic guidelines governing our approach to decompression stress. After all, a good part of a diver’s initial training (and, hopefully, much of the curriculum for more complex programs), explained the vagaries of breathing compressed gas underwater.

The issue with diving—­at least for this discussion­—is that as a diver descends in the water column, he or she has no option but to breathe compressed gas. Because of this, the inert gas contained in whatever is being breathed is stored in the diver’s body.

Reporting culture

October 21, 2014 - 19:33
The story is found: 
on page 53

“…The real reasons people don’t provide a higher level of detail are two fold: privacy and legal culpability” was the response recently when I posted a blog ( about the need to collect more detail when looking at diving incidents so that the community, the agencies and academia c

We need to be able to raise the awareness and knowledge of those involved in the sport so that they can truly take responsibility for their own actions.

Thermal stress

October 07, 2014 - 17:25
The story is found: 
on page 39

Thermal issues affect the comfort, performance and decompression stress experienced by divers. The impact varies with the timing, direction and magnitude of the thermal stress. Thermal protection can be provided by a variety of passive and active systems. Active systems should be used with particular care since they can markedly alter inert gas exchange and decompression risk.

Diving is conducted in thermal environments ranging from tropical through polar. While physical comfort and concentration and performance issues are often perceived as the top priorities, thermal status can also play a critical role in decompression risk.

Solo Divers and Risk Management

August 31, 2014 - 14:05
The story is found: 
on page 81

Diving is risky business. Just how risky depends on a whole shopping list of factors and influences, but let’s agree that there are more risks involved with diving than, say, sitting in your basement watching Olympic curling on TV.

Now if we were to apply similar logic and argument, we could go further and make the point that Solo Diving carries an additional level of risk over and above the “run of the mill” stuff associated with regular diving.