From our regular columnists

The Folly of Deep Air

August 21, 2015 - 18:00
The story is found: 
on page 63

Picture the scene: conditions are perfect, with flat seas and a clear blue sky. The atmosphere on the small boat is thick with testosterone and there is much whooping and hollering and backslapping as the six divers prepare their gear. The gauntlet has been thrown down. The challenge: to descend quickly down a reef wall to 90m on a single cylinder of air, collect a handful of sand and then come back to the surface.

The six divers enter the water together and all descend to 40m where the four “veterans” stop and watch the other two continue on down. At first, all they can see are two streams of bubbles, and then the two streams become one. Then the bubbles stop. They wait. Time passes.

Scotland Wreck: SS Seniority

August 18, 2015 - 17:01
The story is found: 
on page 8

One of the best shipwrecks off the west coast of Scotland, the SS Seniority, has a tale to tell from her days as an Empire ship built during WWII in Great Britain.

During World War II, a number of merchant ships were drafted into the military service by the British government, specifically, the Ministry of War Transport (MoWT). They were allocated to serve various shipping companies that were involved in the war effort.

Papua New Guinea: Witu Islands & Fathers Reefs

June 07, 2015 - 18:54
The story is found: 
on page 59

When it comes to superlatives, diving and Papua New Guinea certainly go hand in hand. Sharing the world’s second largest island with Indonesian West Papua, the island nation is positioned at the easternmost extremity of the Pacific’s famed Coral Triangle—an undersea Eden boasting an unrivalled diversity of life.

Anchored off the east coast in the Bismarck Archipelago, New Britain is home to some of the country’s finest diving. At more than 500km in length, the country’s largest island is home to world-famous Kimbe Bay.

Hurghada: Red Sea Wrecks

May 22, 2015 - 15:53
The story is found: 
on page 56

The Red Sea, its reputation precedes itself. The beautiful red-orange desert mountains stand over the unexpected and contrasting blues of the water. The calm and clear waters hide much below. Under the water is a rainbow of colors, and among the fish and corals, are the remains of many ships.

The Red Sea has been deceitful to many captains over time. The beautiful reefs that divers dream about here have also caused many a ship to meet its end. Sailors thought they were safe after clearing the challenging and narrow Suez Canal only to run aground or hit reef just outside the canal.

Don't Always Copy the Pros

May 22, 2015 - 15:41
The story is found: 
on page 43

Scuba instructors and divemasters may be heroic, caring people but they don’t always make perfect role models!

Your first dive instructor is a golden god of the sea! He or she has the answers to all the questions, sees everything that goes on, is always around to offer help when you need it, and, most impressive of all, can move around underwater effortlessly like a fish while you flail around awkwardly.

Chuuk: Wreck Junkie Heaven

May 20, 2015 - 13:21
The story is found: 
on page 49

My dream history lesson includes a tropical Pacific island where I step off a beautiful boat soaked in sunshine the warm Micronesian waters and descend on a coral covered ship that was part of World War II. This dream and these ships came to life for me during a recent trip aboard the MV Odyssey liveaboard. Truk Lagoon, now known as Chuuk, is most certainly one of the world’s greatest wreck diving destinations.

Under Japanese occupation during World War II, Truk served as one of the Japanese Imperial Navy’s main bases in the South Pacific Theater. Some compared it as Japan’s Pearl Harbor.

Guam: The Tale of Two Wrecks

May 20, 2015 - 12:39
The story is found: 
on page 11

Guam’s Apra Harbor is home to a unique set of sunken warships. It is the only place in the world where a World War I and a World War II wreck sit touching each other underwater, and they can both be dived on one tank. The calm, warm waters of Guam make for easy diving, and both wrecks can be mostly explored above 100ft. The story of how these ships sank is almost as interesting as the dive itself.

German Captain Adalbert Zuckschwerdt steered his ship, the SMS Cormoran, into Guam’s Apra Harbor on 14 December 1914. With only 50 tons of coal left in the hold and not much food, he hoped the Americans of this U.S. territory would provide them with much needed supplies to continue their voyage.

San Francisco Maru Wreck of Chuuk Lagoon

May 05, 2015 - 12:52
The story is found: 
on page 12

Truk Lagoon (now known as Chuuk) plays host to what is usually considered the world’s best wreck diving. World War II ships, planes, tanks, trucks, and military artifacts abound at recreational dive limits in Micronesia’s calm, warm waters. The abundant marine life has transformed the former war vessels into stunningly beautiful artificial reefs.

With so many interesting wrecks, it can be hard to choose a favorite. But ask any wreck diver who has been to Chuuk and most likely they will tell you their favorite is the San Francisco Maru.

Yap: Micronesia's Best Kept Secret

April 29, 2015 - 18:14
The story is found: 
on page 32

Micronesia has so many great islands to dive that it’s hard to pick just one. Often, some of the lesser known islands, such as Yap, get passed over for their more popular neighbors such as Truk (Chuuk) or Palau. I had always heard great things about Yap’s diving though stories of mantas and sharks, so I headed there to find out if it was indeed one of Micronesia’s best kept secrets.

I discovered some truth in that as soon as I arrived. It’s not often you show up at a dive resort and find you are the only person there.

Running Out Fast!

April 29, 2015 - 16:26
The story is found: 
on page 35

Ben is a scuba diving instructor—this is his story.

It was the first dive of the day. I rolled backwards into the ocean from our little tender boat, descended to 24m, swam over to Cannibal Rock and began a gentle exploration from the bottom up.