From our regular columnists

Mirrorless Cameras & Wide-Angle

February 17, 2014 - 19:01
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on page 87

In this article, the final one in the series, I will explain my personal experience with wide-angle underwater photography using the Olympus OM-D EM-5 camera.

With macro photography, the dynamic range is rarely very wide, as there are typically no extreme highlights if an image has been properly exposed, so virtually all modern digital cameras are eminently capable of doing a good job of macro with the right lenses and in the right hands.

The Basking Shark

February 17, 2014 - 18:52
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on page 80

First scientifically described by Gunnerus in 1765 from a specimen in Norway, there is an earlier published reference to the shark in 1739 in Ireland.

Unlike the scientific findings that there are now recognized several different species of killer whale (orca) there is only one distinct species of basking shark, despite their wide ranging distribution.

Breaking the Chain

February 17, 2014 - 18:10
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on page 60

Last year I was invited to deliver a lecture at the Oztek show in Sydney, Australia. I spoke on the topic “What Makes a Good Technical Diver”, and one particular point I covered on accident avoidance drew a very positive response and provoked a number of questions from the audience.

Every diving accident has a chain of events that lead up to it, but often the chain is only visible afterwards when you reflect on what happened.

Richard Lundgren: The Man From Mars

February 17, 2014 - 18:02
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on page 36

You could say that Richard Lundgren’s destiny was cast when his parents took the precocious, then eight-year-old Swedish schoolboy to visit the Vasa Museum in Stockholm.

True to his word, and remarkably, more than 30 years later Lundgren and his team from Ocean Discovery, Lundgren’s not-for-profit organization, discovered the shipwreck in May 2011, 447 years to the month from its sinking.

Gary Gentile —Deep Wreck Diver

February 17, 2014 - 17:39
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on page 42

Gary Gentile not only helped pioneer deep wreck diving, but also documented its art and craft, in addition to his finds so that others may follow in his footsteps.

His latest book, NOAA’s Ark: the Rise of the Fourth Reich, which was released in May 2013, details the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrations efforts to expand and restrict access to divers and sportsman to the U.S. National Marine Sanctuaries.

Washington State's Hood Canal

February 17, 2014 - 17:30
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on page 60

Over ten years have past since my last dive in Hood Canal. I’m not sure why, probably because I’ve been so focused on exploring the pristine waters of British Columbia that the extra effort of driving so far south has always deterred me. But when Adventures Down Under, a dive shop in Bellingham, invited me to join their group for a Hood Canal dive charter, I was too curious to say anything but yes.

But for this trip our group of seven met up with Don Coleman, owner and operator of Pacific Adventure at the Pleasant Harbor Marina on the west side of Hood Canal, off Highway 101. It was a typical chilly January day where air temperatures may have climbed to a balmy 30°F (-1°C).

South Africa: Sardine Run & Cage Diving

February 17, 2014 - 17:20
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on page 16

The world in one country is an oft-used quote to describe South Africa and is not unwarranted. Along with dramatic scenery and a rich cultural heritage, it is a nation renowned for its diversity of ecosystems and wildlife.

However, its undersea environs rival the terrestrial abundance. From northern subtropical reefs to the chilly waters of the cape, South Africa offers a wealth of marine life few nations can rival.

I had a brief introduction several years earlier, visiting Aliwal Shoal and Protea Banks in KwaZulu-Natal and the Kruger National Park [see X-RAY MAG issue –ed].

Exposure—How Long, How Deep, How Cozy?

January 02, 2014 - 16:21
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on page 84

Staying Alive: Application of Risk Management in Scuba Diving.

I’ve had the privilege to dive on the wreck several times; the first was in the aftermath of Hurricane Hortense, which blew its way up the eastern seaboard of North America, and although it did not hit Rimouski directly, turned that late Quebec summer into a mini-maelstrom. The weather was awful—windy, wet and bleak. It had kept us out of the water and holed up in a small hotel for days, playing euchre and praying for a break in the weather.

Where is the O2?

January 02, 2014 - 16:01
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on page 49

In many cases, there is actually no plan to deal with a DCI incident. The rationale given runs along the lines of, “It hardly ever happens, so it is not worth thinking about until it does.”

I was a guest on a dive boat a few months ago. We had just arrived in Crystal Bay, a notorious diving accident black spot on the outlying Balinese island of Nusa Penida, when our attention was drawn by a burst of frenetic activity next to a neighbouring boat. A wetsuited figure was being manhandled over the side of the boat and laid out on deck. A couple of crewmen hunched over the figure while everyone else on board stood to one side, heads craned in concern. Seeing us approach, one of the crew shouted over and asked if we had oxygen.

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