From our regular columnists

Ron Akeson (1957-2014) - Mission Well Done

June 30, 2014 - 12:35
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The story is found: 
on page 38

I don’t think a week ever went by where I didn’t hear Ron tell someone at his Bellingham dive store, “My motto in life follows the saying: growing old is mandatory, but growing up is optional.” If you ever had the pleasure of knowing or meeting Ron Akeson, you probably understood how he viewed life, because he truly believed in trying to squeeze in every little bit of living into each and every day!

A cascade of grief seemed to grip the local dive community in a domino effect as more and more heard of his passing. Multitudes continue to call in, shocked to hear their mentor, past dive instructor and friend would no longer be around.

Safety Culture: What is it and do I have it?

May 02, 2014 - 15:52
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In August 2012, I wrote an article which discussed just culture and what this meant in the context of recreational and technical scuba diving, and using this concept, how we can improve diving safety.

But just culture is only one part of a safety culture, a term which is being promoted by a number of organisations and individuals as something that needs to be developed by individual divers to improve their safety.

Cayman Brac: The best shore diving in the Caribbean

May 02, 2014 - 14:28
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The story is found: 
on page 31

First visited by Christopher Columbus in 1503, his reports tell of incredible numbers of fish, turtles and crocodiles hence their original name of Caimen or The Cayman Islands.

Whether entering these waters as a novice or as a more experienced diver, what is obvious is that Cayman waters have some of the clearest waters in the Caribbean, with very few currents they are the ideal destination for virtually guaranteed results.

Don’t Let Folk Get Carried Away!

May 01, 2014 - 16:28
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The story is found: 
on page 63

A few weeks ago, a dive centre chartered a boat to take five divers and two instructors out to some islands off the south coast of Bali. It was rainy season and, behind the rainclouds, there would be a full moon that night in an area where currents are notoriously strong and unpredictable.

After about ten minutes underwater, they found that the current was so strong that it was difficult to keep the group together. So they ascended early to find that a storm had swept in, surface conditions were now very rough, and the rain had reduced visibility to a few metres only.

Why you should never go diving with an idiot

May 01, 2014 - 15:12
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The story is found: 
on page 67

Being swept along on this technical diving thing, has been a long, somewhat twisted, but definitely entertaining journey. If you and I had met when the whole affair started, we could not possibly have envisioned how directly and pervasively, what were then radical activities, like cave diving, trimix diving and rebreather diving, would influence the mainstream dive community.

But perhaps, evolution is too soft a word to describe what’s happened. So many things have changed. Gear, training, the places we visit to dive, how we exchange information, even what form dive magazines and textbooks take: case in point with X-RAY MAG for example.

Mirrorless Cameras & Wide-Angle

February 17, 2014 - 19:01
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The story is found: 
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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The story is found: 
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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The story is found: 
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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The story is found: 
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.

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