From our regular columnists

Project Baseline: Facilitating Needed Underwater Science

October 09, 2017 - 13:08
The story is found: 
on page 86

Project Baseline’s team conducted over 100 video transects of coral reef and benthic habitats of the Great Astrolabe Reef in Fiji, one of the largest barrier reefs in the world, to compile baseline reports in order to effectively monitor the health of the reef.

Having completed two high-profile collaborative research projects in 2016—one with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) documenting the U-576 WWII German submarine at a depth of 721ft (220m) off North Carolina along the US East Coast, and the other working with the Nekton Ox

Northwest Bali: Underwater Gods & Conservation

October 01, 2017 - 20:56
The story is found: 
on page 16

Rarely do you come across someone who has a negative opinion about Bali. More often than not, you will find previous visitors raving about Bali as magical, some suggest it is spiritual, and others find it relaxing, or even full of adventure. It is a place I have come to love and enjoy returning too often.

After braving a few days among the masses in these areas, I headed northwest. The hair-raising, four-and-a-half-hour drive up and around two volcanoes showed me one reason why not many people make the trek this far from the airport.

Achieving Our Teaching Objectives

September 26, 2017 - 11:03
The story is found: 
on page 83

Diving instruction has standards, qualifications, materials, governing bodies and best practices. So why do we see such poor examples of diving practice? Why do so many new divers struggle with the basic skills? Why do tech divers forget some key techniques? Is it poor instruction or something else?

Why are students not learning this stuff in their scuba classes? The reality is that instructors do teach it, but the students are not learning it, or at least they are not putting what is taught into practice.

The Incredible Australian Leafy Seadragon

September 08, 2017 - 12:24
The story is found: 
on page 57

Australia, the great brown land down under, is home to many iconic and often strange-looking creatures, both above and below the water. But few are as unique and visually spectacular as the leafy seadragon!

Known colloquially as “leafies”, they are also known by the common name Glauert's seadragon. Leafy seadragons are endemic to the southern and western coasts of Australia, but are particularly synonymous with South Australia, where they have been adopted as the state’s marine emblem.

Let's Talk About Underwater Communications Systems

September 01, 2017 - 18:31
The story is found: 
on page 58

In 1977, a year after I got certified, Soundwave Systems launched the “Wetphone,” a voice-activated underwater communications device that promised to revolutionize sports diving, making it a “silent world” no more. I added it to my wish list along with a Watergill At-Pac, the forerunner of modern-day wings, and an SAS drysuit. Soundwave filed for bankruptcy a few years later.

Today—nearly 40 years later—communication systems have become standard kit for commercial, military, law enforcement, public safety, aquarium and scientific divers and videographers, but they remain a niche product for recreational and technical divers.

Australia: Victoria's Secret

August 22, 2017 - 17:36
The story is found: 
on page 41

“You can dive in Melbourne?” was the baffled response from a Queensland hotel concierge upon telling her I was heading to Victoria to dive. And this was from an Australian who WAS a diver! When overseas visitors think of Australia, the Great Barrier Reef immediately comes to mind. However, Australian diving is not just about coral. Along the continent’s southern coast is an undersea world far removed from the tropics.

Although a long-time tropical diver, trips to the Great Lakes, South Africa and Denmark have triggered my interest in temperate diving. Seeing new environments and species have amped up my enthusiasm, especially with regards to photography.

Australia: The Little Life on the Great Barrier Reef

July 28, 2017 - 12:33
The story is found: 
on page 53

There is nothing small about the Great Barrier Reef. It is not only the largest coral reef system on Earth, but probably the most well-known. You would be hard-pressed to find divers who do not have it on their dive wish lists. It is Earth’s largest living structure and reaches over 2,300km (1,400 miles) down the coast of Queensland, Australia.

Love and respect for this massive reef system goes back many years (possibly with the exception of Captain James Cook, who found himself run aground on it). It has been a marine park since 1975 and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Future of Scuba Diving in a Flat World – Part II

July 18, 2017 - 13:19
The story is found: 
on page 62

At the end of my article in the previous issue, I referred to the fact that developing technologies, expanding markets and customers with different backgrounds and expectations have presented diver training agencies with challenges as well as opportunities. One major challenge has been to adapt training programmes to a changing world, while endeavouring to maintain the structures and paradigms that have been in place for over 50 years.

— This is the second piece in a two-part article, adapted from a chapter in my book, Scuba Professional – Insights into Sport Diver Training and Operations.

Pushing the Altitude: The Quest to Document the SS Tahoe

June 27, 2017 - 11:53
The story is found: 
on page 69

June 2017 — Fifty-six-year-old explorer Martin McClellan is determined to revisit the SS Tahoe to conduct an extensive photogrammetric survey of the wreck. The 169ft (52m)-long 19th century steamship, which was scuttled in 1940, rests intact on a steep underwater slope at a maximum depth of 470ffw (144mfw) beneath Glenbrook Bay in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, USA.

McClellan was the first to dive the Tahoe with Brian Morris under the banner of his organization New Millennium Dive Expeditions (NMDE) in 2002, and has conducted 10 open-circuit dives on the wreck over the last 15 years.

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