Walindi and Loloata in Papua New Guinea by Scott Bennett :: Andy Murch - Shark Diving for Dummies :: Wreck Treasures of the Santa Margarita by Carol Tedesco :: Mermaids of Jeju Korea by Bonnie McKenna :: Life Amphibious by Lloyd Godson :: U-Boat Wreck Myths vs Reality by Rob Rondeau :: Diving Christmas Island by Wandy Hochgrebe :: Coral Gardening by Austin Bowden-Kerby :: Gifts for Sea Lovers by Catherine G S Lim :: New Scuba Marketing by Nick Bostic:: Backlit photography by Kurt Amsler :: Glass Sea Creatures by Joe Peters ::
Main features in this issue include:
Impressive backlit images do not necessarily require the use of a flash. Just aim towards the surface and use the sun. Often, that is all there is to it. If you understand how to get the exposure right, that is.
Coral farms can ideally be managed by local communities and tied into restoration of coral reefs. This will also allow the indigenous communities to benefit directly from improvements in local biodiversity that follows. As cultivation will replace greenhouse culture overseas, there will also be an overall reduction in CO2-emissions.
The plight of corals reefs has become regular headlines. Hardly a day goes by without being confronted with ominous news about degradation and loss of coral reefs in some part of the world.
We were headed for the island of Kefalonia off the western coast of mainland Greece. This would be the starting point of the “Life Amphibious” underwater odyssey. The plan was to pedal a human-powered submarine 15 nautical miles (28 kilometres) through the Ionian Sea to mythical Ithaca, the home of Ulysses. In the spirit of Homer’s epic and Jules Verne’s Captain Nemo, we would soon begin our own grand voyage to Ithaca.
The brains behind this machine, four Omer submarine engineers, were on their way from Canada’s École de technologie supérieure in Montreal. Meanwhile, we had been dealt a serious blow by the Ministry of Commercial Shipping’s Port Police Management. At the eleventh hour, they rejected our request for permission to place Omer 6 in the sea.
My wife, Carolina Sarasiti, was glued to her phone as Andreas studied his maritime law books desperately trying to find a solution to our dilemma. It didn’t look good. The weather continued to deteriorate and all flights in and out of Kefalonia were cancelled. The Omer submarine team was stuck in Athens. The bad weather and unexpected red tape had already delayed us by a day.
I took a leisurely walk with my father-in-law and Greek engineer, Vageli Sarasiti, in an attempt to clear my head. We came across a large catamaran getting smashed against jagged rocks and scrambled on board to help. The waves were relentless. We managed to free the boat from the rocks but one of the engines was jammed solid. Vageli and I grabbed a mask, knife and torch and dived into the murky water. It was like being in a washing machine but we eventually managed to cut through the rope that was wrapped around the propeller shaft.
After sailing for 29 days across the Atlantic Ocean, we were also left wondering where the calm, warm, sparkling blue water was of which the Ionian Islands were so famous for. At least my head was clear.
When the Omer team arrived we celebrated in true Greek fashion. The project remained blocked, but their high spirits helped us forget the bad news for a while. Surprisingly, after almost two years of planning the world’s first human-powered submarine expedition we had never met before this day. They were happy that I really existed and the whole thing wasn’t just some strange prank played out by a guy in his basement!
Later in the day, continual bad weather and red tape still prevented us from testing Omer 6 in the sea. We desperately needed to get the sub in the water so I could begin my pilot training. With no time to lose, I found a nearby resort that was willing to help us out. When I returned with the good news, drills were screeching as the engineers assemble the submarine.
Papua New Guinea. A name evocative of the exotic, this island nation is one of superlatives. Lying south of the equator some 450 miles north of Australia, it shares the world’s second largest island with the Indonesian province of West Papua.
The allure of this island nation has always beckoned, and as I was going to be in North Queensland, the opportunity was too good to pass up.
The island of Jeju, Korea, is an island of myths, gods and goddesses. It is also the birthplace of the women divers of Jeju. Although the women divers of Jeju are not the goddesses of myths, they are real alive mermaid goddesses.
The name for these women divers, in Korean, is haenyeo. It literally means ‘women of the sea’. Traditionally, the women wore only a simple home-sewn white linen combination of pants and a top with lead weighted vests where they tucked the specialized tools of their trade.
There is a point in the journey to the west coast of Scotland just a little way north of the City of Glasgow that the landscape changes from “merely” pretty to the full on highland spectacular. It seems as if you are driving into the wilderness.
Oban has become an attraction for a whole range of adventure tourists. Hikers, climbers, wildlife enthusiasts all flock here in droves year round.