Main features in this issue include:
In this latest column, Simon Pridmore looks at three instances where divers survived close calls, picks out the techniques that they employed to survive and recommends strategies that you can adopt to make you a safer diver.
Accounts of diving accidents hold a hypnotic fascination for us.
In mind-bending, eye-popping portraits, American artist Alexa de los Reyes has created a series of oils on canvas, which capture the abstract effects of refraction and reflection of water on the human form. X-Ray Mag caught up with the artist to find out more about her artistic process, inspiration and perspectives—discovering a deeper meaning and symbolism underlying her artworks.
"The experience I try to share is one of mystery, intrigue and wonder."
— Alexa de los Reyes
X-RAY MAG: Tell us about yourself, your background and how you became an artist.
Dragons that swim and fish with wings and bizarre color patterns, and slugs made of strings? No, these are not fantasy movie creatures, but Mother Nature at her best.
Some of our planet’s most interesting creatures live below the waves, with gaudy and interesting appearances that seem like they are straight out of a creative, fictional Hollywood movie.
In May 2016, the dive team of the Dutch Ghost Fishing Foundation helped a German Greenpeace campaign, with the goal of drawing attention to the sizable problem of ghost nets in the North Sea. After almost two weeks of ideal weather conditions—with bizarrely bad visibility underwater—the deck of the Arctic Sunrise boasted five enormous BIG BAGs (the Swedish eco-friendly garbage bag brand) full of nets and fishing lines.
“These wrecks have no ghost nets,” said Andi Peters, the man whose own website introduces him as “Der Nordseetaucher” (“The North Sea Diver”).
One of only four men in the world to have been to the wreck of the RMS Titanic and physically dived the interior of the equally tragic vessel, HMHS Britannic, is the American underwater explorer and author Richard Kohler. Internationally known for exploring some of the most challenging and dangerous shipwrecks on Earth, Kohler has pursued his passion for technical diving and maritime history since the early ‘80s.
JM: Tell us what it was like to start diving and what pushed you to continue.
When I lived in South Africa for two years a decade ago, Ponta do Ouro in neighboring Mozambique was a place of legend in the wilds beyond the KwaZaulu Natal border just a five-hour drive north of Durban. Tales told of a rustic village in the dunes with great diving, yet the village was swamped by South African fishermen off-roaders and quad-bikers during the school holidays.
The drive up from Durban was uneventful until the border, where the excellent tar road stopped and a massive squiggle of sand tracks started. All roads lead to Ponta, we were told.
As my plane touched down in Athens on a warm and sunny October afternoon, it did not seem that long ago since the country experienced deep economic woes, during which a prolonged spat between the Greek Prime Minister Tsipras and then Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis and the German Chancellor Angela Merkel over the EU bailout dominated the news for weeks on end, painting at times a bleak picture of a nation on the very brink of collapse and si
First impressions, once on the ground, was that of apparent normalcy and a metropolis with a steady pulse—like any other major city. Nothing stood out as I was transferred to my hotel in downtown Athens.
Achieving the Olympic dream is often described as the culmination of four years or more of hard work, sacrifice, commitment and dedication. To be an Olympian, there will be three components that must be present in each competitor before the dream can be achieved: talent, physical potential and psychological potential. Whether someone gets to "live the dream" is entirely dependent on whether they can maximise the three elements.
Surprisingly perhaps it is not the most talented that always succeed. In fact, an abundance of talent can actually work against the potential success as insufficient drive and effort is needed and thereby applied to realise a good level of success.
Many divers dream of owning their own dive center, of doing what they love and making money out of it. But what does it really entail? Do you have what it takes to open and, more importantly, operate a recreational dive center? And what does it really mean? Whether you are planning a part-time weekend business or opening a luxury dive resort and hotel, it is worth reading further.
It is 5:45 a.m. and my wife gets up in the dark. She is on breakfast duty and kindly wakes me. I am on generator duty. I push the mosquito net aside and climb out of bed. I pull a fleece on over my t-shirt and shorts, and grab a torch.
The idea of Hawaii conjures up images of blue water, white sand, palm trees and soft breezes. One pictures a calm, easy-going, relaxing sort of place where one can recover from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. But if one looks hard enough, there is adventure to be found beyond the sun-soaked beaches and mai tai cocktails, and so I went in search of them on both ends of the island chain that make up the Hawaiian archipelago.
The main Hawaiian Islands, which make up this US state, consist of eight islands stretching from the easternmost island of Hawaii, to the westernmost island of Ni’ihau, with Maui, Kahoolawe, Lanai, Molokai, Oahu and Kauai in-between (east to west).
The Kruber-Voronya Cave is located in the Arabika Mountain Massif of the Gagrinsky Ridge in the Western Caucasus, in the town district of Gagra in the Abkhazia region. With a depth of 2,197m, it is the deepest known cave on the planet. The entrance is located at an altitude of 2,250m. In 2006, an expedition discovered a lake at a depth of 2,146m and went about exploring it. It was named "Dva Kapitana" ("The Two Captains").
The level of the lake and entrance of the sump varies depending on precipitation, season and melting snow. During spring, the surface can rise to 150m above that of the lower levels. The water temperature is about 7°C (~ 46°F).
Off the tip of Southeastern Sulawesi, Indonesia in the Banda Sea, Wakatobi Dive Resort offers an unforgettable blend of pristine, protected reefs with sustainable luxury.
Dive sites that offer unusual or dramatic underwater topography have always intrigued me. And from what I had been hearing, the site known as Blade was a prime candidate to add to my “favorites” list.
Powerful images can help achieve a goal. Art can stir up emotions in people and emotions lead to action, leading to change. By conveying one strong message in a visually striking image, viewers may stop and think. They might decide to make real changes in their lives, affecting their friends and families—the message spreading outward, ultimately leading to a real and positive change all over the world. It all starts with a single image.
Underwater portrait and fashion photography is a unique form of art, allowing infinite creativity, pulling the viewer into the surreal, liquid world in which it was created. Holloway’s images convey this sense of surrealism. It is what makes her photos so powerful.