From our regular columnists

Muck Diving

April 09, 2012 - 16:41
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The story is found: 
on page 88

Muck diving is now a recognized broad term for (generally) close up photography, usually in terrible visibility and a dark muddy bottom resulting primarily in low light conditions, which may or may not be polluted, too!

Do not let the name, muck diving, fool you; it is one of the best dive photography trips that you can do to obtain quite unique photographs. This form of photography encompasses all of your skills, particularly buoyancy as you will be working close to the seabed, if not on it.

Skills for Technical Diving

February 23, 2012 - 12:51
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The story is found: 
on page 69

Learning to dive involves learning a new set of skills. Mask clearing, buoyancy control, regulator recovery and all the other skills that you learn on an open water course are essential for dealing with the underwater world. As a diver progresses through diving they learn additional skills such as using a drysuit, wreck diving or how to rescue their buddy. With technical diving there are again some new skills that need to be learnt.

The reason for this change in emphasis is that decompression diving introduces what is known as a virtual overhead environment or glass ceiling. This increases the risks of the dive but also increases the consequences should there be a problem.

Mozambique: Zavora & Tofo

February 05, 2012 - 21:32
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The story is found: 
on page 33

Mention Africa to most divers and the Red Sea or South Africa usually springs to mind. To many travellers, let alone divers, Mozambique is not exactly high on most people’s bucket list. Less than 20 years ago, the very idea of visiting the country would have been regarded as a madman’s folly.

After the cessation of hostilities in 1994, the country was bequeathed with the unenviable tag as the world’s poorest by the United Nations. Since that time, it has made remarkable strides towards recovery and is rapidly gaining renown as the rising star of the African diving scene.

Close-Up & Macro

January 20, 2012 - 23:12
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The story is found: 
on page 83

Close-up or macro photography is a specialized form of underwater photography where the camera lens is positioned very close to a subject, or is able to zoom into the subject, to record a relatively large image in high magnification of the original subject.

What I learned very quickly, all those years ago, was that by concentrating on close-up and macro photography, you soon picked up the nuances of composition—and the smaller the subject, the more concentrated the field of view and more concentrated the compositional techniques required to frame th

B17 Black Jack Wreck

December 21, 2011 - 23:42
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The story is found: 
on page 87

Lying undisturbed in the deep water just off the fringing reef from the remote village of Boga Boga on the tip of Cape Vogel, is what many consider to be the best aircraft wreck in Papua New Guinea and possibly the world.

The wreck is the B-17F “Black Jack”, serial number 41-24521, and one of the first Flying Fortress bombers built at the Boeing factory in Seattle during WWII.

Gozo Island

October 13, 2011 - 23:36
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The story is found: 
on page 26

“Somehow, I can’t imagine lawnmowers being a high selling item here,” was one of my first thoughts while traversing the Maltese countryside. Dry and stark, the rocky landscape couldn’t be more different than the soft green of Denmark we had left behind a mere four hours earlier.

To be honest, Malta as a holiday destination, let alone a diving one, had never even crossed my mind. However, when X-RAY MAG’s very own Peter and Gunild Symes announced a weeklong dive trip and asked me along, I was immediately intrigued.

Utila - Jewel of Honduras

October 13, 2011 - 23:36
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The story is found: 
on page 27

“If you’ve been to South East Asia, don’t bother with the Caribbean” is a phrase I’ve encountered many times over the last decade. Having done virtually all of my diving in Asia-Pacific, the region’s legendary diversity tends to leave one a tad spoilt. When you’ve dived exclusively in the world’s biodiversity hotspot, it’s all-too-easy to assume that other areas will suffer by comparison.

Getting there proved somewhat easier than anticipated. I discovered a non-stop service to Roatan from my home in Toronto on Sunwing, a charter airline that just started flights this past winter.

Stingray City

October 13, 2011 - 23:36
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The story is found: 
on page 32

Like it or hate it, Grand Cayman Island is still home to one of the most legendary animal encounters on the planet. Dubbed as the world’s greatest 12-foot dive, the region is located inside the northern barrier reef, which protects North Sound from the vagaries of wind and rough seas.

The stingray most commonly found in the Cayman Islands is the Southern Stingray (Dasyatis americana) and the two locations where the stingrays congregate in the largest numbers are Stingray City, which is around 3-5 metres deep (10-17ft) and the Sandbar, a natural sandy plateau around only

Team Diving

October 13, 2011 - 23:36
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The story is found: 
on page 52

Recreational diver training agencies have always encouraged divers to adopt the buddy system and always dive in buddy pairs. Diving in a group made up of more than two people has been described as undesirable, while most agencies explicitly ban solo diving.

This view must be balanced against the teachings of the technical diver training agencies who encourage divers to dive as a team and often cite three as the optimum team size.

False Killer Whales — Enchanting Cetaceans of Dominica

October 13, 2011 - 23:36
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The story is found: 
on page 74

Once or twice in a rare Blue Moon, opportunity sometimes comes along and hits you on the head—or in my case, I was hit on the head—by a juvenile sperm whale.

Dominica is the youngest of the Caribbean islands and is flanked by Guadeloupe to the north and Martinique to the south, which are both French colonies. Inevitably, many of the locals speak a derivative of a French, Carib and West African creole known as Kwéyòl.

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