From our regular columnists

Shark Diving: Tips on Photographing Sharks

April 28, 2016 - 16:57
The story is found: 
on page 63

On one of my recent dive trips, a post-dive dinner conversation turned to the topic of capturing epic shark photographs. A magazine photo editor was in our group, and I wanted to know how photographers got those perfectly lit, very close shots of sharks, which are typically quite shy around divers. He told me shark feeds, or using bait to lure the sharks, is one of the only ways to get sharks close enough for those types of photos.

There are a few places in the world where one can see sharks quite close naturally (without divers changing the natural environment with food), such as the sardine run in South Africa where huge bait balls attract sharks.

British Columbia's Sunshine Coast

April 07, 2016 - 14:57
The story is found: 
on page 30

With over 53 miles (86km) of scenic picturesque coastline along Highway 101 and less than 40 inches (104cm) of rainfall per year, it’s no wonder the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia in Canada is a popular getaway for travelers from around the world. Both the upper and the lower sections offer an array of great dive sites and a myriad of other fun activities on a year-round basis.

The lower Sunshine Coast is located between Langdale and Earl’s Cove, accessed via a car ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Langdale (40 min sailing). The town of Sechelt is a 30-minute drive north where divers can explore Sechelt Inlet.

The Other Side of Checkout Dives

April 02, 2016 - 17:33
The story is found: 
on page 50

Francis was an instructor working at a dive centre in French Polynesia. One day, he picked up a couple from a nearby hotel to go diving. They had asked to do a drift dive through a pass in the reef, a site notorious for fast currents and scores of reef sharks.

Given his doubts, he considered recommending that they go to another dive site instead. However, he knew that when they called to book the dive, they had insisted on being taken out to the famous pass.

Masking the Problem

March 07, 2016 - 17:10
The story is found: 
on page 72

There are many divers who harbour a dangerous secret. Hermione is one of them. On a recent dive, the latest of over 200 she has done over the past 12 years, the unthinkable happened. Despite having carefully followed her usual predive cleaning routine, her mask started fogging up halfway through the dive.

She screamed into her mouthpiece in frustration and the guide, looking at her, indicated that she should clear her mask. She dimly perceived his signals through the mist and squealed again, signalling with her thumb that she wanted to go up.

Papua New Guinea: Manta Rays

February 01, 2016 - 17:44
The story is found: 
on page 72

From a distance, there is little to distinguish the small island of Gonu Bara Bara from the myriad of others in this part of southern Milne Bay Province; and few would guess that just off its northern beach is the best place in the whole of Papua New Guinea to see the magnificent reef manta ray—Manta alfredi.

Reef mantas had been known to patrol that beach for many years, but all attempts to try and interact with them were random at best—maybe you would see one or more, maybe you wouldn’t. Then, back in 2002, almost by accident, Craig de Wit discovered why the mantas were there.

Constructive Paranoia

January 12, 2016 - 15:36
The story is found: 
on page 51

— A Safety Strategy

A young ornithologist was on an expedition in the highlands of Papua New Guinea, leading a team of New Guineans. They climbed through the forest until they reached a level where they were to spend a few days studying birds.

Applying Non-Technical Skills

January 06, 2016 - 14:22
The story is found: 
on page 55

Two perfectly serviceable Boeing 747s crashed into each other on the runway killing 583 people in 1977. In another incident, the pilots shut down the wrong engine, and 47 people were killed when the aircraft crashed... But what has that got to do with diving?

In 1977, two Boeing 747s were on the runway at Los Rodeos Airport, Tenerife. The plane from KLM was lined up, ready to take off, while the plane from Pan-Am was taxiing down the runway towards the first, to exit, turn around and await the former’s departure.

Japanese Shipwrecks of Kwajalein Atoll

November 29, 2015 - 22:19
The story is found: 
on page 14

Look at a map of the Pacific Ocean and follow a line southwest of Hawaii. Right after crossing the International Date Line, but just before crossing the equator sits the Republic of the Marshall Islands. What could possibly be a map maker’s accidental green spots in the vast pool of blue representing the Pacific Ocean, many have never heard of these tiny islands which are home to fantastic underwater treasures.

The Marshall Islands consist of 29 atolls with a total land mass around 180 square kilometers (70 sq.

Honduras: Roatán

November 29, 2015 - 22:00
The story is found: 
on page 42

It is 7:30 in the morning and I’m on my personal veranda on a small hill looking out over green trees and beyond them to blue water and a bright orange sun emerging from it. My feet are up on the rail and there’s a cup of coffee in my hand. I snap a photo for Instagram—­­better­than­this. And the day’s diving hasn’t even started yet.

I am at Turquoise Bay Dive Resort and it embraces the meaning of tranquillo like no other. Sitting almost right at the center of the northern edge of Roatán, it’s a pleasure to escape the touristy hustle and bustle of the West End.