Palau’s Treasures: A Diver’s Addiction by Todd Essick :: A Photographer’s Playground by Michael AW | A Gourmet Fiesta Diversity by Svetlana Murashkina :: Profile: Francis Toribiong by Arnold Weisz | Sunglasses for Divers by Kelly LaClaire | Freshwater Diving Austria by Wolfgang Pölzer | Unique Site: Pavillion Lake, British Columbia by Barb Roy | Portfolio: Kendahl Jan Jubb edittted by Gunild Symes | Shark Tales: The Grey Nurse Shark by Don Silcock | Dive Medicine: Cold & Hypothermia by Dr Carl Edmonds | Tech Talk: Technical Diving Skills by Mark Powell | UW Photo: A spects of Preparation by Lawson Wood
Main features in this issue include:
Appearing like nebulous emeralds adrift over an expanse of a deep blue ocean, Palau is richly endowed with some of the world’s most stunning and unique terrain above and below the sea. Geologically, the islands are pinnacles of an undersea ridge of volcanic mountains, part of the “Pacific Ring of Fire” known for its violent subterranean activity.
These Rock Islands are significant of Palau’s natural wonder. The bases of these rounded limestone isles have been undercut by eons of water and biological process, creating an optical illusion of them being afloat on the turquoise lagoon.
Palau—prior to a few years ago—was just a name that meant a distant dive destination on my list of places to go. I had seen the periodical article written with its crystal blue water emerald green rock islands and sea life and coral combinations like no other place diving. A dive site called Blue Corner, sounded like fantasy land, almost as if it were thought up by Walt Disney himself, if he were a diver.
I am not a diver first. I am an artist/photographer, but as I was fortunate enough to move to Florida in the United States as a teenager, diving has been a part of my life for 30 years. Most of my diving for well over 20 years was primarily in Florida and the Caribbean.
I first learned about this unusual lake, nestled in Marble Canyon Provincial Park of British Columbia (BC), Canada, when some friends living in Kamloops asked me to join them for a dive at a local, clear freshwater lake. Since it was only a few hours from Vancouver, I decided to take them up on their offer and headed for the interior parts of BC.
I have always wanted to explore this area and was thrilled even more when they told me of the strange coral-type of life living in the lake.
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.
Completely landlocked doesn’t necessarily mean that diving is out of the question. Austria is best known for alpine skiing, historical Vienna and delicious cakes, but also offers some really spectacular diving. Here, one can dive wrecks and walls, enjoying a rich aquatic life in lakes with great visibility.
Together with countries like Norway, Sweden, Iceland and Finland, mountainous Austria is one of the areas in Europe richest in freshwater. And the water is clean. Ninety-nine percent of Austrians have access to potable ground- and spring water.