Italy's Ponza Island; Bali's Tulamben; North Sea's Dogger Bank; Moby-Dick's Sperm Whales; U-2511 Wreck; Checklists; Profiles of Wreckers; Shark Art of Wolfgang Leander; UW Modeling Tips; Scuba Confidential; Dive Fitness; Brazil UWP Competition report; Marionette Taboniar portfolio; Plus news and discoveries, equipment and training news, books and media, underwater photo and video equipment, shark tales, whale tales and much more...
Main features in this issue include:
At the Rebreather Forum 3 conference held in Florida in May 2012, a number of presentations were made which advocated the use of checklists as a means to prevent diving incidents from occurring, or at least reducing the likelihood of occurrence.
The reason why the presentations and consensus statement arrived at this position was because there is considerable evidence from aviation, medicine and other fields and disciplines that shows the proper use of checklists reduces the probability of incidents occurring.
Anna’s story: “I was on my eighth or ninth dive, about five minutes in and at a depth of around 13 metres when I realized that my air was not coming out smoothly. I couldn’t think why this should be. I had checked my pressure gauge on descent and it had shown 190 bar. I switched to my octopus, but there was no difference. Soon the air became very thin. I tried to stay calm and thought for a few seconds.
When exercising the legs to keep them strong for scuba diving, it is important to develop muscle strength, endurance and flexibility. The legs must be versatile for diving activities, which place unique demands on the body.
Divers also need to be particularly aware of balanced leg strength to maximize equipment design. The most ideal set of fins will function better with good muscle balance and biomechanics of the legs.
It’s an adventure. You swim like a champion, trying to be as streamlined as possible and glide effortlessly through the water. Your heart rate is already at its limits and your breathing borders on hyperventilation. Your focus is on the sperm whale and its blow, which you can see just as you slide into the water. You are hoping to get the animal in front of your camera, but it is a bit of gamble.
Yet the whales are elusive and their behavior is nowhere near what Herman Melville described in his famous novel, “Moby Dick”. Suddenly, a bulbous head sticks high out of the water. With flippers slapping the water, the sperm whale heads straight for us in order to ram us.
Painting on plexiglass, the self-taught American artist Marionette Taboniar creates liquid worlds of tropical fish life and colorful reef scenes. X-RAY MAG interviewed the Michi-gan native who now lives and teaches at her studio on Kauai.
"In today’s world, we are constantly being bombarded by left brain activities, such as using a computer, cell phone, video games, etc. We need a little right brain creativity to keep us balanced."
-- Marionette Taboniar
At the end of Second World War, the allied forces were in possession of 120 German U-boats. They decided to let them sink in the deep water of the Atlantic Ocean during a special operation for this purpose.
On the January 30, the U-2511 finished its test trip in the Bay of Dantzig with Adelbert Schnee and his crew who already had a lot of experience with U-boats. He also commanded successfully the U-201 with which he sunk several ships.
The power of the island of Ponza lies in its ability to preserve an intangible aura of magic, which nature has given it, in the marriage of heaven and earth, water and fire, in the racing of land and sea after each other, relentlessly.
The only exception is Zannone, which is formed by limestone and dolomite, and looks like a gem. It is so green, covered with Mediterranean shrubs. All are characterized by a succession of small coves, bays and inlets that give them a special charm.
I don’t think a week ever went by where I didn’t hear Ron tell someone at his Bellingham dive store, “My motto in life follows the saying: growing old is mandatory, but growing up is optional.” If you ever had the pleasure of knowing or meeting Ron Akeson, you probably understood how he viewed life, because he truly believed in trying to squeeze in every little bit of living into each and every day!
A cascade of grief seemed to grip the local dive community in a domino effect as more and more heard of his passing. Multitudes continue to call in, shocked to hear their mentor, past dive instructor and friend would no longer be around.
At the almost venerable age of 73, Wolfgang Leander is one of the great pioneers of freediving with sharks, whose writing and photography have made him a legend.
Of German descent and now living in Cochabamba, Bolivia, Leander was fascinated from early childhood by the sea and its occupants. By the time he was a teenager, he was spending his time spearfishing in the Mediterranean, which was then a diver’s paradise.
Once upon a time there was a land... Doggerland—a huge area of dry land that once stretched from Scotland to Denmark—was slowly submerged by water between 18,000 BC and 5,500 BC. Today it is a shallow bank and productive fishing ground in the middle of the North Sea.
Glancing at a map of Europe, the North Sea appears to be quite an expanse of featureless open sea separating Scandinavia and the European mainland from the British Isles. The North Sea is, however, not an oceanic abyss but a shallow sea flooding a low-lying part of the continent.
“What do you have to do?” It is the first question asked by most people when it comes to underwater modeling. As an underwater model, my answer is always the same: “I have to blend myself with the underwater environment to further enhance its beauty.”
Attitudes needed to change. I wanted to improve conditions and see what women divers in scuba gear could do to improve underwater images. So I established a school for underwater modeling in Korea to give women divers new skills and professional opportunities in the diving industry.