From our regular columnists

Innovations: Things to Thank Technical Divers For

December 11, 2018 - 15:01
The story is found: 
on page 68

We are all involved in the same great sport. Whether you are a recently qualified open water diver or an experienced diver who has travelled to the farthest oceans of the world, there is a bond that connects us. We are all divers.

In the automobile industry, technologies such as ABS braking, air bags and push-button ignition were originally developed for racing cars but have now found their way into family saloons.

Sand Tiger Sharks of North Carolina

December 10, 2018 - 18:21
The story is found: 
on page 41

There I was, off the coast of North Carolina at a depth of about 20m (60ft) when the shadowy shape of the WWII wreck Caribsea came into view—but it looked almost as if it was moving! Upon closer inspection, it turned out to be a cloud of tiny bait fish completely covering the wreck. As they moved, the ship seemed to move with them; and then, out of the swarm, a massive, tank-like, gray silhouette emerged.

Sand tiger sharks (Carcharias taurus) look mean but in reality, they are quite docile. As I watched, at least 12 sharks crisscrossed the Caribsea wreck; they almost seemed to be in a perfect state of Zen.

What Does It Take to be a "Good Diver"? Part II

September 14, 2018 - 16:45
The story is found: 
on page 66

You are chatting with a diving friend and the conversation turns to mutual acquaintances. “Do you know Bob and Carol?” your friend asks. “Oh yes, good divers!” you reply. We will usually refer to someone as a good diver when they are not around. We will rarely say it to their face. And it is something that we all rather hope people say about us behind our backs.

This is the second of two articles designed to provoke discussion on the topic. In the first article in the previous issue of X-Ray Mag, I covered some of the more obvious characteristics. Here are a few more.

Graveyard of the Atlantic: Wrecks of North Carolina's Outer Banks

August 14, 2018 - 14:48
The story is found: 
on page 34

One of the problems with the proverbial bucket list is that whenever you tick a dive trip off the list, it seems that you add at least three more destinations to it. This is exactly what happened to me. I had never considered North Carolina as a dive destination, much less one of the top wreck diving locations in the world.

Wreck diving is one of my favorite types of diving because I love the history of how the wrecks came to be underwater, and North Carolina has plenty of that.

The Loch Etive Spurdogs

July 29, 2018 - 13:35
The story is found: 
on page 74

Over a number of years, the actions of fishermen and sea anglers have attracted the attention of marine scientists at the Dunstaffnage Marine Laboratory who quickly became aware of these fishers catching spurdogs in the Loch Etive area near Oban on the west coast of Scotland.

Glen Coe and Glen Etive cradle Loch Etive all the way to the western shores of Scotland and was used as a through-road by our ancestors.

What Does It Take to Be a “Good Diver?” — Part One

July 27, 2018 - 18:41
The story is found: 
on page 59

You are chatting with a diving friend and the conversation turns to mutual acquaintances. “Do you know Bob and Carol?” your friend asks. “Oh yes, good divers!” you reply. We will usually refer to someone as a good diver when they are not around. We will rarely say it to their face. And it is something that we all rather hope people say about us behind our backs.

This is the first of two articles aiming to provoke discussion on the topic. Suffice it to say, before I go any further, being a good diver does not just come down to amassing a wallet full of cards and a garage full of cool kit.

Fluoroscent Photography Underwater

July 25, 2018 - 12:32
The story is found: 
on page 53

On a night dive in the Philippines several years ago, I had an opportunity to do a "fluoro" night dive. Atlantis Dive Resort rented blue underwater flashlights and yellow filter shields that went over divers' masks. Geared up, I set off into the night. The blue light was very dim and the dive was much darker than a normal night dive.

I suddenly felt like I was in a neon video game with the underwater world transforming into vibrant greens, reds and yellows. A bright, glowing light snaked across the sand, and on closer inspection, it was an eel that was vivid green.

Saba: Pristine Gem in the Caribbean

July 25, 2018 - 12:06
The story is found: 
on page 33

I loved Saba before I arrived. Throughout my dive travels, I had occasionally heard about this mythical island of which not many knew. Tales of a small dormant volcanic island with healthy reefs, hiking trails crisscrossing its eight square kilometers, and excellent food.

Being in the general vicinity of Saba and having a little free time, I decided to finally make my way to this island, which has lingered in my diving dreams. Officially a special municipality of the Netherlands, Saba is part of the Leeward Islands and Lesser Antilles with St.

The Evolution of Dive Planning

June 12, 2018 - 14:01
The story is found: 
on page 76

For many recreational divers, dive planning has become a lost art, but technical divers still place a large emphasis on the value of dive planning. Despite this, the methods of dive planning have changed to take advantage of changes in technology and equipment. In this article, we will look at how dive planning for technical divers has evolved and how we can best make use of modern technology while still maintaining safety.

“Plan the dive and dive the plan” has long been the mantra employed in all areas of diving. Technical divers in particular spend more time planning their dives than many recreational divers.

PFO: Not the “Hole” Story

June 08, 2018 - 17:05
The story is found: 
on page 62

Researchers took a close look at PFO and arterial bubbles and reached some quite startling conclusions. Most divers know that many people have a PFO and that having a PFO makes you more susceptible to decompression sickness (DCS), but that is far from being the “hole” story, (forgive the pun).

The Scuba Confidential column in this issue is again adapted from my book, Scuba Physiological: Think you know all about Scuba Medicine?

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