From our regular columnists

Going Pro – Part I: To Divemaster and Beyond

April 16, 2020 - 14:05
The story is found: 
on page 68

A thought that crosses the mind of many divers at some point in their diving lives is: “Do I have what it takes to be a full-time dive professional—or even just start a scuba side hustle?” The enticing concept that if you are a keen diver, you can turn your hobby into a career is one that commercial training agencies promote heavily because they make good money from instructor courses.

If you walk into a dive centre with more than a few dives under your belt and say you are thinking of “going pro,” nobody will turn you away. There is no assessment process, no enrolment interview, no talent spotting.

Samoa: Polynesian Diving in Upolu

April 06, 2020 - 10:03
The story is found: 
on page 22

Located in the Polynesian region of the South Pacific Ocean, the idyllic paradise of Samoa, which comprises the two main islands of Savai'i and Upolu and several smaller islands, is part of the Commonwealth of Nations. Brandi Mueller managed to venture to Upolu Island before the coronavirus pandemic forced countries to close borders and stay-at-home orders came into effect.

The small, nine-passenger, turboprop airplane violently shook us up and down like an amusement park ride. Out of the windows, all I could see were the gray clouds of the seemingly endless succession of storms that had been ravaging the area.

Comparing the Performance of First Aid Oxygen Delivery Systems

March 25, 2020 - 11:16
The story is found: 
on page 52

The diving community understands that oxygen administration is a first aid treatment priority for divers with suspected decompression illness. The goal is to deliver oxygen at the highest possible concentration, being mindful of oxygen supply limits. A variety of portable oxygen delivery systems have been designed for use in diving accidents.

Constant flow systems have flow meters with settings ranging from 0.5 to 25 liters per minute (L∙min-1). They are usually open-circuit, with expired gas released to the environment, but they can also be used with closed-circuit devices.

A Brick Can Do That!

February 16, 2020 - 21:01
The story is found: 
on page 46

On 11 May 1996, five people died near the summit of Mount Everest. Two were expedition leaders, one was a professional guide and two were their clients. The events were first recounted in the book Into Thin Air written by journalist Jon Krakauer, who was up there on the mountain that day.

The clients died mainly because the professionals persisted with attempting to reach the summit despite the fact that they had passed their turnaround time; that is, the point in the day at which an attempt on the summit would normally be aborted for safety reasons.

Land of the Sumps: Cave Exploration in the Cerro Rabón

December 14, 2019 - 16:15
The story is found: 
on page 73

What a resurgence! I first saw this amazing resurgence in 2017.

Together with Katie Graham and Gilly Elor, we made use of some spare time we had and took the scenic tour to Huautla along the slopes of the picturesque Santo Domingo Canyon, home to several of the world’s deepest and longest cave systems (Sistema Huautla, Sistema Cheve and possibly multiple larg

For the Love of Diving: Interview with Marissa Eckert

December 08, 2019 - 14:42
The story is found: 
on page 67

Thirty-four-year-old Marissa Eckert is a passionate full-time cave and technical diving instructor who co-owns Hidden Worlds Diving in Fort White, Florida, USA, with her partner, James Draker. When she is not teaching, Eckert enjoys traveling all over the world, exploring new places, hiking through the jungle and doing challenging new dives that help her grow and learn as a diver.

"Well, I would definitely say that diving is my life. I feel excited and happy to get up every day and go to work. I love what I do. I actually do not really feel that it is work . . . I feel fortunate that I get to do something that I love so much."
— Marissa Eckert

Out of Air with Plenty to Breathe

December 04, 2019 - 14:13
The story is found: 
on page 65

It was a beautiful day in Indonesia’s Banda Sea. Richard rolled back into the warm waters and swam over to join his wife, Florence. After exchanging signals, they descended together, heading for a patch of bright yellow sea fans on the reef wall at 30m, where their guide had promised to show them pygmy seahorses. The guide was already there below, searching for the elusive little creatures.

Three or four breaths later, it stopped giving him any air at all. He reached for his contents gauge and saw the needle pointing to zero. Impossibly, only a few minutes into his dive, he was out of air.

Front Row Seats for the Third Wave

October 31, 2019 - 20:12
The story is found: 
on page 54

In his book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, historian Yuval Noah Harari traces the path left by Homo sapiens as our species spread over the world, causing the extinction of other human species and sub-species, and half of the planet’s big beasts. He describes the extinctions as happening in three waves.

The first and most critical wave took place as Homo sapiens foragers spread across the continents—causing a mass extinction as they went. Long before the wheel or writing was invented, half of the animal species on earth that weighed over 50kg were gone.

Sidemount Tanks: Getting Them to Behave Themselves & Sit Where They Should

October 04, 2019 - 14:24
The story is found: 
on page 70

One of the least mysterious things about sidemount diving is how to rig a set of steel primary cylinders so they hang at diver’s sides as they are supposed to, rather than hanging pendulum-like below them. However, some still struggle to get it anywhere close to right. Perhaps this article will help.

There may be several variations on the basic theme, but I have found the simple way to rig steel cylinders to hang this way is to break the process of rigging them into a series of simple steps. Now, before explaining things in detail, there are a few assumptions that apply to this method.

Scapa Flow: WWI Wreck Legacy & Recent Discoveries

August 27, 2019 - 13:43
The story is found: 
on page 6

Separated from the northern coast of mainland Scotland by only the six-mile-wide channel of the Pentland Firth, Orkney has some 90 islands, only 18 of which are inhabited. In the southern region of the archipelago is the large area of sheltered water known as Scapa Flow. Scapa Flow was the base chosen by the British Admiralty as the home of the Grand Naval Fleet.

Graeme Spence, maritime surveyor to the Admiralty, said in 1812: “… the art of Man, aided by all the Dykes, Sea Walls or Break-Waters that could possibly be built could not have contained a better Roadstead than the peculiar situation and extent of the South Isles of Orkney have made Scapa Flow .