FIJI: Scott Bennett went to the far side of the Pacific and got the Royal treatment. Red Sea: Wreck hunter and author Peter Collings shows what all the latest craze is all about.
Our Norwegian friends takes us for spin in Saltstraumen, the most powerful drift dive on the planet - so buckle up.
Find out where all the noise in the Ocean come from and check out the Fall dive fashion before we go visit SeaCam and have a talk with Harald Hordosch about what it takes to become successful. Cerdic Verdier explains how to Bail out on a rebreather.
And finally Michel Ribera takes on a very spooky dive in the Parisian Netherworld - come see what the Catacombs hold. The Grande finale is presented by Zena Holloway - some amazing photography there.
Main features in this issue include:
Bailing out to Open Circuit is like falling in the snow when you are learning to ski. It’s a solution when facing a problem—not always the most elegant solution, but always the easiest one, and most of the time, the most efficient one.
But Open Circuit bail-out is actually much more than simply going off the loop and breathing from another second stage. There are lots of possibilities.
Paris. City of lights, but of shadows, too. The capital has become a sought-out place for urban exploration. With walks across roofs, through the subways and the sewers and the ancient quarries known as the “Catacombs”.
During the 12th and 13th centuries, Philippe Auguste (1180-1223) expanded the capital considerably. The Notre Dame Cathedral was built in 1163, the rampart and castle of the Louvers in 1180. This boom in construction created a surge in demand for building materials and the quarrying intensified.
Different conservation groups have the last couple of decades brought our attention to the destruction of the world’s tropical coral reefs. These reefs are visited by millions of tourists and are the livelihood for many more millions of people.
Scott Bennett writes: I’d like to introduce you to some of our friends, enthused our guide Manasa, a.k.a Papa, as he held aloft a well-worn loose-leaf binder. The photographs within produced nervous laughter and a couple of anxious glances amongst a few of the divers. Then again, with names like Scarface, Hook and Big Mama, these were no ordinary friends. They were sharks, and we would soon be making their acquaintance.
Two flights and 15 hours after leaving my home in Toronto, I arrived at Nadi’s international airport on the island of Vitu Levu. Stumbling bleary-eyed into the arrival hall, I was greeted by an energetic group of local musicians performing traditional Fijian music.
Fish stocks are depleted world-wide. Over fishing, pollution and coastal development is putting the aquatic resources under strain. Eco-friendly tourism battles against the need for food. Scuba divers rage against dynamite fishing. The oceans struggle to sustain human activities. Many see fish farming as the solution to save the fish stocks and keep feeding people.
Shooting fish with a camera isn’t easy! Unlike people they are perfectly adapted to the aquatic environment, hydro-dynamically shaped and in all their colourful splendour they are completely ignorant of any directions given by the photographer’s end. So to get that perfect shot we need a strategy – and the right equipment.
Caution is a useful behavioural trait for many inhabitants on a tropical reef. It can be a matter of survival. Trying to capture a full format image of sardine with an ultra wide-angle lens is therefore better left to the experts.
As the Red Sea narrows at its northern extreme, a long thin arm of water stretches north towards the Mediterranean. It is the Gulf of Suez. Squeezed between the Sinai Peninsula and the Egyptian mainland, the entrance to the Gulf is marked by a treacherous finger of reef known as Sha’ab Ali.
Heading north past Sha’ab Ali the first headland, Ras Dib, heralds an area rich in shipwrecks. First, are the Attiki and the Muhansia—both visible from the surface, well salvaged and well “dispersed”.
At those moments we are subjected to “peer pressure”, which is the social leverage that we feel when someone pushes us to behave in one direction or another. Usually, if we feel a good connection and a sense of balance with the other person (or persons) we are able to have our judgment override the social pressure—“No, David, I’m not diving five hours before we have to fly back!”
But sometimes, particularly when we are feeling a need to prove ourselves or need a sense of approval, it becomes more difficult. Typically, when people think of peer pressure, they are referring to the influence exerted on an individual to engage in “anti-social” (BAD!) behaviors.
The current grabs you as soon as you enter the water. Your first thought, this is going to be a wild one! The adrenalin is flowing as fast in your veins as the currents is flowing past kelp covered rocks. Diving the strongest malstroem on the planet is not for the fainthearted. It is extremely fun though!
How the snapping shrimp makes itself heard.
You might expect the oceans below the surface to be a quiet and still place, they are far from being so.
If we ignore the anthropogenic noises such as those made by ships and oil-rigs, and the natural noises made by waves and surf, earthquakes, calving icebergs, etc, there is still a considerable amount of noise, which emanates from the aquatic invertebrates and fishes.
Reknown for her extraordinary magical imagery, Zena Holloway is an artist who has taken humanity and the etherial into the underworld to new watery depths.
Born in 1973, this daughter of an airline pilot found inspiration to work underwater behind a camera at the age of 18 while on a diving holiday in Egypt.
She became enamored with the underwater realm and eventually came to work abroad as a SCUBA instructor and underwater videographer for several years. She returned to London in 1995 to work as an underwater photographer.