X-Ray Mag #108

Feature articles in this issue with stand-alone pdfs

Peter Symes   Gabriele Paparo
Diver wearing a sidemounted rebreather

Rebreathers are great pieces of kit that do away with the need to carry an excessive amount of dive cylinders on deeper dives. However, this advantage is offset by the need to also carry additional open circuit cylinders on which a diver can bail out in case of a rebreather malfunction. Using another rebreather could be a better solution and to that end, a bailout rebreather course has been developed.

Simon Pridmore  

There are thousands of dive centres, resorts and liveaboards all over the world. Some are very good and provide excellent, safe and highly professional service. Others are not so good and are best avoided.

Peter Symes  

Will it become possible to diagnose decompression sickness through a blood test? We take a closer look at the implications of some recently published research.

Gareth Lock   Gareth Lock
Screenshot from Human Factors in Diving Conference presented by Gareth Lock

On 24-25 September 2021, the first-ever Human Factors in Diving Conference ran. There were 27 speakers from across the globe (New Zealand, Australia, Dubai, Europe, United States and Mexico) supported by the platform hosts LexGo Live. Just less than 25 hours of content was produced during the two eight-hour days and was uploaded in near-real-time, which will contribute to the learning about and application of human factors, non-technical skills, Just Culture and psychological safety in the sports, military, commercial and public safety diving sectors.

Stefan Beskow   Stefan Beskow , Rickard Andersson , Andrey Bizyukin

Are you thinking of buying a drysuit? Maybe for the first time, or is it time to buy a new one? Using a drysuit can feel a little strange to many at first, but with today’s suits, there is a large range of models to meet every requirement. Stefan Beskow offers a basic guide to drysuits and what to look for in a drysuit for your particular needs.

Edited by G. Symes   All artwork by Lisa Tubach
A World Within a World Within a World, oil on canvas, 48 x 60 inches, by Lisa Tubach

Drawing on profound experiences underwater, as well as shark and reef conservation work in Belize, Hawaii, Puget Sound, Bahamas and Australia, American artist and James Madison University professor Lisa Tubach creates exuberant, dynamic and compelling paintings inspired by underwater forms, creatures and ecosystems, as well as the perils facing the ocean’s fragile reefs. X-Ray Mag interviewed the artist to learn more about her perspectives, creative process and artwork, which has been exhibited in the United States, Peru, Suriname, France, Scotland, Japan and Australia.

X-Ray Mag Contributors   X-Ray Mag Contributors
Manatee calf with mother, Florida, USA.

We asked our contributors what their favorite images of broods and juveniles were, and they sent us photos and stories about the offspring and parenting behaviors of a variety of marine species. From a manatee mother and her calf to baby sea turtles to juvenile sharks, brooding Garibaldi fish to mantis shrimp protecting its eggs, a baby humpback whale to a rare nudibranch with a ribbon of eggs, X-Ray Mag contributors share their favorite images from near and far.

Pierre Constant   Pierre Constant , Myriam Dupuis (nudibranchs)

Elliptical in shape, Reunion Island is located in the southern Indian Ocean, 800km east of Madagascar as the crow flies, and 200km west-south-west of Mauritius Island. With a surface of 2,512 sq km and a perimeter of 207km, it is the emerged tip of a volcanic mound that rose 7,000m above the ocean floor. Pierre Constant shares his adventure to this exotic and remote island.

Susanne Paulsen   Susanne Paulsen
She-P: p-valve for female divers

For many female divers, especially those in technical diving, to be able to drink all the liquid one wants and actually needs before a dive, to avoid having to take off one’s drysuit and undergarments to relieve oneself, to avoid asking the guys to look away when using the “gal bucket” on board, and not to have the last part of a dive ruined by an urge to go, is really important. Susanne Paulsen takes a look at the topic of diving and the urge to go, as well as the She-P innovation to help solve the problem.

Scott Bennett   Scott Bennett
Soft corals, Rocky Island, Egypt. Photo by Scott Bennett

“WHAT TOOK ME SO LONG?” I repeatedly asked myself during a recent trip to the Red Sea. One of the globe’s most iconic dive destinations, its spectacular coral gardens, prolific fish life and legendary visibility is beloved by divers the world over. Yet, despite nearly 30 years of diving experience, I somehow had not gotten around to it—definitely on my radar, but inexplicably regulated to the “someday” file.

Pavel Lapshin   Pavel Lapshin
Diver inspects the wreck of the Vera Figner wreck. Photo by Pavel Lapshin

Scuba diving is a diverse and breathtaking activity where, upon submerging, one can find oneself drifting along the waves of history. Such an opportunity presented itself to me during my recent visit with fellow divers in Perm, who discovered an interesting object under the ice in the Sylva River.

Pavel Lapshin   Pavel Lapshin
Diver inspects the wreck of the Vera Figner wreck. Photo by Pavel Lapshin

Scuba diving is a diverse and breathtaking activity where, upon submerging, one can find oneself drifting along the waves of history. Such an opportunity presented itself to me during my recent visit with fellow divers in Perm, who discovered an interesting object under the ice in the Sylva River.

Adam Hanlon   Adam Hanlon , Winning images courtesy of CMAS
Creative Category 1st Place: Eser Pasa and Tolga Pat, Turkey

The tiny charming and picturesque island of Porto Santo—the northernmost and easternmost island of the Portuguese archipelago of Madeira, located in the Atlantic Ocean—played host to the CMAS World Championship of Underwater Photography and Video, which took place on 4-9 October 2021. This biannual event was now in its eighteenth year and had attracted 48 teams from 18 countries, each competing for national and individual glory. Adam Hanlon reports.

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Other news published in this issue

Restoration approaches to increase the resilience of corals are necessary to counter environmental pressures relevant to climate change projections. To that end, tools exist to maintain or even rebuild and rehabilitate reefs, enhance recovery rates and promote resistance to environmental pressures.

A young coral colony (Acropora recruit) on the surface of a reef on the Great Barrier Reef.

Damaged coral reefs show slower than expected recovery for up to six years before switching to a faster phase of regrowth, according to new research.

A federal jury has convicted Peter Sotis, 57, and Emilie Voissem, 45, on charges of smuggling, conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and attempting to violate the act.

Surfers are the highest-risk group for fatal shark bites, especially by juvenile white sharks

A simulated 'shark vision' model confirms theories that when great white sharks bite humans, it may be a case of mistaken identity.

Harbour porpoise in Denmark.

A recent study looked into how toothed whales used echolocation to track their prey.

Australia’s situation is but a microcosm of trends facing the worldwide diving industry. It will take some time for the industry to return to pre-pandemic levels. Although many challenges remain, tenacity will hopefully pave the way for a brighter future.

Immi Wallin, Jeff Lindsay and Paolo Costa each talked about wrecks and are nowtaking questions from the audience.

Dive shows and events are back after a long hiatus due to corona.

Soft coral, cup coral, sponges and ascidians from Komodo National Park

New research reveals that the species which dominate experimental coral reef communities shift due to climate change, but the total biodiversity does not decline.

Vrak – Museum of Wrecks is a new maritime archaeological museum in the middle of Stockholm. It opened on Thursday 23 Sept.

Stern of the wreck. The stern post ends to opening in planking, tiller moved in it. The transom has been above this structure. Uppermost planks on the sides of the stern have fallen away.

The international dive group Badewanne has established the age of a unique shipwreck in the Baltic Sea.

Screengrab from New Scientist's video showing the mud ring made by the dolphins in the Caribbean.

Some bottlenose dolphins in the Caribbean have been using mud rings when hunting prey, a strategy previously believed to be unique to the bottlenose dolphins in Florida.