X-Ray Mag #117

Feature articles in this issue with stand-alone pdfs

Francesco Cameli   Illustrations by Francesco Cameli
With good trim, divers are more efficient and can stay longer and safer underwater. (Photo source: Daniel Lobo/Flickr/CC BY 2.O)

Trim is a misunderstood, and often poorly rectified, scuba skill. In our scuba journey, trim is something that we may or may not encounter or discuss, unless we get into technical diving or more advanced recreational diving. Francesco Cameli offers insight and advice in how to improve your trim and increase your efficiency in the water.

Pascal Henaff   Pascal Henaff , Illustration by Hervé Marsaud
Hardware covered with corynactis, which decorates the entire wreck of the Californian. Photo by Pascal Henaff

The Californian was an American steamship built in 1900, which sank in the Gulf of Biscay, off the coast of France, in 1918, during a WWI convoy. Pascal Henaff has the story.

Simon Pridmore   Kyo Liu
Pygmy seahorse. Photo by Kyo Liu

In the southernmost district of Taiwan lies the Taiwanese Riviera, located in Hengchun Township (also known as Kenting), where divers enjoy the warm waters and plentiful marine life of the sheltered bay of Nan Wan, with its coral cliffs, reefs and pinnacles. Simon Pridmore has the story.

Susanne Lundvall   Will Appleyard , Susanne Lundvall , Jessika Olofsson
The author shines a light on the propellor of the Akula wreck. Photo by Will Appleyard

A flooded prison, a Russian submarine, and a wreck with a two-million-dollar cargo are some of what diving in Estonia has to offer. Susanne Lundvall visited these sites on the last of three weekends she had spent on the dive team with Project BALTACAR, Baltic History Beneath the Surface—an EU initiative developing dive tourism in the Baltic region. Here, she shares her report.

Michel Braunstein   Michel Braunstein
Tiger shark on shark dive at Fuvahmulah in the deep south of the Maldives. Photo by Michel Braunstein

Over the last few years, Fuvahmulah has become a world-famous pristine destination for close encounters with large tiger sharks. The green island is located at the deep south of the Maldives archipelago. Michel Braunstein reports.

Simon Pridmore  
(Source: Nejron Photo / stock.adobe.com)

How much weight should a diver use? How much is too much or too little to maintain proper posture, balance and air consumption? How do you adjust for a new wetsuit? Simon Pridmore discusses weight issues and offers tips and advice.

David Strike  
Hindenberg disaster (Source: Nationaal Archief / public domain)

In the early part of the 20th century, American physicist and chemist, Professor Elihu Thomson—the person credited with putting the eventual use of helium on the diving menu—had originally proposed the use of hydrogen as a suitable replacement for nitrogen in the breathing mix used by divers. David Strike has the story.

Pierre Constant   Pierre Constant
Lifou's Kiki Beach, as seen from the cliffs, Lifou, New Caledonia. Photo by Pierre Constant

Stretching over 500km, the Loyalty Islands of New Caledonia in Melanesia are a tropical oasis in the Pacific. It is here that one can experience the beautiful underwater world of Lifou, home to a diverse array of marine life. Pierre Constant shares his adventure there.

X-Ray Mag Contributors   X-Ray Mag Contributors
Ghost nudibranch. Photo by Kate Jonker

We asked our contributors what their favorite minimalist underwater photos were and they returned with a creative mix of macro, wide-angle and close-up abstract images in color and black and white. Here, X-Ray Mag contributors share their favorite images from the tropical waters of Fiji, French Polynesia, Chuuk, the Solomon Islands, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Egyptian Red Sea, the Bahamas, Cuba, the Cayman Islands, Mexico’s Yucatán and Revillagigedo Islands, Bonaire and Honduras to the temperate waters of South Africa and the US East Coast.

Don Silcock   Don Silcock , Angelique Songco / TMO
Angelique Songco (Source: TMO)

In a country that has so much to offer the travelling diver and underwater photographer, there are certain exceptional locations in the Philippines that really stand out and top of the list has to be the remote reefs and atolls of Tubbataha. Don Silcock interviewed a central figure in the story of the conservation of Tubbataha’s marine ecosystems: Angelique Songco.

Brandi Mueller   Brandi Mueller
Felimare cantabrica nudibranchs. Photo by Brandi Mueller

Along the coast of Portugal, just south of Lisbon, is the Arrábida National Park, founded in 1976. It protects an area on the southern part of the Setúbal Peninsula that covers 175.41 sq km (68.11 sq mi) of land and sea. Brandi Mueller shares her adventure in Sesimbra, which borders the marine preserve that hosts a plethora of marine species.

Peter Symes   Peter Symes
Introduction by Scott Bennett   Peter Symes
Sometimes we discover fixes or adapt and repurpose mundane items to make life on the road easier.

As any underwater photographer can attest to, water and electronics do not mix. Despite our best attempts at planning for unforeseen circumstances, the law of averages dictates that things can and will go wrong. More often than not, some situations are ones we had not even considered. Peter Symes and Scott Bennett report.

Interview by G. Symes   Tony Fredriksson
Humpback Whale, driftwood sculpture by Tony Fredriksson. Photo courtesy of Tony Fredriksson

Originally from Zimbabwe, artist Tony Fredriksson is a sculptor based in South Africa who creates incredibly life-like sculptures of marine life out of driftwood, drawing inspiration from how the wood is eroded by weather, scoured by streams or sanded smooth by sand. X-Ray Mag interviewed the artist to learn more about his artworks and creative process.


Other articles and news in this edition

A mostly intact wreck of a WWII-era German floatplane, an Arado 196, has been found off Crete by technical divers from Chania Diving Center.

Microplastics do not accumulate in aquatic food webs. A Danish study finds that marine plankton does not consume but spits out plastic particles.

Arthur Castillo fick sin fällande dom upphävd efter att domstolen gett en annan tolkning av "dykbuddysystemet" som hade varit en avgörande faktor i hans tidigare dom.

Arthur Castillo had his conviction of involuntary manslaughter quashed after the appeals court ruled that he did everything he could have reasonably been expected to do under the circumstances.

The 144-foot barquentine named Nucleus, which has been discovered 600ft below the surface of Lake Superior, more than 150 years after it sank, is one of the oldest ships to have been recovered from the lake.

USS Albacore

The long-lost wreckage of a US Navy submarine, credited with sinking nearly a dozen enemy ships during World War II before vanishing in late 1944, has been found off the coast of northern Japan, according to US Navy officials.

NOAA proposes to designate Lake Ontario National Marine Sanctuary in eastern Lake Ontario to recognize the national significance of the area's historical, archaeological and cultural resources and to manage this special place as part of the National Marine Sanctuary System.

Tiger shark

The sharks and rays in the Northwestern Atlantic are experiencing an increase in population numbers.

White shark at Guadalupe

Effective January 9, 2023, the Mexican Government has closed Isla Guadalupe indefinitely to all diving activities, film and television productions. Essentially eliminating one of the best places on the planet to cage dive with great white sharks.

With almost 237,000 visitors from over 100 countries and more than 1,500 exhibitors from 68 nations on 220,000 square metres in 16 exhibition halls, boot Düsseldorf made an impressive comeback, the organisers write.

Whales have developed mechanisms against diseases such as cancer.

Whales should have a greater risk of developing cancer than humans because they are bigger and have more cells. In fact, whales are some of the animals least likely to get cancer. The answer is in their genes, according to a new study.

Nurse shark

Some species of shark return to the same breeding grounds for decades at a time, and live longer than previously thought.

Great White Shark

The adult male shark, which was fitted with a pop-up satellite tag, travelled more than 10,000km in just five months.

The Laboratory of Maritime Archaeology is the first maritime archaeology research unit in Montenegro tasked with illuminating and making the underwater cultural heritage of Montenegro accessible to the public.

Great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias)

While the sharks can roam around Australia and across ocean basins, they repeatedly return to their home region to breed.

The Atlantic molly, a Mexican cavefish which developed resistance to a fish toxin

A centuries-old religious ceremony of an indigenous people in southern Mexico has led to small evolutionary changes in a local species of fish, according to researchers from Texas A&M University.