X-Ray Mag #33

Feature articles in this issue with stand-alone pdfs

Gunild Symes   Dailan Pugh

Australian artist and painter, Dailan Pugh, knows the underwater realm. He captures its vivid colors and dynamic diversity of life on canvas like no one else.

Charles Stirling   Charles Stirling

I went to Oman to look at coral reefs that are regenerating from damage caused by cyclone Gonu in June 2007. Divers are just beginning to learn of the Sultanate of Oman; it’s becoming yet another destination to consider. A country with a 1700km coastline extending from the border with the Republic of Yemen in the south to the Strait of Hormuz in the north. Its shores are lapped by three seas—the Arabian Sea, Sea of Oman and the Arabian Gulf— all within latitudes where coral reefs are expected. So what are you going to find if you visit?

The notion that wide-angle lenses can only be used for large subject matter is common, but erroneous.

Gunild Symes   Amos Nachoum and Jeb Corliss

How to get out of the protective cage and swim with the Great White shark—that’s what Big Animals expeditions founder and leader, Amos Nachoum, helps the adventurous and steely-nerved diver and underwater photographer do.

Gunild Symes   Amos Nachoum and Jeb Corliss

How to get out of the protective cage and swim with the Great White shark—that’s what Big Animals expeditions founder and leader, Amos Nachoum, helps the adventurous and steely-nerved diver and underwater photographer do.

Alexander Petrov   Mikhael Semenov

“Moscow—Port of Five Seas” is written on the banner of the north river terminal in Moscow. It’s true; the city sits on the banks of the Moskva River (Moscow River), which leads to several large bodies of water via canals including the Caspian Sea, the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea. But I think, the slogan also reflects the city’s inhabitants’ love of diving.

Christine Ward-Paige  

It’s early afternoon. The sun is beating down and mosquitoes are humming. Another decent day’s catch is unloaded, men sweating with the effort. If it weren’t for the breeze, the stench would be unbearable. Today’s tally: more than 100 sharks, some weighing close to 1,000 pounds and reaching nearly 20 feet in length. The catch includes leopard (tiger), dusky, hammerhead, nurse, sand sharks and sawfish—nothing unusual in the shallow (15 feet) waters surrounding Big Pine Key.

Diver and sea fans, Solomon Islands. Photo by Steve Jones

I’m nervous. That’s not an unusual feeling for me when embarking on a challenging dive, yet I am in only two metres of water, the sea is flat calm, and there is no current to impede my progress at all. Indeed, the source of my apprehension lies just beyond the tunnel that I’m cautiously making my way through. I will soon emerge into a shallow pool known as Mirror Pond, and it is here that saltwater crocodiles are frequently sighted.

Ron Akeson   Ron Akeson and Barb Roy

I often raise a few eyebrows when I exclaim, “I’ll take diving in the Pacific Northwest over anyplace else in the world.” And it’s true.

The drift diving is unmatched, complimented with a rich diversity of unique marine life including wolf eels, giant Pacific octopus, and six-gill sharks. Although recreational diving opportunities are also unsurpassed, technical diving is equally as good throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Diver on Hispania wreck, Sound of Mull and Oban, Scotland, UK. Photo by Steve Jones

There is a point in the journey to the west coast of Scotland just a little way north of the City of Glasgow that the landscape changes from “merely” pretty to the full on highland spectacular. It seems as if you are driving into the wilderness. Modern life, along with its stresses, seems to become a distant memory, and it’s not difficult to imagine you’ve travelled back hundreds of years in time; relics of this country’s rich history, castles and ancient ruins, adorn the stunning hills and deep green valleys. The tranquillity of the Lochs help to define a place that simply possesses a “kind of magic”.

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