X-Ray Mag #43

Feature articles in this issue with stand-alone pdfs

Don Silcock   Don Silcock
Carving on submerged structure in Qian Doa Lake. Photo by Don Silcock.

When I was asked to do an 18-month assignment in China in 2008, I thought the last thing I would need would be my diving and underwater photography equipment —but that was before I stumbled on the local diving community in Shanghai, where I was living.

Elaine Kwee   Elaine Kwee, Liz Harlin, , Jemina Stuart-Smith, Rick Stewart-Smith

DiVo is based in Australia. Its aim is to bring more recreational divers to active marine conservation and research participation.

DiVo also collaborates with marine conservation and research groups to originate projects where divers can participate hands-on in marine conservation and studies and have a dive with a difference to make a difference.

Tyge Dahl Hermansen   Scott Bennett , Peter Symes

Mangrove forests are significant habitats that exist throughout the tropical belt across the globe. Mangroves are adapted to the specific terms that exist in intertidal marine zones.

A wide diversity of animals is found in mangrove swamps. Since these estuarine swamps are constantly replenished with nutrients transported by fresh water runoff from the land and flushed by the ebb and flow of the tides, they support a bursting population of bacteria and other decomposers and filter feeders.

Bob Halstead   Peter Symes

Buddies are not essential for a safe dive. On the contrary, buddies often increase the risk of a dive, either directly through unpredictable or unreliable actions, or indirectly, through an unfounded belief that security is enhanced by numbers alone, regardless of the training or state of mind of the buddy. In most instances, a competent solo diver would be much safer than the average buddy dive.

The jet-black rubber RIB was running flat out in the February night. We were sweeping past the Mongstad oil refinery at the Norwegian west-coast, just south of Gulen Dive Resort, and the clock was approaching midnight. Apart from the lights in the distance, the visibility was zero, and we were navigating solely on GPS, chart plotter and radar. The speed of 35 knots produced a howling wind, although the sea was completely calm. There was no moon, which was perfect for what we had in mind—an encounter with the alien of the deep, the crown jelly, Periphylla periphylla.

It wasn’t until Wayne and I were actually leaving Port Hardy aboard the new liveaboard dive boat, the Nautilus Swell, that I realized how much I missed this area of British Columbia. The beauty of a calm ocean at sunset with fresh air all around and the tranquility of stillness allowed the hustle and bustle of city life to simply melt away. Only the sounds from squawking seagulls taking flight and the chattering of bald eagles could be heard.

Kelly LaClaire   Kate Clark
Southern Belize. Photo by Kate Clark

Hello. My name is Kelly and I’m a dive-aholic. I freely admit it. I’m unabashedly, totally and completely addicted to travelling the world scuba diving. I love soaking up foreign cultures and engaging in lively conversations with friendly locals. I love sampling exotic foods that make your mouth sing and your stomach angry. I love taking that first giant stride into turquoise waters and discovering what new and fascinating critters await in the depths below. Heck, I even love the long and cramped, often overbooked and under-serviced flights one has to endure to reach these remote destinations.

Brian Keegan   Anders Engman , Illustration by Föreningen Forsviks Varv

A group of Swedish divers is working on creating a wreck park in Lake Vättern. Vättern is Sweden’s second largest lake and is located in the center of the country.

Mandarinfish pair, Yap. Photo by Scott Johnson

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. When He reflected on His handiwork, God thought, “Is there anything I can add to crown my glorious creation?” His answer, of course, was “Yap!” So, He added the lovely island chain, and then, “God saw all that He had made, and it was very good.” (Genesis, chapter one — journalist translation)

Of course, in the Garden of Eden, “Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.” (Genesis 2:25). The naiveté and simple pace of the people in this island paradise were certainly refreshing, once one got used to the bared flesh, of course.

Daniel Brinckmann   Daniel Brinckmann

You name it and you know it—the itching and scratching in the morning, those five minutes of mini breakfast, the coffee swallowed so quickly it burns your throat—all for the anticipation of the adventure to come. The Big Game.

Every experienced diver knows that feeling, but hardly anybody is able to describe the notion just why one feels a certain day is gonna be the very special one. Probably the most intriguing thing about my "day of days" is that none of the above happened. Actually, it started out worse... much worse.

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