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X-Ray Mag #62

Feature articles in this issue with stand-alone pdfs

Taking pictures while freediving can be a real physical challenge, but in some cases, it may be the only option to get the subject in front of your lens.

Freediving in order to take underwater photographs is not the norm, but there are many freedivers who do just that—for example, the freediving icon Fred Buyle.

The battleship España has a very important place in the history of the Basque Country of northern Spain and is now a protected monument at the bottom of the sea.

Coral reefs are places of immense natural diversity. They accommodate some of the highest densities of animals on earth and have more species than any other marine habitat. However, the species inhabiting coral reefs are not distributed evenly through the oceans.

Coral reefs are places of immense natural diversity. They accommodate some of the highest densities of animals on earth and have more species than any other marine habitat. However, the species inhabiting coral reefs are not distributed evenly through the oceans.

Nick Shallcross   Nick Shallcross

On a cold day in February 1944, little would the workers of the Commercial Iron Works in Portland, Oregon, have known of the fate and unlikely resting place of the USS LCI(L) 739—now known to those who visit her as the HTMS Sattakut.

Gunild Symes   Jason deCaires Taylor

British artist Jason deCaires Taylor has created unique underwater sculptures and installations in locations all over the world. We first interviewed him in 2007 when he finished a photo-documentary of one of his earliest works in Grenada.

Gunild Symes   Jason deCaires Taylor

British artist Jason deCaires Taylor has created unique underwater sculptures and installations in locations all over the world. We first interviewed him in 2007 when he finished a photo-documentary of one of his earliest works in Grenada.

A diver had an oxygen toxicity seizure because an incorrect gas was filled in a cylinder by a dive centre. A baby died because the wrong dose of medication was injected. Who is to blame for the error and how do we try to make sure that these types of incidents aren’t repeated?

Kelly LaClaire   Kate Clark
Khao Lak, Thailand. Photo by Kate Clark

My dive buddy, Kate, is trying to get a shot of a purple sea fan but she’s having trouble with her strobes and my ADD is kicking in. This happens occasionally. I try to be a good buddy, I really do, but there’s just so damn much to see underwater and I get antsy if we stop too long for a photograph.

The fox shark, also called the common thresher shark, lives usually at depths of over 200 meters and it is sighted only rarely. This is the main reason, we don’t know very much about these animals, and there is very little good visual documentation showing thresher sharks up close on camera.

As picture perfect as Malapascua is, in a nation of 7,107 palm tree fringed islands, 2.5km long Malapascua wouldn’t be on anyone’s radar were it not for the thresher sharks that treat the island like a spa. Each morning as the sun peeks over the mountains on distant Cebu, Pelagic threshers rise from the depths to be cleaned by reef fish along a deep ledge known as Monad Shoal.

There is a line of thought in the scientific community that this is where it all began and the first corals originated… a large sheltered bay, roughly one third along the north coast of the island now called New Britain. The bay is called Kimbe and the country is Papua New Guinea—the wild and exciting nation crafted together in colonial times from the eastern half of the huge island of New Guinea and a string of other islands stretching out in to the Bismarck and Solomon Seas.

Betty and Dan Orr   Rosemary E Lunn , Peter Symes

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” — Benjamin Franklin

We all dream of some day going to that special place somewhere around the globe for that ‘dive of a lifetime’. In our imagination, we see the beautiful hotel, the splendid rooms, exotic foods and underwater scenery that truly takes your breath away. Whether your travel takes you to your dream destination or to your favorite local dive site, the key element to truly enjoying the trip is preparation.

Cathie Cush   Photos courtesy of AquaCorps

As Evelyn Bartram Dudas’s Nikonos III made its way toward the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean one day not too long ago, she did the only thing that made sense to her at the time. She dove after it, retrieving the camera just before it was lost amidst the twisted remains of a shipwreck on the sea floor. Her rapid descent cost her a broken eardrum. It wasn’t the first time this veteran West Chester, Pennsylvania, diver, dive shop owner, and mother of four had suffered at the hands of the sea.

Steve Lewis   Peter Symes

Diving is risky business. Just how risky depends on a whole shopping list of factors and influences, but let’s agree that there are more risks involved with diving than, say, sitting in your basement watching Olympic curling on TV.

Imagine scuba diving is a brand new sport. You hear about it for the first time when one of your friends tells you about a scuba experience she had recently on holiday and you think this sounds incredibly exciting. After thinking about it for a long time, you decide you want to learn. You take lessons to improve your swimming and then you look online for a dive instructor. There are no dive centres in your town. You have never actually seen a dive centre. You will have to travel to a nearby island to learn.

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