X-Ray Mag #68

Feature articles in this issue with stand-alone pdfs

Kurt Amsler   Kurt Amsler

Freediving with blue sharks is a dream come true for many divers. The irridescent blues of this slender and graceful creature make it seem to appear and vanish from another dimension as it moves through the shifting light of the ocean. It has long pectoral fins, which complement its narrow form, a pointed nose, and large eyes. Like other sharks, it is curious about divers, and will come close for a look.

Konstantinos Alexiou   Syed Abd Rahman and Kids Scuba Malaysia

Is it safe? When are young too young? The topic of children and diving has been and will remain controversial and highly emotional. The following article intends to provide a review of current recommendations regarding medical issues and fitness as well as important considerations related to the involvement of children in underwater activities.

Edited by Gunild Symes   Emily Williams

American artist Emily Williams creates delicate, intricate glass sculptures inspired by complex forms found in nature, including the sublime structures of corals and marine life as well as the dynamic shapes that water itself can take.

Amanda Cotton   Amanda Cotton

Florida has a secret—albeit not a very well-kept one: it is home to some of the most exquisite freshwater environments in the world. The vast network of springs and rivers located throughout the central and northern areas of the state offer bodies of water with unusual and colorful flora and fauna. State parks across the region are home to many different types of springs from turquoise-blue gushing spring heads surrounded by deep basins to static-flow sinkholes filled with tannic water.

Tom Hayward   Tom Hayward

As divers, we watch underwater documentaries from the BBC, National Geographic and other media with keen interest. Deep water explorations, or photos and video from exotic locales, hold us rapt. How many times have you wished you could sail on one of those research vessels, if only to catch a glimpse of a rarely seen species? For those without the resources to join such expeditions, there is an affordable alternative: Enter the black water dive—long offered in Hawaii but now available on the east coast of the continental United States.

Walt Stearns   Walt Stearns

When divers look to the horizon for destinations offering marine life of the large variety, they often look to such corners of the world like the Galapagos or Cocos Island, Isla Mujeres, Silver Banks, Tonga, Bahamas' Tiger Beach or Raja Ampat, to name a few. While not as exotic in name, one particular stretch of the US state of Florida’s southeast coast called the Palm Beaches is rapidly gaining recognition as a place to experience large animal encounters.

Walt Stearns   Walt Stearns

Of the numerous types of fighter planes used in WWII, the Curtiss SB2C Helldiver is an incredibility rare aircraft. There is only one remaining in the world that is still in flying condition. Finding one of these largely intact underwater is, to say the least, highly unusual. The first such underwater find was not made until January of 2010, when a scuba shop owner in Maui discovered a Helldiver resting in 50ft (15m) of water in Maalaea Bay. Some 20 months later, a second aircraft was located just north of Palm Beach, Florida. This is the story of its discovery.

Rosemary E. Lunn   Jason Brown , Jill Heinerth , Lamar Hires , Rosemary E Lunn , John McCain

In 1979, Lamar Hires was 23, living in Jacksonville, on the east coast of the US state of Florida, and harboring a dream from his childhood. As a child, his family had taken him to the Florida Keys and he had subsequently grown up watching television shows such as Sea Hunt, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and Flipper. The adventure of scuba excited him and he wanted to learn to dive.

Photo by Rico Besserdich

The portfolio is the personal visual flagship of a photographer, and in some sense, the final step in presenting one’s own photographic work. Success and expressiveness of a portfolio depends on many factors. Rico Besserdich provides tips and suggestions on how to approach the difficult task of compiling a good portfolio.

Lawson Wood   Lawson Wood

One of the best shipwrecks off the west coast of Scotland, the SS Seniority, has a tale to tell from her days as an Empire ship built during WWII in Great Britain.

Peter Symes   David Hall

Marine ecosystems are complex and dynamic places in which species interact in a myriad of ways: they both compete and cooperate for protection, shelter, food and various other resources. For certain species, these interactions may have negative effects (such as competition or predation) or positive ones (in the form of symbiotic relationships).

The term “symbiotic” has long since made its way into everyday parlance; we use it, often in a casual way, to loosely describe all sorts of mutually beneficial relationships in our lives including business, social and personal matters, but what does it actually mean?

Simon Pridmore   Andrey Bizyukin , Peter Symes

Picture the scene: conditions are perfect, with flat seas and a clear blue sky. The atmosphere on the small boat is thick with testosterone and there is much whooping and hollering and backslapping as the six divers prepare their gear. The gauntlet has been thrown down. The challenge: to descend quickly down a reef wall to 90m on a single cylinder of air, collect a handful of sand and then come back to the surface. The two individuals accepting the challenge are young, physically fit, good swimmers and experienced divers. It is an initiation ceremony; the other guys on board have all completed the task previously and earned their “wings”. They are here today to cheer the new boys on.

Barb Roy   Barb Roy

I am often asked, “Where is the best place to photograph underwater critters in British Columbia?” Well, there is certainly no simple answer to this question and I usually end up replying something like this; “Unless there is a plankton bloom, bad weather or visibility is poor, there are no bad places to dive in BC, therefore you can see critters on every dive!”

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