X-Ray Mag #72

Richard Barnden || Squid on black water dive in Palau
95 spreads (double pages)
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Feature articles in this issue with stand-alone pdfs

Vic Verlinden   Vic Verlinden

Mining was an important pillar of the Belgian economy in the 19th and 20th centuries. Tens of thousands of laborers found employment in this now-defunct industry. Our team’s underwater exploration of this forgotten industrial archaeological site was like a trip back in time.

Richard Barnden   Richard Barnden

The original concept of black water diving consists of going to an offshore location in the middle of the ocean at night and jumping into the abyss to watch the ocean’s diurnal migration. By hanging lights at around 15m for a stable reference depth and drifting over a contour of a 1,000 meters, or as deep as you can, one can see microscopic zooplankton rising from the depths, bringing with them an array of magical creatures.

Richard Barnden   Richard Barnden

The original concept of black water diving consists of going to an offshore location in the middle of the ocean at night and jumping into the abyss to watch the ocean’s diurnal migration. By hanging lights at around 15m for a stable reference depth and drifting over a contour of a 1,000 meters, or as deep as you can, one can see microscopic zooplankton rising from the depths, bringing with them an array of magical creatures.

Claudia Weber-Gebert   Claudia Weber-Gebert

Have you ever experienced absolute silence? No hassle, no stress—people seeking mass tourism would certainly be out of place here. Just relaxation and downshifting—you can set your mind at rest. This is what El Hierro is about.

Edited by Gunild Symes   Corinne Chaix
Underwater Society 5, by Corinne Chaix. Acrylic, ink on paper, 8 x 10 inches.

Corinne Chaix is a French artist based in Venice, California. She creates surreal paintings, often placing human beings and marine life together in strange and mysterious scenes, playing with themes of confinement, illusion, parody and fantasy. X-RAY MAG interviewed the artist to find out more about her work and her perspectives on art and the underwater world.

Claudia Weber-Gebert   Claudia Weber-Gebert

At the end of September 2014, the dive bomber Ju 87 R-2 was found by chance, during a harpoon competition near the Croatian island of Zirje. The significant discovery caused a stir at the time, since just a few of a total of 5,752 bombers produced in Germany were still in good condition.

Brandi Mueller   Brandi Mueller

Look at a map of the Pacific Ocean and follow a line southwest of Hawaii. Right after crossing the International Date Line, but just before crossing the equator sits the Republic of the Marshall Islands. What could possibly be a map maker’s accidental green spots in the vast pool of blue representing the Pacific Ocean, many have never heard of these tiny islands which are home to fantastic underwater treasures. The Marshall Islands, particularly Kwajalein Atoll, played a large role in the Pacific Theater of World War II and what was left behind in one of the Earth’s largest atoll will keep any diver entertained for many dives.

Brandi Mueller   Brandi Mueller

Look at a map of the Pacific Ocean and follow a line southwest of Hawaii. Right after crossing the International Date Line, but just before crossing the equator sits the Republic of the Marshall Islands. What could possibly be a map maker’s accidental green spots in the vast pool of blue representing the Pacific Ocean, many have never heard of these tiny islands which are home to fantastic underwater treasures. The Marshall Islands, particularly Kwajalein Atoll, played a large role in the Pacific Theater of World War II and what was left behind in one of the Earth’s largest atoll will keep any diver entertained for many dives.

Matt Jevon  

Two hours into a cave dive and just about to turn based on the dive plan, I have at least a two-hour swim back out, stages to find and pick up, and a number of jumps and T’s to navigate to safely exit the cave. I am mentally and physically stressed, and just short of halfway through the dive. I am, however, in fact loving being in the cave, loving what I am seeing, and loving the stress—it is keeping me sharp, focussed, team-, self- and situationally-aware.

Simon Pridmore   Peter Symes

There are many divers who harbour a dangerous secret. Hermione is one of them. On a recent dive, the latest of over 200 she has done over the past 12 years, the unthinkable happened. Despite having carefully followed her usual predive cleaning routine, her mask started fogging up halfway through the dive. Her guide was pointing out small creature after small creature, and eventually the fog became so thick she could not see what he was showing her.

Larry Cohen   Larry Cohen , Olga Torrey
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Olga Torrey   Larry Cohen , Olga Torrey
Sea lion, La Paz, Mexico. Photo by Larry Cohen

Baja California is a peninsula in the western section of Mexico. The peninsula has the Pacific Ocean to the west and is separated from the mainland by the Gulf of California (also known as the Sea of Cortez) to the east. These waters are home to 39 percent of the world's marine mammal species. Nine hundred species of fish and five of the world’s seven endangered species of sea turtles live here.

Ila France Porcher   Peter Symes

Though sharks have gained a mythical reputation for being biters, their behavior in nature is the opposite of what we would expect from the vicious animals depicted in the media. I had many opportunities to observe sharks under circumstances in which I expected them to bite, as a dog, cat, horse or bird would tend to do. Yet they did not. 

Walt Stearns   Walt Stearns

Trip Teaser: Come with X-RAY MAG to Wakatobi!

April 10-17, 2017

During this special week at the resort there will be a series of image clinics for underwater photographers hosted by Walt Stearns and Peter Symes (publisher of X-Ray Magazine), along with a photo contest for the best wide-angle & macro subjects taken during the week.

In addition to numerous prizes for wide-angle and macro, one winning image will make the cover of X-ray magazine!

There will be a Post Trip Photo Gallery featured on xray-mag.com of top images from participating photographers.

Inquiries and bookings: Wakatobi.com.

Richard Barnden   Richard Barnden

Trip Teaser: Come with X-RAY MAG to Palau on the Palau Siren liveaboard!

Join X-Ray Mag editor Matthew Meier on this very special and different liveaboard cruise on the Palau Siren through the stunning archipelago of Palau in Micronesia.

Palau is famous for its large pelagic life, manta rays, grey reef sharks and swimming with millions of stingless jellyfish. But not many people are also aware that hidden beneath the waters of Palau’s inner lagoon lies some of the planet’s best wrecks from WW2.

How did some of Japan’s Combined Fleet end up resting on the sandy bottom of this pristine island? And how are Palau’s wrecks connected to the world-famous wrecks of Chuuk, also known as Truk Lagoon?

(Find specifics and booking info at the bottom of this page)

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