X-Ray Mag #75

Brandi Mueller
86 spreads (double pages)
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X-Ray Mag Global edition   ~50 Mb

Feature articles in this issue with stand-alone pdfs

Edited by Gunild Symes   Carolyn Steele

Originally from England, tropical wildlife artist Carolyn Steele creates brilliant, captivating and vibrant paintings of reef life, inspired by her treks to islands in the Caribbean. Now based in the US state of Florida, the artist shares her love of the underwater world and her perspectives on ocean and reef conservation.

Rising out of the depths, a shape emerges from the shadows, methodically swimming in a wide arc. The outline is unmistakable, as it continues to climb and inch closer at every turn. With one last pass, seemingly in slow motion, I am struck by the sheer enormity of the creature in front of me.

Visions of Martin Brody voicing his famous line, “You’re gonna need a bigger boat,” play through my head. Fortunately, I am not on a small fishing boat, nor is this the demonic, mechanical shark from the movie "Jaws".

Brandi Mueller   Brandi Mueller

It was one of those diving vacations where the weather was perfect, the seas were calm, the sun was shining, and the waters were warmer than expected, with good visibility and plenty of life. The boat was beautiful, the crew was fantastic, the food was amazing, the coffee hot and the beer cold. And the diving location was like no other. Let me take you to Komodo.

Howard Payne  

Bill “Hogarth” Main is the co-founder of the Woodville Karst Plain Project (WKPP) deep cave diving team, a world record breaking cave explorer, and godfather of tech and cave diving minimalism. With an energy that belies his 64 years, Bill Main climbed out of his car to greet me, looking every inch a child of the ‘60s in a Beanie hat, with wild wraparound sunglasses.

He cemented first impressions by enthusing about a Pink Floyd album he had recently rediscovered, and I teased him a little about his diminutive ride. He explained to me that his Toyota Yaris does everything he needs, and people need to start taking responsibility for the environment and the impact its abuse has had on the Florida cave systems.

Scott Bennett   Scott Bennett

“Not the Dominican Republic, Dominica,” I corrected my friends for the umpteenth time regarding my upcoming trip. Then again, it was easy to understand how the gaffe had come about. While the former is home to sprawling resorts and package tourism, the latter is a tropical gem in the Lesser Antilles which is a far cry from its similarly-named Caribbean cousin. Billing itself as the Nature Island, its relative obscurity, compact size and pristine beauty make for a nature-lover’s Shangri-La.

Sabine Kerkau   Jill Heinerth , Sabine Kerkau , Sandy Spurrell

Last summer, my path led me for the first time to Newfoundland, Canada, more precisely to the town of Conception Bay South. Cave explorer Jill Heinerth invited me along with Rick Stanley, the owner of Ocean Quest Adventure Resort, to dive some wrecks in the bay. On this occasion, Stanley told us about a project whose realization he has been working toward for several years.

Over the years, many people have come into the scuba diving industry driven by a dream. This dream is to find a small, sunny corner of the world where the reefs are healthy and where they might set up a little dive resort.

Ila France Porcher   Larry Cohen and Peter Symes

While studying reef sharks in Tahiti, I became fascinated by the behavior of the remoras accompanying them. They were fish of the <i>Echeneidae</i> family, and ranged in size from a few centimeters to about 50cm long. They were pretty silver fish with widened heads, and often a black racing stripe. With their transparent fins and tails, and their exaggerated horizontal undulations while swimming, they had a showy look, and their behavior was unexpectedly complex.

Mike Bartick   Mike Bartick

Observing animal behavior is a high point of any dive, whether it is watching fish spawning, nudibranchs feeding, or my current personal favorite—egg brooding. Getting good images of the last behavior, however, is quite different from just observing it and will prove to be a challenge to underwater photographers at every level. The first step to success in capturing such images is by becoming a bit more savvy on the intended target, by doing a little research and by knowing what to look for and where to find it.

Jennifer Idol   Jennifer Idol

A volcano larger than Delaware and Rhode Island combined, Yellowstone National Park is a geothermal hot spot that attracts more than four million visitors a year. Wildlife roam the landscape freely in this caldera defined by ongoing thermal activity. In this unique landscape, opportunities for exploration above and below the water line abound.

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