X-Ray Mag #78

Feature articles in this issue with stand-alone pdfs

Marco Daturi   Marco Daturi

Austria offers divine diving at high altitudes in freshwater lakes. Marco Daturi takes us to two beautiful lakes found in the mountains of Styria­­—one that continues to enthrall and one which has recently been closed for conservation and protection.

The Galápagos archipelago, a chain of islands in the Pacific Ocean about 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, is like no other place on earth. More than a hundred islets, rocks and 13 main islands make up the Galápagos. It is home to strange creatures found nowhere else. This is one of the few places in the world where you can scuba dive and snorkel with animals which remind one of the dinosaurs of ages past.

Sabine Kerkau   Sabine Kerkau

Croatia, Italy, France—these European destinations have long been coveted insider knowledge for technical and wreck divers. But what about Spain? Technical diving is still in its infancy in Spain. Nevertheless, there are some dive centers in the Mediterranean, as well as on the Atlantic coast of Europe, which offer trimix. There are countless worthwhile destinations in Spain. Unknown wrecks may be found at depths between 60 and 120+m, but there are also many cave systems waiting to be explored and discovered. In this article, I take a closer look at the wrecks off the Atlantic coast of Spain, between Bilbao and Santander.

Konstantinos Alexiou   Andrey Bizyukin

The change in the physical behavior of gases at elevated pressures and in the hyperbaric environment itself exposes the human body to various stressors. This article—which will be presented in two parts—discusses inert gas narcosis (ING) and how it affects the diver, the mechanism behind narcosis, and methods used in order to ameliorate the negative impact of narcosis on divers.

Brandi Mueller   Brandi Mueller

I was not planning to go on the night dive. It was the first night of the trip and I was a little tired, I already had my camera batteries charging and was all settled in with a book for the night after a fabulous first day of diving with turtles, sharks and tons of fish. But Fernando, our dive guide, told me I had to go. Usually, when the dive guide says you have to go, you better go, so I put my camera back together and I was ready in record time.

Cyerce sp. Any of the sacoglosid slugs pose a challenge to photograph due to transparency and the manner in which they move. In “herky-jerky, stop-start” movements, the cyerce lunges forward then stops, flopping its cerata over its facial features. Just as your camera focuses, it repeats the movement again. Photo by Mike Bartick.

Nudibranchs are a worldwide favorite for macro photographers, often leading divers on a “wild slug hunt” across the globe. Once these little gems capture your attention, it is very hard to break out of their magic spell. A gateway critter, if there ever was one, the nudibranch combines the beauty of our ocean and natural history in a photogenic and scientific symphony like no other marine animal.

Aleksei Kondratuk   Aleksei Kondratuk

If your home reef is covered in ice, do not rush to hang your fins on the wall. Ice above your head will make your underwater photos more spectacular! As the cold season has started where I live (in the Russian Far East), more and more divers are coming to dive the East Sea. This year, the Second World Open Diving Championship in “Under-Ice Direction Finding” was held in Vladivostok by the National Dive League of Russia.

Edited by Gunild Symes   Robert Paris

Originally from Virginia, American artist Robert Paris grew up loving the outdoors and the natural world around him. After a career in graphic design working with marketing groups, he decided to give up the corporate life and pursue his passion for painting. Today, if he’s not fishing or gardening, he is creating sublime watercolors of fish and acrylic paintings of marine environments, with some close-up compositions of water and reflections so photo-realistic that they become nearly abstract in color and form.

Matt Jevon   Andrey Bizyukin

I read a blog recently that suggested our egos could be responsible for many of the casualties that technical diving regrettably suffers. Sadly, my comments on this blog never made it past the moderator. As a scientist and psychologist, I am somewhat protective of terminology used to describe human thought, emotion and behaviour, and the author of this blog fell into a common trap in how one described ego.

Brandi Mueller   Brandi Mueller

There is an island at the bottom of the Earth playfully referred to as the end of the world, or the edge of the world, and if I did not know better, I could picture this to be true. Standing at the edge of some of the steepest cliffs in Australia on the Tasman Peninsula of southeastern Tasmania, I looked out over the steep, jagged coastline and the steel blue Southern Ocean. Although I knew the next bit of land south would be Antarctica, if the world were flat, I could easily imagine this to be the edge, where sailors would fall off a huge waterfall into a pit of dragons or something.

But wait. There really were dragons—right below me.

Pete Mesley   Pete Mesley

“Rebreather Friendly” dive centres—what exactly does this mean? With emerging technologies becoming more mainstream in the diving world these days, more and more people are making the investment in rebreathers. Everyone knows the advantages of these pieces of kit—extended dive time capabilities, reduced gas usage, quieter and less obtrusive to the aquatic world, etc. But are dive operators thinking on the same lines? Do they see the potential of increased business opportunities?

Pete Mesley   Pete Mesley

“Rebreather Friendly” dive centres—what exactly does this mean? With emerging technologies becoming more mainstream in the diving world these days, more and more people are making the investment in rebreathers. Everyone knows the advantages of these pieces of kit—extended dive time capabilities, reduced gas usage, quieter and less obtrusive to the aquatic world, etc. But are dive operators thinking on the same lines? Do they see the potential of increased business opportunities?

In this issue, Simon Pridmore takes a look at the buddy system and concludes that on many occasions your buddy is not your friend, and you would be much better off assuming that this will be the case and preparing yourself, always, to assume full responsibility for your diving.

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