X-Ray Mag #83

Feature articles in this issue with stand-alone pdfs

Edited by Gunild Symes   Darina Denali

Czech artist Darina Denali, now based in New Zealand, creates glorious, vibrant and dynamic paintings of marine life, capturing the curious behaviors of animals and sublime nature of the underwater realm. X-Ray Mag interviewed the artist to gain insights into her artistry and creative process.

Kate Jonker   Kate Jonker

Having dived in the northern Red Sea almost every year since 2005, I had come to Marsa Alam to join a liveaboard safari that would take me to the Deep South of the Egyptian Red Sea to explore St John’s reef and the Fury Shoal, just above the Sudanese border. I had heard rave reviews about the pristine coral reefs and the beautiful cave systems, of the dolphins and sharks and dugongs, and was here to find out for myself whether these claims were true.

Situated east of the more widely recognized Society Islands such as Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora, the Tuamotu Archipelago comprises around 80 islands and atolls stretching northwest to southeast across the South Pacific Ocean, creating the longest chain of atolls in the world.

Matthew Meier shares highlights from his adventure in Tuamotu, after visiting the archipelago on the only liveaboard operating in the area.

Don Silcock   Don Silcock

Like a fashion model up on the catwalk, great hammerhead sharks sashay into one’s field of vision, and, if they were human, you would probably say they have just “made an entrance”. Their strange mallet-like head, robust body girth and tall sickle-shaped dorsal fin make them well-nigh instantly recognisable, and most other sharks in the immediate area spot that too and give them a wide berth.

Mike Bartick   Mike Bartick

Many would look across the ocean at night and feel a tinge of fear. I guess that is normal—fear of the unknown, fear of the dark, fear that something out there is coming to get you. But for those that have embarked on diving in the open ocean at night, it can bring on a feeling of curiosity, excitement and discovery.

Cesare Balzi   Michele Favaron , Mauro Pazzi

In the Bay of Vlora (Valona), Albania, resting at a depth of 35m, lies one of the largest and most impressive wrecks in the whole Adriatic, that of the Italian hospital ship Po, sunk by British torpedo bombers on 14 March 1941. In the darkness of the night, the pilots were not aware that the ship was a hospital ship. In the attack that ensued, 21 on board the ship died, including three nurses; one of whom was Mussolini’s daughter, Edda Ciano, who was working for the Red Cross.

Scott Bennett   Scott Bennett

Ever since the release of the Lord of the Rings, New Zealand has been synonymous with Middle-earth—a South Pacific wonderland of forests, mountains, volcanoes and geysers featured in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies.  Although revered for its topside beauty, New Zealand remains somewhat obscure as a diving destination. Yet, the North Island is home to a place Jacques Cousteau considered one of the world’s top ten diving locations—the Poor Knights Islands.

Brent Durand   Brent Durand

Most years, Southern California on the US west coast is the site of a special marine life aggregation, treating locals to one of the most unique dives in the world. Hundreds of thousands of market squid (<i>Doryteuthis opalescens</i>) swim into recreational dive depths to mate and lay an expansive canvas of egg baskets (collections of eggs) across the sandy substrate. Because so many squid can be present, and because they are attracted to divers’ torches, the dive is spent immersed in a cloud of these small, excited squid.

Simon Pridmore  

Failure points is a very important concept in the technical diving world, which is highly relevant to every form and level of scuba diving, but it is rarely addressed and often neglected.

Matt Jevon   Andrey Bizyukin

“Experience is what you get when you don't get what you want.” It is an old and well-worn phrase, but is it true?

Lawson Wood   Lawson Wood ( underwater photos )

I was sent recently a new small compact camera by Olympus to test on home grounds as opposed to taking it away to perfectly warm, perfectly clear, overseas destinations. Considering that most new compact cameras are aimed at a local market, it made sense to try this one out at home. The new little compact is the Olympus Tough TG-5.

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