X-Ray Mag #89

Feature articles in this issue with stand-alone pdfs

Cesare Balzi   Marcello di Francesco

The waters of Istria in the Adriatic Sea are littered with ships from the First World War and one of the best known is that of the Rossarol, sunk on 16 November 1918. Divers from many parts of Europe have developed a project to remember the tragic episode and safeguard the integrity of the wreck.

Sabine Kerkau   Sabine Kerkau

Diving is one of the most varied sports one can imagine. In the beginning, it is the colorful fish and warm waters that inspire new divers. But after some years, for many divers, this is not enough. For these divers, wreck diving and cave diving offer exciting alternatives. If you are interested in both, a whole new exciting world can also be found in mines and mine diving. Indeed, throughout Europe, there are various mines that have been opened up for mine diving.

Brandi Mueller   Brandi Mueller

One of the problems with the proverbial bucket list is that whenever you tick a dive trip off the list, it seems that you add at least three more destinations to it. This is exactly what happened to me. I had never considered North Carolina as a dive destination, much less one of the top wreck diving locations in the world. But, after running across other wreck diving enthusiasts who frequented the “Graveyard of the Atlantic,” yet another destination was added to my list.

Ever wanted to know how a photographer captured a fantastic, unique or strangely weird shot? Well, here are the favorite image picks and their backstories from several of our featured contributors, as we celebrate the new year and look back on dive adventures past.

Simon Pridmore  

We are all involved in the same great sport. Whether you are a recently qualified open water diver or an experienced diver who has travelled to the farthest oceans of the world, there is a bond that connects us. We are all divers. One notable feature of this bond, one that connects even the most occasional diver with the pioneers who push the frontiers of underwater exploration, is the way in which those at the cutting edge of the sport influence how the rest of the world dives.

Edited by Gunild Symes   Kristen Regan

In her Plastisphere series, American artist and photographer Kristen Regan has created spell-binding photographs of plankton forms, inspired by microscopic ocean life, using repurposed plastic materials. X-Ray Mag interviewed the artist, currently based in Pensacola, Florida, to find out more about her artwork, creative process and efforts to raise awareness of the problem of plastics pervading our oceans, marine life and food chain.

Larry Cohen & Olga Torrey   Larry Cohen & Olga Torrey
Olga Torrey

The waters off the coast of the US state of North Carolina are treacherous. Bad weather, rough seas, heavy current and inlets that are difficult to navigate are common. So why do underwater explorers consider this area to be a world-class dive destination? Because when you do get offshore, it is extraordinary.

Larry Cohen & Olga Torrey   Larry Cohen & Olga Torrey
Larry Cohen on the wreck of the Ruby E, San Diego, California, USA. Photo by Olga Torrey.

San Diego’s Wreck Alley is an area with intentionally sunken ships. One of the wrecks divers can find here is the HMCS Yukon, which was a Mackenzie-class destroyer that served in the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) and later the Canadian Forces. She was named after the Yukon River that runs from British Columbia through the Yukon and into Alaska.

Brandi Mueller   Brandi Mueller

There I was, off the coast of North Carolina at a depth of about 20m (60ft) when the shadowy shape of the WWII wreck Caribsea came into view—but it looked almost as if it was moving! Upon closer inspection, it turned out to be a cloud of tiny bait fish completely covering the wreck. As they moved, the ship seemed to move with them; and then, out of the swarm, a massive, tank-like, gray silhouette emerged. It moved at one speed and in one direction, not altering its course an inch. I smiled so much my mask began to leak—it was a sand tiger shark.

Kate Jonker   Kate Jonker

Many years ago, whilst learning to scuba dive, I came across an article on manatees and dugongs. I was entranced. Not only were they cute, according to the article, they loved hugging divers, and once they held on to you, they did not want to let you go. The image of this human-hugging, underwater teddy bear remained with me and I was determined that one day, I would find one and hug it.

Francesco Turano   Francesco Turano

Talking about this animal is simply a pleasure, almost as much as meeting it and relating to it underwater. It is satisfying to spend some time putting my thoughts into words about the octopus, as I am a diver in love with this extraordinary creature—a mollusc that reasons.

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