X-Ray Mag #94

Matthew Meier
90 spreads (double pages)
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X-Ray Mag Global edition   ~50 Mb

Feature articles in this issue with stand-alone pdfs

Don Silcock   Don Silcock

Every year, as the summer heat descends on the Yucatan peninsula, an amazing phenom­enon takes place in the waters to the northeast of the small holiday island of Isla Mujeres. Local fishermen call it the Afuera (Mexican for “outside”), in reference to those deeper waters offshore from the tip of the Yucatan where, come July and August, the largest known gathering of whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) takes place.

Fatin Iesa   Dave Gration, University of Malta, Heritage Malta

Ranging from calm shore dives for beginner divers to technical diving on elusive, unmarked wreck sites, which can only be found via depth sounder—diving in Malta has it all. Just beyond Malta’s dramatic underwater landscapes of strange rock formations, chimneys and caves, visitors can discover Malta’s intriguing and piquant past.

Simon Pridmore  
What causes nitrogen narcosis?

Researchers have raised some eye-opening thoughts on nitrogen narcosis, showing that it is something that most divers THINK they understand but few actually do.

Marco Colombo   Marco Colombo
The trench live in freshwater lakes and streams. Photo by Marco Colombo.

When considering underwater photography, we usually think about images of wonderful coral reefs, colourful fish, clear waters and undersea landscapes. In fact, 70 percent of our planet is covered by water on its surface, and, even though 97 percent of this is saltwater, the remaining three percent is freshwater in rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, marshes and groundwater. This is a tiny percentage, but it is very important: Freshwater allows for life on land and is strictly connected with human survival.

Steve Lewis   Steve Lewis (Illustrations) , Larry Cohen and Olga Torrey (photos)

One of the least mysterious things about sidemount diving is how to rig a set of steel primary cylinders so they hang at diver’s sides as they are supposed to, rather than hanging pendulum-like below them. However, some still struggle to get it anywhere close to right. Perhaps this article will help.

Matthew Meier   Matthew Meier
A pregnant tiger shark is redirected by the feeder, while two more tiger sharks swim in the background, Tiger Beach, Bahamas. Photo by Matthew Meier.

Standing on the swim step, trying to time my entry with a gap in the dozen or more lemon sharks circling directly below me was a bit daunting the first go around. Of course, the sharks knew this routine well and skillfully avoided my clumsy splash into the water. The reward waiting beneath the surface was an assemblage of sharks that cannot be collectively encountered anywhere else in the world.

Mike Salvarezza and Chris Weaver   Mike Salvarezza and Chris Weaver

We came up over a coral ridge and yet another vista of beautiful hard and soft corals met our eyes. It was late in the day and the diminished sunlight was quickly turning the dive into a dusk adventure. After four dives in the day, we were both tired and exhilarated, and it was time to begin our ascent and head to the boat for a well-earned dinner.

Shooting with a model right below the water’s surface can have a pleasing outcome, plus there is less “safety hassle.” But not everyone has the gift to look great underwater. Model: Chris Mo

Whether or not we find something to shoot during our dives with a camera, there is always one photogenic subject that is always with us: the dive buddy. This allows us to explore an interesting category of underwater imaging: model photography. There is hardly any underwater photographer who has not recently taken photos of his or her dive buddy as souvenirs of a dive, for practice purposes, or simply because nothing else could be found as a photographic subject.

Here is an excellent opportunity to consider how people can be photographed in interesting ways as models underwater.

Olga Torrey   Larry Cohen
Photo of Olga Torrey diving sidemount by Larry Cohen.

“Long dives, no pain” was the main reason for me to learn this configuration. I have been using sidemount for nine years now, and I still think it is the best approach to prevent the deterioration of one’s neck, shoulders and back.

Olga Torrey   Larry Cohen
Photo of Olga Torrey diving sidemount by Larry Cohen.

“Long dives, no pain” was the main reason for me to learn this configuration. I have been using sidemount for nine years now, and I still think it is the best approach to prevent the deterioration of one’s neck, shoulders and back.

Stratis Kas. Edited by Michael Menduno   Stratis Kas, Nata Kas , and Matteo Varenna
Divers in Sinji Cave, Arkadia, Greece. Photo by Matteo Varenna.

Doing something right has never been more important that being ready—and even eager—to change for the better. What was considered great a few years ago is not always great today. All we need is to find a better option, since what was right yesterday, may not be right anymore. Doing It Right (DIR) is about doing it better than it was done before. For me, that is the only right thing to do.

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