Indonesia's Raja Ampat; D-Day wrecks of Normandy; Costa Brava's underwater wine; Egypt's Red Sea wrecks; Turkey's Uluburun; Dr Mark Erdman profile; Tech: Bailout gas; Stretching for divers; Fluoro diving and photography; Lauren Kussro portfolio; Plus news and discoveries, equipment and training news, books and media, underwater photo and video equipment, turtle news, shark tales, whale tales and much more...
Main features in this issue include:
Remember the first rule of scuba diving that you were taught in your basic open-water class? I believe it goes something like: “Keep breathing!” Simple advice and unarguably the best advice possible for any diver, not just those entering the sport for the first time.
For example, the same first rule is true for technical diving. Gas management 101 starts off by stating something like: “Always have a sufficient volume of appropriate gas to breathe throughout the whole dive!”
Healthy shoulders are vital to a positive scuba diving experience.
The mobility of the shoulder joint exceeds every other joint in the human body. It enables divers to reach behind, under, around, above and beyond in nearly unlimited directions and rotation. Consequently, by design the shoulder joint and its musculature are highly susceptible to injury all of the time and especially during scuba diving activities.
The ball and socket joint of the shoulder, unlike the hip joint, is more like a cup and saucer as the ball of the upper arm bone (humerus) is larger than the socket (glenoid) of the shoulder.
Dr Mark Erdmann is a coral reef ecologist and senior advisor for Conservation International-Indonesia’s marine program, with a primary focus on managing CI’s marine conservation initiatives in the Bird’s Head Seascape in West Papua.
Having lived there for over 20 years, he has dedicated the majority of his time to the conservation of Raja Ampat and the broader Bird’s Head Seascape since 2004.
As day turned to night, two Australian icons— Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House— were silhouetted on the skyline. In the fading light, we prepared our equipment for another excursion into Australia’s temperate seas to discover and prove the existence of fluorescing marine life forms in environments other than tropical oceans.
Incredibly rich waters
Arus kencang are the words you need to listen out for—you will hear them in the rapid interchange between the dive guides and the boat boys, as they discuss the practicalities of safely immersing a group of “bule” (slang for foreigners) in the waters of Raja Ampat.
The incredible reefs and tremendous biodiversity of the Raja Ampat area have made this remote part of the Indonesian archipelago one of the hottest dive locations in the world, and those currents are the very lifeblood of the area.
American artist, Lauren Kussro, has been inspired by the sea to create work that is extraordinary, unique and meticulous, capturing in printmaking and printstallations the intricate beauty and poetry of marine creatures and underwater life forms, which divers know and love so well. X-RAY MAG interviewed the artist to find out more about her mesmerizing work and artistic vision.
"I think one of the reasons I like ocean life is that it looks really familiar to us but also extremely alien in a way. Coral is so similar to above water plant forms, but is so bizarre and weird at times! I love that."
-- Lauren Kussro
Swirling unicorn fish surround me and seem to have accepted me as one of their own. I can no longer see the surface nor anything else, save for a wall of fish. Only four minutes into the dive and it’s already evident that this site is living up to its reputation, literally boiling with fish. Moments like this remind me why I dive.
At last, I reach the end of the reef, alone, and stare into the blue while I calm my breathing down. As the minutes pass, doubt creeps into my mind as to whether I’ve made the right decision. Everyone is enjoying the busy reef behind me and I am missing it all!
1300 BC—A merchant ship, laden with treasures from seven different cultures and commodities of Cypriot origin was traveling on a 1,700-mile trade route when it sank for unknown reasons at Cape Uluburun (near Kas on the south coast of the Antalya region of Turkey).
Science was able to answer 1000-year-old questions, driving traditional analysts into desperation and changing the existing historic world view substantially.
On the Ethology of Reef Sharks
A difficulty in obtaining information about the natural behaviour of wild animals is that detailed observations of the activities of different individuals is necessary over long periods of time. This is especially hard to achieve with sharks.