Japanese wrecks of Kwajalein Atoll; Canary Islands' El Hierro; Mexico's La Paz; Croatia's Stuka bomber wreck; Wrecks of Palau liveaboard adventure; Wakatobi getaway; Belgian mines of Mons; Black water diving in Palau; Scuba Confidential: Masking the problem; Managing stress in diving; Sharks don't bite like we do; UW Photography: Contrast, lines, haptics; Corinne Chaix portfolio; Plus news and discoveries, equipment and training news, books and media, underwater photo and video equipment, shark tales, whale tales and much more...
Main features in this issue include:
Mining was an important pillar of the Belgian economy in the 19th and 20th centuries. Tens of thousands of laborers found employment in this now-defunct industry. Our team’s underwater exploration of this forgotten industrial archaeological site was like a trip back in time.
For more than 70 years, phosphate mines were exploited close to the Wallonian city of Mons, in Brussels, Belgium. The phosphate was used, among others, in the sugar industry and to create fertilizer.
The original concept of black water diving consists of going to an offshore location in the middle of the ocean at night and jumping into the abyss to watch the ocean’s diurnal migration. By hanging lights at around 15m for a stable reference depth and drifting over a contour of a 1,000 meters, or as deep as you can, one can see microscopic zooplankton rising from the depths, bringing with them an array of magical creatures.
Post larval stage ﬁsh, juvenile undeveloped species, gelatinous pelagic invertebrates, jellies, comb jellies, ctenophores, pelagic gastropods and pelagic cephalopods, to name but a few, are also migrating vertically.
Have you ever experienced absolute silence? No hassle, no stress—people seeking mass tourism would certainly be out of place here. Just relaxation and downshifting—you can set your mind at rest. This is what El Hierro is about.
The smallest of the seven Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean is located on the western side of the volcanic archipelago. It is the end of the "Old World" where the zero meridian monument is found in the vicinity of the Faro de Orchilla lighthouse.
— As elements of image composition.
The path to a better image is always a path that comes with a deeper understanding about which elements of an image are in charge of awakening the attention of the viewer. The goal is to create images that please you and your audience alike.
Corinne Chaix is a French artist based in Venice, California. She creates surreal paintings, often placing human beings and marine life together in strange and mysterious scenes, playing with themes of confinement, illusion, parody and fantasy. X-RAY MAG interviewed the artist to find out more about her work and her perspectives on art and the underwater world.
"The ocean covers more than 70 percent of the planet, and the level of the water is going up quickly. It is time to include it as a major element in our lives and our near future."
— Corinne Chaix
At the end of September 2014, the dive bomber Ju 87 R-2 was found by chance, during a harpoon competition near the Croatian island of Zirje. The significant discovery caused a stir at the time, since just a few of a total of 5,752 bombers produced in Germany were still in good condition.
The wreck is remarkably well preserved; it is even said to be the world's best preserved Stuka bomber. The engine was placed in a different bay, probably torn off by the impact to the sea surface or abducted by fishing nets.
Look at a map of the Pacific Ocean and follow a line southwest of Hawaii. Right after crossing the International Date Line, but just before crossing the equator sits the Republic of the Marshall Islands. What could possibly be a map maker’s accidental green spots in the vast pool of blue representing the Pacific Ocean, many have never heard of these tiny islands which are home to fantastic underwater treasures.
The Marshall Islands consist of 29 atolls with a total land mass around 180 square kilometers (70 sq.
Two hours into a cave dive and just about to turn based on the dive plan, I have at least a two-hour swim back out, stages to find and pick up, and a number of jumps and T’s to navigate to safely exit the cave. I am mentally and physically stressed, and just short of halfway through the dive.
We have become “conditioned” to stress being a negative issue, and of course “distress” is extremely negative and often debilitating.
There are many divers who harbour a dangerous secret. Hermione is one of them. On a recent dive, the latest of over 200 she has done over the past 12 years, the unthinkable happened. Despite having carefully followed her usual predive cleaning routine, her mask started fogging up halfway through the dive.
She screamed into her mouthpiece in frustration and the guide, looking at her, indicated that she should clear her mask. She dimly perceived his signals through the mist and squealed again, signalling with her thumb that she wanted to go up.
Baja California is a peninsula in the western section of Mexico. The peninsula has the Pacific Ocean to the west and is separated from the mainland by the Gulf of California (also known as the Sea of Cortez) to the east. These waters are home to 39 percent of the world's marine mammal species. Nine hundred species of fish and five of the world’s seven endangered species of sea turtles live here.
In the north are the cities of Mexicali, Ensenada and Tijuana. California's San Diego is just across the border. Many liveaboard dive boats disembark from Ensenada. In the south is the city of Cabo San Lucas. Cabo is a party town that feels more like a city in the United States than in Mexico.
Though sharks have gained a mythical reputation for being biters, their behavior in nature is the opposite of what we would expect from the vicious animals depicted in the media. I had many opportunities to observe sharks under circumstances in which I expected them to bite, as a dog, cat, horse or bird would tend to do. Yet they did not.
All other species, wild and tame, with which I had the intimacy I shared with sharks, had bitten me sooner or later, either by accident or in a fit of pique; even my pet dog sometimes grabs my hand in her teeth along with the offered cookie.
Trip Teaser: Come with X-RAY MAG to Wakatobi!
April 10-17, 2017
During this special week at the resort there will be a series of image clinics for underwater photographers hosted by Walt Stearns and Peter Symes (publisher of X-Ray Magazine), along with a photo contest for the best wide-angle & macro subjects taken during the week.
In my long career as a writer/photographer, I have had the opportunity to visit a large number of destinations, which has translated into an even higher number of resort visits. Among the more widely regarded is Wakatobi Dive Resort in southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia.
Trip Teaser: Come with X-RAY MAG to Palau on the Palau Siren liveaboard!
Join X-Ray Mag editor Matthew Meier on this very special and different liveaboard cruise on the Palau Siren through the stunning archipelago of Palau in Micronesia.
- World War II wrecks
- 36 Japanese vessels, as well as sundry aircraft
- Steep walls with abundant fish life
- Manta Rays and Reef Sharks
- Stunning archipelago
- Luxury stay on Palau Siren