close

Вход

Забыли?

вход по аккаунту

?

Scuba_Diving_May_2017

код для вставкиСкачать
TESTS 13 BRAND-NEW FINS
P29
SCUBA
D I V I N G
A CANADIAN
MINE GIVES UP
ITS SECRETS
P48
WHAT
TO DO
WHEN
YOU'RE
OUT OF
AIR
P58
GET THE MOST
OUT OF YOUR
COMPUTER
P16
SCUBADIVING.COM
MAY 2017
T H E P L A N E T ’ S B E S T D I V I N G AT
1 3 W O R L D H E R I TA G E S I T E S P36
ON THE COVER
Our photo contest
uncovers big talent —
Beth Watson, who shot
this moray in Bonaire,
is a 2015 honoree.
Enter at scubadiving
.com/photocontest.
CONTENTS
M AY 2 0 1 7 // V O L . 2 6 I S S U E 0 3 // S C U B A D I V I N G . C O M
48
08
ADVANCED
ADVENTURE
TA L K
UNESCO World
Heritage status is a
perk — but it doesn’t
guarantee protection;
for that we all have to
get involved.
An intrepid team of
explorers takes on
the Canadian island
that time forgot, paving the way for an
unusual new dive.
11
56
CURRENTS
TRAINING
Can a robot save the
Great Barrier Reef?
Plus, what’s new
in purpose-sunk
wrecks; and how to
dive Bikini Atoll.
What, you don’t have
a save-a-dive kit?
Stop what you’re doing and read how to
make one right now.
G E TAWAYS
Get to know your
friendly harbor seal;
what it’s like to dive
with a walrus; exotic
Secret Spots.
Pennsylvania’s bestloved landlocked
dive; where to find
the best diving of
your life (it’s not
where you might
think); kick back
and take it easy
in Belize.
29
SCUBALAB
74
LOOK
You’ll be seeing
double with this
lovely image from
Raiatea Atoll in
French Polynesia.
T R AV E L : WO R L D H E R I TAG E S I T E S
from rec to tec, openheel to barefoot.
The results might
surprise you.
In 1972, a United Nations conference created the UNESCO World
Heritage list, an effort to encourage conservation of the planet’s
most wondrous locales. Thirteen of those sites, profiled here, are
even more magical than most of the now-1,000 spots on the list:
They can be appreciated only by those who submerge.
Scuba Diving (ISSN 1553-7919) is published eight times per year (J/F, M/A, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, S/O & N/D) by Bonnier Corp., 460 N. Orlando Ave., Suite 200, Winter Park, FL 32789. Vol. 26, No. 3, May
2017. Periodicals postage paid in Winter Park, FL, and additional offices. Subscription rate for one year (eight issues): U.S., $21.97; Canada, $30.97; all other foreign countries, $39.97. U.S. funds only.
Contents copyright 2017 by Bonnier Corp. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Scuba Diving, P.O. 6364, Harlan, IA 51593-1864. CANADA POST: Publications Mail Agreement Number: 40612608.
Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: IMEX, P.O. Box 25542, London, ON N6C 6B2. For subscription questions, email: SCDcustserv@cdsfulfillment.com.
SCUBADIVING.COM
MAY 2017 / 4
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: BECKY KAGAN SCHOTT; SHUTTERSTOCK; JON WHITTLE; WILLIAM DUKE (ILLUSTRATION).
62
23
ENCOUNTERS
The kind of grunt work nobody minds.
Boring and monotonous might describe some activities,
but diving and snorkeling Islamorada certainly isn’t
one of them. It’s all thanks to a fascinating variety
of shallow coral reefs, mini walls, shipwrecks and
sea life. Nice work if you can get it.
fla-keys.com/islamorada 1.800.322.5397
scubadiving.com // edit@scubadiving.com
Dive into our website for more packages in Cozumel, Belize, Bonaire,
Cayman, Turks & Caicos, Curacao and Honduras!
EDITORIAL
Editor-in-Chief Patricia Wuest
Deputy Editor Mary Frances Emmons
ScubaLab Director Roger Roy
Assistant Editor Robby Myers
Copy Chief Cindy Martin
CONTRIBUTORS
Eric Douglas, William Duke, Jill Heinerth, Steven P.
Hughes, Miko Maciaszek, Travis Marshall, Eric
Michael, Brooke Morton, Erin Quigley, Andy Sallmon,
Allison Vitsky Sallmon, Becky Schott, Deborah
Dickson Smith, Terry Ward, Andy Zunz
Hotel Cozumel
Best Deal In The Carribean! 7 Nights Hotel, All Meals And
Unlimited Bar, 5 Days 2-Tank Morning Boat Dives, Tax
COZUMEL 959
$
only
p.p.
Valid for travel Jan 3-31 & Apr 17 – Aug 13, 2017. Single travelers add just $25/night!
bayadventures.com
888-599-3483
Rates are US dollars, per person, based on dbl. occ. unless otherwise stated. Please call or email for airfare, for single/triple/other occupancy, non-diver rates, kids rates and prices for dates other
than specified. Taxes are included. Rates subject to availability & subject to change; other restrictions may apply. Not responsible for typographical errors. Call for group, dive club and dive shop rates!
A RT A N D PHOTO G R A PH Y
Art Director Monica Alberta
Photo Editor Kristen McClarty
Staff Photographer Jon Whittle
D I G I TA L
Digital Editor Becca Hurley
Digital Campaign Manager Jeff Williams
SALES
Group Publisher Glenn Sandridge
glenn.sandridge@bonniercorp.com
Associate Publisher Jeff Mondle
760-419-5898; jeff.mondle@bonniercorp.com
Associate Publisher David Benz
850-261-1355; david.benz@bonniercorp.com
Territory Manager Linda Sue Dingel
407-913-4945; lindasue.dingel@bonniercorp.com
Detroit Advertising Director Jeff Roberge
Detroit Account Manager Joy Gariepy
Advertising Sales Assistant Melissa Tone
407-571-4588; melissa.tone@bonniercorp.com
VP, Director of Brand Strategies Matt Hickman
Editorial Director Shawn Bean
Creative Director Dave Weaver
Consumer Marketing Director Leigh Bingham
Group Marketing Director Haley Bischof
Marketing Manager Holly Pulcher
Public Relations Manager Evily Giannopoulos
Business Manager David Erne
Group Production Director Michelle Doster
Production Manager Leah Reysen
Graphic Artists Shaira Barnette, Jennifer Remias
Human Resources Director Sheri Bass
Chairman Tomas Franzén
Head of Business Area, Magazines Lars Dahmén
Chief Executive Officer Eric Zinczenko
Chief Financial Officer Joachim Jaginder
Chief Operating Officer David Ritchie
Chief Marketing Officer Elizabeth Burnham Murphy
Chief Digital Revenue Officer Sean Holzman
VP, Integrated Sales John Graney
VP, Consumer Marketing John Reese
VP, Digital Operations David Butler
VP, Public Relations Perri Dorset
General Counsel Jeremy Thompson
All contents copyright 2017 Bonnier Corporation. No use may
be made of materials contained herein without express written
consent. For inquiries, please contact us at Bonnier Corporation,
460 N. Orlando Ave., Suite 200, Winter Park, FL 32789.
Publications Mail Agreement Number: 40612608
Canada Post Returns: IMEX Global Solutions,
P.O. Box 25542, London ON N6C 6B2 Canada
Printed in the USA
Employment opportunities at bonniercorp.com
For customer service and subscription questions,
such as renewals, address changes, email, billing and
account status, go to: scubadiving.com/cs. You can also
call 800-666-0016 or 515-237-3697, or write to Scuba
Diving, P.O. Box 6364, Harlan, IA 51593-1864.
SCUBADIVING.COM
MAY 2017 / 6
WHY KOMODO?
UNESCO site
New 7 Wonders of Nature
Dive 2 oceans
Best mantas in indonesia
22 CREW TO MAX 16 GUESTS
5 DIVE GUIDES
4 WESTERN CRUISE DIRECTORS
Join our exceptional Manta cruise September 17, 2017 now!
TA L K
S C U B A D I V I N G . C O M // E D I T @ S C U B A D I V I N G . C O M // @ S C U B A D I V I N G M A G
FROM SEA TO
SHINING SEA
In our January/February issue, we reported
on Mexico’s Revillagigedo Archipelago
being inscribed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. At the time, Robert Rubin, project
leader of the Pacific Manta
Research Group, expressed
concern about the designation for what is perhaps
the most pristine island
group on Earth. That’s
because UNESCO issues
recommendations for safeguarding treasured World
Heritage sites, but it has no
real enforcement authority.
Protecting these sites
falls to the countries where
the sites are located; in the
case of the Revillagigedos,
which include Soccoro and
Roca Partida islands, Mexico is charged with overseeing their conservation.
Safeguarding a marine
resource is a complex endeavor, with many stakeholders and questions to
consider. Will fishing be allowed? Are mooring buoys
needed? Who will pay for
enforcement of park rules?
Will dive operators need
WORLD
HERITAGE
UNESCO
DIVE SITES
A Revillagigedos
manta: Look for
our UNESCO button throughout this
issue for stories
about Earth’s most
precious dive sites.
permits? Many issues lack
clear answers, and many
sites have a management
plan on paper only. To complicate matters, a UNESCO
World Heritage Site designation can often lead to a
stampede of visitors.
“I recently worked at a
site where 30 whale sharks
were feeding in an area
about the size of two high
school football fields,” Rubin recalled. “There were
more than 70 boats, with
four to 10 snorkelers on
FROM LEFT: JON WHITTLE; JOHN MICHAEL BULLOCK. OPPOSITE: SHUTTERSTOCK
board each boat. People
were fighting to get close
to the animals. Boats were
running into other boats
and divers. Probably 90
percent of the sharks had
prop tears and scars. Future
efforts must limit the number of boats and divers per
unit of time, or we will lose
both the animals and the
critical habitats they need.”
The threat from increased tourism and other
human activity has had
an impact on other World
Heritage Sites. In 2009, Belize’s barrier reef was listed
as “in danger” by UNESCO
due to the loss of mangrove
habitat and excessive
coastal development.
“It is true that there are
places that are not very well
managed, but we have a lot
of places, especially marine places, that are very
well managed,” says Fanny Douvere, coordinator
of UNESCO’s marine
program. She adds that
UNESCO allocates funds to
the most threatened sites.
In this month’s cover
story, starting on page 36,
we’re delighted to introduce some of them to you,
from places like Galapagos
and the Great Barrier Reef
to lesser-known gems
like Brazil’s Fernando
de Noronha islands and
Korea’s Jeju Island.
Douvere told us when
the Revillagigedos were
inscribed: “Nations work
for years to get World
Heritage recognition,
but that recognition comes with
a responsibility
to protect them
for future generations. UNESCO
regards these sites as
our legacy to humanity.” — PATRICIA WUEST,
FOLLOWING
/
WHAT WE’VE
BEEN
UP TO
ScubaLab Director Roger Roy fills out a test sheet at
our 2017 ScubaLab fin test, held in January at central
Florida’s Alexander Springs. Turn to page 29 to find
out what test-team divers thought about 13 new fins
from 12 different manufacturers. @scubadivingmag
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Follow Us!
The Islands of Hawaii
DON’T
MISS
THIS
SEASPORT DIVERS
Ni’ihau– The Forbidden Island
Incredible wall dives, soaring lava formations, enormous
caves, bountiful marine life and unlimited visibility, will
dazzle even the most discriminating diver. You’re likely to
see Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins, large schools of Milletseed
and Pyramid Butterfly fish, the rare Bandit Angelfish,
Spotted Eagle Rays, Manta Rays, Octopus, and Lobsters. The
endangered Hawaiian Monk Seal, Galapagos Sharks, White
Tip Reef Sharks all call Ni’ihau home as well. All in all, the
forbidden island is one of the most spectacular diving
excursions anywhere in the Hawaiian Islands.
808.872.9303
Toll Free – 800.685.5889
Seasportdivers.com
Info@seasportdivers.com
Jack’s Diving Locker
Dive Oahu
Dive Maui
Join the friendly crew of Jack’s Diving Locker on the Kona Coast
of Hawaii with healthy coral reefs, lava formations, and big
animals – dolphins, whales, sharks, and manta rays!
PADI 5 Star IDC Gold Palm Resort. Do your IDC in Hawaii! Daily
Boat Charters to Shipwrecks: Sea Tiger/YO-257/San Pedro. Three
minutes from Waikiki. ScubaPro, Tusa, Aqualung. Rebreather
Friendly. Mark 6 rentals.
Full service Lahaina dive shop, great deals on Dive Gear, sales and
rentals, two tank Lanai boat dives from our custom built 37’ RIB
Hoku located at 1223 Front Street in Lahaina, GoPro Dealer and
Underwater Camera systems for sale.
808-922-DIVE
DiveOahu.com
808-661-7333 Toll Free 1-866-529-2544
goscubadivemaui.com
facebook.com/HawaiianRaftingAdventures
808-329-7585
dive@jacksdivinglocker.com
www.jacksdivinglocker.com
KAUAI
OAHU
MAUI
THE BIG
ISLAND
Seasport Divers
Full service dive shop specializing in SCUBA tours and
Certification Courses. We are located on the south shore of
Kauai. We offer 2 dive charters 365 days a year while also
running seasonal trips to the Forbidden Island of Niihau.
808-742-9303
seasportdivers.com
NOTES, NEWS AND STUFF YOU CAN USE
D
WORLAGE
HERIT
CO
UNEE S
SITES
DIV
GAME OF
THORNS
HOW TO COMBAT THE
ZOMBIELIKE INVASION
OF CROWN-OF-THORNS
STARFISH, AN IMMEDIATE
THREAT TO THE GBR, AND
A POTENTIAL DANGER
TO ALMOST ALL CORAL
REEFS ON EARTH? WITH
A BOT, OF COURSE.
BY DEBORAH DICKSON-SMITH
NEW AND
NOTEWORTHY
F
or years, custodians of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef have been fighting — and largely losing — a war against an
alienlike invader, the crown-of-thorns starfish. But the tide might be set to turn with the introduction of the
COTSbot, an autonomous underwater drone that can seek and destroy individual starfish. The GBR is a collection of almost 2,000 separate reefs spread over an area the size of Arizona. Since the 1960s, it has suffered
>>
SCUBADIVING.COM
MAY 2017 / 11
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY WILLIAM DUKE
Six new purposesunk wrecks P13
Get the most out of
your computer P15
Tec divers, the pool
is now open in Bikini Atoll P16 How to
handle an out-of-air
emergency P17
Uses its tube feet to
expel its stomach,
spreading the organ
over coral, and then
secretes enzymes
that liquefy the living
coral animal
3+ feet
from the impacts of climate
change and reduced water
quality. But the Australian
Institute of Marine Science
estimates that the biggest
impact is from COTS, responsible for destroying
more than 40 percent of
the reef over the past couple of decades. Each night,
a COTS eats its own body
area of coral, which adds
up to 117 square feet
of reef per COTS per
year. With an estimated 4 million to 12 million COTS out there,
the impact is colossal.
Queensland University of
Technology researchers
survey the bot; a crown-ofthorns starfish hard at work.
decoys and targets only
live starfish,” says Matthew
Dunbabin, the robot’s
inventor and principal
research fellow at the
Institute for Future Environments at Queensland
University of Technology.
The prototype has
completed ocean trials that
confirm its ability to operate autonomously. The
project got a boost last year
DIFFICULT TO
CONTROL
when it won the people’s
choice vote in the Google
Impact Challenge Australia,
which carried a prize of
$750,000 AUS.
HOW BAD IS IT?
GBR is already under threat
REEF WRECKER
Can survive without
feeding for up to
9 months
BEAUTIFUL BUT DEADLY,
ACANTHASTER PLANCI MIGHT
JUST BE THE SCARIEST ANIMAL
ON THE REEF
65
MILLION
Number of eggs a
mature female can
produce per season
IN DIAMETER
Able to grow an entirely new sea star
from a detached arm
Size an adult COTS
can attain (compared
with 9 inches for the
average sea star)
Delivers a toxic
sting with sharp,
venomous 2-inch
spines that cover
its body
MONTHS
Time it takes a COTS
to regrow an arm
shed due to stress
or injury
Has tube legs with
thousands of suckers that help it stick
to reefs — making it
hard to detach
ARMS
Possible number
of appendages
for a large adult
(five-arm sea stars
are most common)
Can undergo
unexplained population booms when its
numbers increase
tenfold from normal
population size
Has been documented in outbreaks in
every ocean except
the Atlantic — so far
SCUBADIVING.COM
MAY 2017 / 12
Like many invertebrates (including
corals) COTS release sperm
and eggs simultaneously
to increase the chance of
successful proliferation.
Now that there are so many
more COTS, and COTS in
aggregations, they have a
massively improved success rate compared with
relatively isolated individuals. The more COTS
there are, the more successfully they multiply. A
main known predator, the
triton sea snail, has had its
own populations reduced
by pollution, collection and
habitat destruction.
Researchers at James
Cook University in
Townsville, Queensland,
have discovered that 20 ml
of injected vinegar has a 100
percent kill rate, a low-cost,
simple solution.
On the GBR, the Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators deploys two
vessels, manned by teams
of divers that take out up to
400,000 COTS per annum,
but still they are only just
holding the status quo. It is
hoped that a small fleet of
COTSbots can soon be deployed to help turn the tide.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT
THIS PROJECT, GO TO QUT.EDU.AU.
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: COURTESY QUEENSLAND UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY (2); WATERFRAME/ALAMY. OPPOSITE: CLOCKWISE
FROM TOP RIGHT: KADU PINHEIRO; COURTESY TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT; JON WHITTLE (2)
multiple episodes when
COTS populations have
exploded to plague proportions. The sheer size of
the GBR, the rate at which
COTS can multiply, how difficult they are to kill — and
the fact that they are dangerous to handle — make
them a pernicious enemy
to overcome. So marine
scientists in Queensland
are looking at robotics.
The COTSbot travels
underwater about 3 feet
above the coral, scanning
for COTS. It has five independent thrusters to
stabilize itself and a camera;
its onboard image-processing capability allows it to
recognize COTS with greater than 99 percent accuracy. Using its robotic arm, it
administers a lethal injection. How does the robot
know what’s a COTS and
what’s not? By watching
YouTube videos.
“It’s now so good, it even
ignores our 3-D-printed
CURRENTS
WHAT’S HOT
IN BOOKS
BY ROBBY MYERS
WRECK ROUNDUP
/
3/
SUNKEN
STORIES
NEW WRECKS SINK AND
SURFACE AROUND THE WORLD
The Death and Life of
the Great Lakes
The term “lake” doesn’t
quite convey the true
size of the massive bodies of water at the heart
of North America. Dan
Egan chronicles the history of the Great Lakes,
from their discovery by
awestruck Europeans and
the massive undertaking
that was the St. Lawrence
Seaway to the waves
of invasive species and
the precarious future of
America’s fourth seacoast.
W. W. Norton & Company;
$27.95
Secrets of the Seas: A
Journey into the Heart
of the Oceans
Take a visual voyage
through some of the most
vibrant and diverse places
under the sea. This collaboration between Scuba
Diving contributor Alex
Mustard and Callum Roberts combines award-winning imagery with essays
that explore how marine
animals have adapted, and
will continue to adapt, to
their ever-changing world.
Bloomsbury Natural
History; $40
1 / KURAMAN
Location Sabah National Park
Type of Ship Malaysian
navy warship
Depth 65 feet
Access Divable
Downbelow Marine and
Wildlife Adventures in
Malaysia has sunk a
retired Malaysian navy
ship in Sabah National
Park off the island
of Borneo. The KM
Kuraman started life
in 1960 in Portsmouth,
England, and began serving the Royal Malaysian
navy in 1964; in 2015, the
ship was rammed by an
Indonesian warship during a border dispute. Its
smaller compartments
were gutted before the
November sinking to
create more-open dive
conditions. After its plugs
were pulled, it took 12
minutes for the 100-foot
ship to sink into the bay,
finally setting down in
the waters of Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park.
Two Downbelow divers
inspected and found the
ship was resting in an
upright position. — M.F. EMMONS
SCUBADIVING.COM
2 / KRAKEN
Location Galveston, Texas
Type of Ship Cargo vessel
Depth 140 feet
Access Divable
The Texas Parks and
Wildlife Department has
added to its artificial-reef
program with the January
sinking of a ship dubbed
the Kraken, about 70
miles off Galveston,
Texas. The 371-foot
cargo vessel was built
in Japan in 1984; it had
been towed from Trinidad
to Brownsville, Texas,
where it was readied for
sinking. “There were fish
almost immediately,”
TPWD’s Julie Hagen told
the newspaper Beaumont
Enterprise. Kraken, the
third large vessel sunk
as part of TPWD’s Shipto-Reef program, was
approved for scuttling
in 2014; the new reef is
MAY 2017 / 13
near the Flower Garden
Banks National Marine
Sanctuary, 70 to 115
miles offshore of Texas
and Louisiana. — M.F. EMMONS
3 / PERNAMBUCO
ARTIFICIAL WRECK
MARINE PARK
Location Recife, Brazil
Type of Ship Various
Depth 90 to 100 feet
Access Divable
Recife, Brazil, is known
for its natural and artificial wrecks; four
tugs were added to its
artificial-reef marine
park in February, donated by the Wilson
Sons Group — one of
the largest port, maritime
and logistics operators
in Brazil — to encourage dive tourism in the
region. After two years
of technical preparation,
the Bellatrix, Phoenix and
São José tugs were successfully sunk very close
to one another, making it
possible to visit all three
during the same dive. Another tug, Virgo, was sunk
close to an older wreck,
the Taurus. — KADU PINHEIRO
Dive the best of the Sister Islands
when you want, the way you want!
SCUBA
Mention the code
DiveOcean and
receive a 10 % discount
PHOTO
CONTEST
2 0 1 7
NO CROWDS – NO LIMITS!
GUIDED DIVES
VALET GEAR HANDLING
SMALL GROUPS
GEAR RENTAL
AIR AND NITROX FILLS
SCUBA INSTRUCTION
info@bracscubashack.com Ƈ www.bracscubashack.com
CALL CAYMAN BRAC: 345-925-3215
ENTER NOW
TO WIN
Do you have an underwater photo
that is knock-your-fins-off good?
Enter it in our 2017 “Through Your
Lens” photo contest. Winners receive
exciting prizes including liveaboard
trips and high-performance dive
gear (two are pictured below). The
grand prize includes a trip and
$1,000 cash award. It’s free to enter,
but here’s the catch: You can enter
up to five images only, and submissions must be received by 11:59 p.m.
EST on Wednesday, May 31.
PRIZES
Scubapro MK25/S600 Deep Blue regulator
Turks & Caicos Aggressor II
Enter your best images at
scubadiving.com/photocontest.
SCUBADIVING.COM
MAY 2017 / 14
FROM TOP: JUSTIN GILLIGAN; COURTESY SCUBAPRO; COURTESY AGGRESSOR. OPPOSITE: SHUTTERSTOCK
No rushing to meet a resort schedule,
it’s like owning your own boat!
Ƈ
Ƈ
Ƈ
Ƈ
Ƈ
Ƈ
5 TIPS FOR MAKING
THE MOST OF YOUR
DIVE COMPUTER
BY TRAVIS MARSHALL
The dive computer is arguably one of the greatest technological advances in the
sport of scuba diving since
Jacques Cousteau and Émile
Gagnan invented the AquaLung. Practically every diver
in the water today uses a
dive computer to monitor
his or her depth and bottom
time, rather than dive tables.
But how well do you know
your dive computer? Here’s
how to maximize your bottom time and your safety.
chaos. Keep your computer
clipped to your BC on the
boat, and make it part of
your predive safety check.
2
KEEP IT CLOSE Your
dive computer can give
you the right information
only if it accurately follows
your dive. Your readings
1
BRING IT ON EVERY
DIVE It happens: You
forget your computer in
your bag or leave it on the
camera table during the
surface interval. If you log
bottom time without your
computer, it could throw
your whole dive day into
will be off if it dangles from
a hose a few feet below you
the whole dive. Keep it on
your wrist or clipped to
your BC. And during safety
stops, hold the computer at
chest level to do your hang
time at the right depth.
3
LOG YOUR DIVES
Most every dive
computer on the
market offers sophisticated digital dive
logging with far more
detailed information
than the old-school
paper kind. Some
even transmit wirelessly to your smartphone. Using this
function provides lots
of useful data, from
real-time depths to
air consumption.
4
KNOW THE
MODES Read the
manual to learn the
ins and outs of your
specific computer. Most
offer modes for nitrox,
customizable to the blend
you’re diving. Many also
have a freediving mode, so
you can see basic info like
depth and water temperature while snorkeling without logging every breathhold dive as a scuba dive.
5
UNDERSTAND
EMERGENCY DECOMPRESSION If you overstay
your no-decompression limit (NDL) using standard dive
tables, procedure calls for
an extended safety stop and
staying out of the water for
24 hours. Of course, it’s never a good idea for recreational divers to make a planned
deco without training, but in
emergency-decompression
mode, today’s dive computers will calculate accurate
ceilings (depths you should
not ascend past) and ascent
times to help you reach the
surface safely.
EXPERIENCE 12 EXCITING
SHIPWRECKS OFF FLORIDA’S
PANHANDLE!
The Florida Panhandle Shipwreck Trail consists of 12
unique shipwrecks along Florida’s Panhandle, ranging
in depth from 25 to 212 feet.
Dive, fish or snorkel the pristine, crystal-clear waters of
Northwest Florida on one (or all) of these incredible
wrecks. Obtain an official Panhandle Shipwreck Trail
Passport from participating dive shops to track your
journey along the trail as you explore the ships and
discover an impressive array of Florida’s marine life.
FloridaPanhandleDiveTrail.com
Photo: Barry Shively
TRUK MASTER LIVEABOARD WILL
ADD SITE OF U.S. NUCLEAR TESTS
TO 2018 ITINERARY
F
or years, it’s been beyond
difficult for even qualified
divers to experience the
Marshall Islands’ Bikini Atoll, where
between 1946 and 1958 the U.S.
government tested more than 20 nuclear devices on a mock fleet of real
American and Japanese warships.
Starting next year, in May 2018, the
Truk Master will begin offering a
Bikini trip for qualified tec divers.
Post-World War II, the effects of a
land-based bomb were known. The
Navy wanted to test the effects of
nuclear warheads on ships,
and Operation Crossroads
DIVE
was born. Assembled in BiDEEPER
kini’s lagoon were the mamFor more info, go
moth, 888-foot aircraft carrito masterlive
aboards.com.
er Saratoga, a U.S. battleship,
two attack transports, two
Bikini Atoll was the site of
post-WWII nuclear tests
(top); Truk Master (bottom).
Behold! It’s BIGGER Down Here!
SHARK ADVENTURES
FOR 2017
UNLIMITED BOAT DIVING
EXUMA CAYS FROM $995
20% off activities with student ID
Validity-Start Date: March 1, 2017
Validity- End Date: December 20, 2017
Book by email: info@stuartcove.com
Submit Student ID: info@stuartcove.com
Book by phone: 800-879-9832 or 954-524-5755
Weekend Getaway - $649 pp dbl occupancy
3 nights waterside room at Pelican Bay Hotel
(includes daily breakfast). Saturday AM 2 tanks
or dolphin dive (your choice). Saturday PM
Shark Dive. Sunday A.M. 2 tanks. R/T transfers
from Harbour or Airport and all taxes included.
Valid 3/1/17 – 8/1/17, blackout dates apply.
Adventure Live-Aboard
Up to 19 dives per week
Including Shark Dive!
6 nights all inclusive
Great Camaraderie.
800-879-9832
www.stuartcove.com
1-800-992-DIVE(3483)
info@unexso.com www.unexso.com
EXUMA CAYS in Style
Spacious Private Cabins
Gourmet Meals
Up to 26 dives per week
Including Shark Dive
Eco Adventures Daily
LIVEABOARD DIVING
AT ITS BEST
6 days of diving, 7 nights, 4 dives per
day + night dive, all meals, 8 guests in 4
double Cabins. Exuma Cays (Sep-May),
Conception Island (Jun-Aug) 6 & 10 day
Excursions are available
SEA DRAGON
Bahamas
allstarliveaboards.com/aquacat
888-327-9600
allstarliveaboards.com/blackbeards
800-327-9600
The Islands Of
The Bahamas.
www.bahamas.com/scubadiving
954-522-0161
www.seadragonbahamas.com
seadragonbahamas@hotmail.com
Photo: David Benz ©
SCUBADIVING.COM
MAY 2017 / 16
D
WORLAGE
HERIT
CO
UNEE S
SITES
DIV
FROM TOP: SHUTTERSTOCK; COURTESY TRUK MASTER/AARON WONG.
OPPOSITE: COURTESY DAN/RICHARD CAREY
BIKINI
BOUND
destroyers, two submarines, and a
Japanese battleship and light cruiser.
Rendered uninhabitable by fallout
from the tests, the atoll was declared
safe for diving in 1996, but only
approved, entirely self-sufficient expeditions could receive the necessary
permits. In 2010, UNESCO named
the atoll a World Heritage Site as the
symbol of the dawn of the nuclear
age. Untouched for decades, today the
230-square-mile lagoon is known as
a wildlife haven, especially for sharks.
The ship graveyard also is surrounded
by untouched coral gardens.
Scheduled trips will start in May
2018 aboard Truk Master, offering
10- and 11-night trips for a maximum
of 11 guests per cruise. Because most
wrecks in the atoll are beyond recreational depths, technical-diving skills
and wreck experience are required.
CURRENTS
consumption as well. Take all of these
factors into consideration, and make a
gas-management plan ahead of time.
Calculate your estimated air needs
for a dive using an appropriate level of
conservatism, and a method like the
“rule of thirds” to account for possible
emergencies that could arise during
the dive. Check your SPG frequently
during a dive to ensure that you have
enough air to safely continue to dive,
and to complete the dive as planned.
and are within recreational depth limits, you should
have at least enough gas
left in your lungs to allow you to reach the surface even after you have
exhaled your last breath.
If possible, signal your
buddy for assistance and
share air while slowly ascending and completing a
safety stop. A dive emergency can challenge your
ability to quickly make sound decisions, so be sure to regularly practice
emergency air sharing. If your buddy
is not available to assist you, you may
be forced to perform an emergency
ascent. The gas in your lungs will expand during your ascent, so it is very
important that you keep your regulator in your mouth and exhale during
the entire ascent. Once you reach
the surface, immediately establish
buoyancy and signal for assistance.
Q WHAT SHOULD I DO IF
I RUN OUT OF AIR?
A If you run out of air during a dive
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON SAFE DIVING
PRACTICES, VISIT DAN.ORG.
ASK THE EXPERTS
/
B DIVERS ALERT NETWORK
BY
WHAT IF I RUN
OUT OF AIR?
Unfortunately, running out of air
during a dive is an all too common occurrence. It is one of the most common
root causes leading to serious injury
and even death, yet it is easily avoidable and manageable when prepared.
Q HOW CAN I AVOID
RUNNING OUT OF AIR?
A Proper air management is not
complicated, but you do need to
understand the factors that dictate
your air consumption. Diving deeper, working harder during a dive,
and your physical fitness will affect
how quickly you consume the air in
your tank for each dive. Being overweighted, dealing with current at a
dive site, anxiety and a number of
other factors can increase your air
Higher Limits.
More Protection.
With DAN’s Dive Accident Insurance
Even the safest divers must prepare for the unexpected. For greater coverage and
other premium protections such as additional emergency medical transportation,
home country medical evacuation and repatriation, search and rescue and medical
expenses for select water sports, DAN’s Guardian Plan provides the highest level
of dive accident insurance coverage.
$500,000
$50,000
$50,000
$30,000
Medical Coverage For Dive Accidents
Medical Evacuation To Home Country
Search and Rescue Coverage
Coverage for Select Water Sports
DAN.org/GUARDIAN
Policies issued by The United States Life Insurance Company in the City of New York (US Life). Issuing
JVTWHU`<:3PMLPZYLZWVUZPISLMVYÄUHUJPHSVISPNH[PVUZVMPUZ\YHUJLWYVK\J[ZHUKPZHTLTILYVM
American International Group, Inc. (AIG). Products may not be available in all states and product
features may vary by state. Policy # G-610,444, Form # ACC-USL 2000. AG-11823
;OPZIYVJO\YLPZHIYPLMKLZJYPW[PVUVMILULÄ[ZVUS`HUKPZZ\IQLJ[[V[OL[LYTZJVUKP[PVUZL_JS\ZPVUZ
and limitations of the group policy.
SCUBADIVING.COM
MAY 2017 / 17
CURRENTS
SEA STORIES
D
WORLAGE
HERIT
CO
UNEE S
SITES
DIV
SCUBADIVING.COM
MAY 2017 / 18
THE
ISLE OF
WOMEN
SCUBA IS A MAN’S GAME IN KOREA —
THESE WOMEN DIVE FOR THEIR LIVING
TEXT AND PHOTO BY HUNGKU KIM
A haenyeo, center, puts an
octopus into a net pouch
called a mangsari.
SCUBADIVING.COM
MAY 2017 / 19
The haenyeo, or “sea
women,” make their
living diving for seafood — without any
breathing apparatus.
Some 4,500 of these
divers remain active on Korea’s Jeju
Island, a UNESCO
World Heritage site.
In a male-dominated society, the
female divers of
Jeju carry on their
centuries-old tradition to this day as
tightknit cooperative
groups. They have
attracted the attention of researchers
for a variety of
reasons, including
the consistent and
systematic nature
of their occupation,
strong communal
spirit, and integration
of work and ritual.
The 16th-century poet Im Je, who
visited Jeju, wrote
that ”the number of
Jeju men who do not
return to the island
because their boats
sink is some 100 per
year. For this reason,
the women are many
but the men are few,
and few women
living in the countryside have husbands.
The widows had to
take on the duties
of their men, diving
barely clothed into
the cold winter seas.”
This painful history
is a testament to
the resilience of
women divers, and
explains why Jeju is
often called the Isle
of Women.
CURRENTS
QUICK LOOKS
/
SCUBALAB’S QUICK
G U I DE TO MUST-HAV E
DIVE GEAR
BY ROGER ROY
1 MARES BOLT SLS
The Bolt can handle single
or double tanks, has
46 pounds of lift, and is still
compact enough to travel.
Its slide-and-lock weight
system locks with the
push of a button, and indicates when it's secure. The
harness hugs your body
comfortably but without
restricting movement.
$410; MARES.COM
2 SCUBAPRO HYDROS PRO
The Hydros Pro is as adaptable as they come — just
about every piece of it can be
removed, replaced or adjusted. The Monprene harness
molds to your body to make
this back-inflate comfortable and stable. To go from
full integrated-weight rig to
stripped-down travel BC, you
can swap the weight pockets
for straight straps in about
one minute without tools.
$839; SCUBAPRO.COM
3 AQUA LUNG I200
The i200 is an impressive
watch-size computer with
an intuitive four-button operation. If features two-gas
switching capability, four operating modes, and an easyto-see display. The alarms
are accompanied by beeps
and a flashing red LED.
$349; AQUALUNG.COM
JON WHITTLE (4)
4 SEALIFE DC2000
SeaLife’s most advanced
camera yet, the DC2000 has
a 20 mp image sensor, RAW
image capability, multiple
shooting modes (including
manual), image stabilization,
lightning-fast shutter and,
well, lots more stuff. Even so,
we found while diving with
it that the DC2000 is still
surprisingly simple to use.
$699; SEALIFE-CAMERAS.COM
SCUBADIVING.COM
MAY 2017 / 20
THIS
LIFE JACKET.
1
USCG
APPROVED
SLIM, LIGHT
WEIGHT
DESIGN FOR
2 COMFORT
3
ADJUSTABLE
FOR SAFE FIT
4
INFLATABLE
AND HIGHL
VISIBLE
AFFORDABLE:
PRICES START
5 UNDER $100
84
%
OF FATAL
DROWNING
VICTIMS
REPORTED AS
NOT WEARING
A LIFE JACKET
ƥƞƚƫƧƦƨƫƞƚƛƨƮƭƬƚƟƞƛƨƚƭƢƧƠƩƫƚƜƭƢƜƞƬƚƭ
boatingmag.com/boatingsafety
LIVEABOARD LIFE:
The Red Sea Aggressor
Draped in a vibrant mix of soft corals and sponges, patrolled by an array of pelagic predators, home to
UQOGƂUJURGEKGUHQWPFPQYJGTGGNUGQPGCTVJCPFVJGTGUVKPIRNCEGQHYQTNFENCUUYTGEMUVJGTGGHUCPF
RKPPCENGUQHVJG4GF5GCCTGVJGUVWHHQHNGIGPF#PKPNGVQHVJG+PFKCP1EGCPVJG4GF5GCKUDNGUUGFYKVJ
CTKEJGEQU[UVGOCPFET[UVCNENGCTYCVGT
4GF5GC#IITGUUQTTWPUVYQKVKPGTCTKGUKPVJG4GF5GCtPQTVJVQ$TQVJGTU&CGFCNWUCPF'NRJKPUVQPG
CPFUQWVJVQ5V,QJPoU(WT[5JQCNUCPF&CGFCNWU)WGUVUECPRNCPVJGKTXCECVKQPUVQURGPFVYQYGGMU
CDQCTFVJG4GF5GC#IITGUUQTCPFFQDQVJKVKPGTCTKGUYJGPVJG[oTGQHHGTGFDCEMVQDCEM
p6JG QHHUJQTG OCTKPG RCTMU TGRTGUGPV VJG XGT[ RKPPCENG QH 4GF 5GC FKXKPI DQCUVKPI FTCOCVKE YCNNU
UVWPPKPIEQTCNULCYFTQRRKPIUJKRYTGEMUCPFCRNGVJQTCQHEQNQTHWNOCTKPGNKHGOCP[QHYJKEJCTGGPFGOKE
VQVJGTGIKQPqUC[U/CTM'XCPUWPFGTYCVGTRJQVQITCRJGTYTKVGTCPFHQTOGTGFKVQTQH5RQTV&KXGT7-t
CPFCHTGSWGPVXKUKVQTVQVJGTGIKQPp6JG4GF5GC#IITGUUQTKUVJGKFGCN[CEJVHTQOYJKEJVQCEEGUUVJGUG
CYGUQOGFKXGUKVGUsUJGKUURCEKQWUUVCDNGCPFYGNNGSWKRRGFYKVJCNCTIGFKXGFGEMEQOHQTVCDNGUCNQQP
GPUWKVGECDKPUCPFVYQRQYGTHWN\QFKCEUHQTIGVVKPI[QWKPVQVJGJGCTVQHVJGCEVKQPq
1PVJG$TQVJGTU&CGFCNWUCPF'NRJKPUVQPGKVKPGTCT[IWGUVUCTGVTGCVGFVQRKPPCENGFKXKPIYKVJYCNNUVJCV
RNWOOGVJWPFTGFUQHHGGVFQYP5WTTQWPFGFD[QRGPQEGCP[QWoTGCNOQUVIWCTCPVGGFVQUGGTC[UCPF
UJCTMU&KXGUKVGUQPVJG5V,QJPoU(WT[5JQCNUCPF&CGFCNWUKVKPGTCT[KPENWFGGZVGPUKXGTGGHUVWPPGNUCPF
ECXGTPUHQTFKXGTUVQGZRNQTG;QWoNNCNUQNKMGN[GPEQWPVGTUJCTMUCPFTGUKFGPVURKPPGTFQNRJKPU
;QWECPoVVTCXGNCNNVJGYC[VQ'I[RVCPFPQVXGPVWTGQWVVQUQOGQHVJGCPEKGPVCVVTCEVKQPU#IITGUUQT
JCUCFGFKECVGFVTCXGNFGRCTVOGPVYKVJCIGPVUYJQECPDQQMEWUVQOK\GFVQWTUCPFVTCXGNKVKPGTCTKGUCPF
CUUKUVYKVJXKUKVUVQVJG2[TCOKFUCPF8CNNG[QHVJG-KPIUCPFETWKUGUFQYPVJG4KXGT0KNG+HCTTKXKPIGCTN[
VJG[ECPGXGPDQQM[QWTUVC[CVQPGQHVJG2QTV)JCNKDTGUQTVUCPFYKNNCTTCPIGVTCPURQTVCVKQPVQVJGDQCV
6JGHQQV4GF5GC#IITGUUQTFGRCTVUQPUGXGPFC[VTKRUHTQO2QTV)JCNKD[CEJVOCTKPCNQECVGFKP
CPWRUECNGTGUQTVEQOOWPKV[PGCT/CTUC#NCO/CTUC#NCO+PVGTPCVKQPCN#KTRQTVKUCDQWVOKPWVGUHTQO
VJGOCTKPC
For more information, visit aggressor.com or call 800-348-2628 to book your trip.
D I V E S T H AT P U M P Y O U R A D R E N A L I N E A N D L E AV E Y O U B E G G I N G F O R M O R E
ENCOUNTERS
SEA WATCH
HARBOR SEALS
NOTHING IS MORE FUN FOR DIVERS THAN A GROUP OF
PLAYFUL PINNIPEDS B Y T R A V I S M A R S H A L L
S
potting harbor seals underwater can be a thrilling treat
for scuba divers. These intelligent, curious and playful
marine mammals can easily entertain their human visitors for entire dives if they deign to stick around that long. The
pinnipeds often swoop in from behind or approach through
thick kelp forests before performing their underwater acrobatics for lucky divers. Like all intelligent marine mammals, »
MICHELLE MANSON
Harbor seal pups are capable of swimming and diving
within hours of being born.
SCUBADIVING.COM
MAY 2017 / 23
are fast, agile swimmers capable
of chasing down fish like mackerel and herring. Their senses are
especially well-tuned to hunting
underwater, with vision adapted
to low light and excellent underwater hearing, and they can move
their whiskers back and forth like
antennae to detect vibrations in
the water.
Divers looking for in-water
encounters with harbor seals
should take the plunge in the kelp
forests along the California coast.
They are often spotted in areas
like Monterey Bay and the Channel
Islands off Santa Barbara. In the
springtime, the Channel Islands
serves as a vital rookery for harbor seals, where they congregate
to mate and birth their young.
Point Bennett on San Miguel Island
is one of the largest, most famous
rookeries, where six different
types of pinnipeds gather.
Dive trips to the kelp forests and
A curious juvenile; harbor seals become
undersea pinnacles of the Channel
less playful as they mature.
Islands — like those offered by
each harbor seal has its own personality Santa Barbara-based liveaboard operator Truth Aquatics (truthaquatics.net) —
— some friendly and playful, others
provide the best opportunity to see harskittish and standoffish.
bor seals in their natural environment.
Harbor seals (also called common
seals) have the widest range of all the
pinnipeds, a name that means “finfooted” in Latin, and includes seals, sea
FA S T FAC T S
lions and walruses. Harbor seals live
on both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts
of the U.S., ranging from Alaska to
Baja California, and from the Carolinas
to northern Europe. Although they’re
MAX LENGTH
quite common, they’re not spotted as
6 FEET
frequently as their more gregarious
WEIGHT
cousins, the California sea lions.
300 POUNDS
Harbor seals are true seals, part of
L I F E S PA N
40 YEARS
the family Phocidae, which means they
C
O
N
S
E
R VAT I O N S TAT U S
don’t have external ear flaps, and their
LISTED AS A “SPECIES OF
short flippers require them to crawl on
LEAST CONCERN” ON THE
IUCN RED LIST
their bellies on land. In contrast, sea
lions do have ear flaps, and their long
F U N FAC T
CAN DIVE 1,500 FEET UNDERflippers allow them to walk on land.
WATER AND STAY SUBMERGED
That’s why sea lions are often spotted
FOR MORE THAN 30 MINUTES
on docks and beaches, while harbor
seals spend most of their lives in the
DANGER INDEX
water, coming onto land mainly to breed
or give birth. In fact, harbor seals can
FRIENDLY TO
even sleep in the water using a move
DIVERS; USE
called “bottling,” in which they hover
CARE APPROACHING
just below the water’s surface, with only
MOTHERS
their nose sticking out to breathe.
WITH PUPS
Harbor seals subsist primarily on fish,
though they will certainly make a meal
of squid, crabs, shrimp and other shellfish when they can. Underwater, they
SCUBADIVING.COM
MAY 2017 / 24
WHAT IT’S LIKE
TO DIVE WITH
A WALRUS
BY GRAHAM DICKSON, AS TOLD TO BROOKE MORTON
STEVEN HUGHES. OPPOSITE: ANDREW SALLMON
D
anger is involved every time
you swim with a walrus. It’s a
managed danger — you choose
the right animal on the right day, and
the right animals are neither scared
nor aggressive. This isn’t something
that can ever be rushed. One of my best
encounters was off Canada’s Ellesmere
Island. A group of 15 walruses was
swimming past divers I was leading on
an Arctic Kingdom trip.
In general, walruses are social,
surviving as a family unit, so seeing
them in groups is a good sign. Then two
broke from the pack — called an ooglid
— and headed in our direction.
In the water, walruses are much faster
than you’d think. As the pair approached,
I kept descending to try to maintain the
required 300 feet of distance. As I did, all
I noticed was the animals’ grace. In that
moment, they had what I call cathedral
framing, backlit by the sun’s rays.
It was a simple sighting, but that’s the
essence of the best encounters — you
don’t change the animal’s behavior, you
just watch. But seeing a walrus is always a rush, especially considering that
this 1,500-pound animal can bear down
with its tusks at breakneck speeds.
Plus, they have wickedly strong heads,
capable of breaking ice up to 8 inches
thick. They’re naturally aggressive, both
to protect their own from polar bears,
and toward each other in acts of dominance. Just their sheer size is amazing:
This animal is bigger than a cow. On the
surface, it’s Jabba the Hutt; under the
ice, it’s a ballerina.
The best part is that they’re just one
element of what we call “the bubbling
Arctic,” where all the wildlife is together,
interacting. A small number of people
ever visit these areas, much less see a
walrus in the water. But when they do,
something is triggered. We call it being
bitten by the polar bug. The animals, the
remoteness — it’s all very addictive.
SCUBADIVING.COM
MAY 2017 / 25
SCUBADIVING.COM
MAY 2017 / 26
SECRET SPOT
ANCIENT SEABED
Fresh water flows back
and forth with the ocean
tides underneath Indonesia’s West Timor, carving
unexplored tunnels
through the limestone
bedrock. The crystalblue water gives a clear
view of 100,000-year-old
oyster shells and big brain
corals fossilized into the
walls. Locals use the cave
entrances for swimming
holes and to do their
washing — a cool escape
from the tropical heat and
the midday sun overhead.
TEXT AND PHOTO BY
LIZ ROGERS
GO NOW
DIVEKUPANGDIVE.COM
SCUBADIVING.COM
MAY 2017 / 27
SECRET SPOT
CAPE TOWN,
SOUTH AFRICA
A shadowy veil cast by the
Twelve Apostles mountain
range hugs the inshore
waters above Coral
Gardens. The play of light
through the kelp is what
first draws your attention.
As you adjust to the ambient light, you start to see
the organic passageways
formed by large boulders.
Descend farther, and
it’s as if you've opened a
treasure chest filled to
the brim with jewels. The
kaleidoscope of colors,
shapes and textures is a
true visual delight.
TEXT AND PHOTO BY
GEO CLOETE
SCUBADIVING.COM
MAY 2017 / 28
H E A D -T O -H E A D T E ST I N G
DIFFERENT STROKES
We handed ScubaLab’s team of test divers 13 models of new fins in a wide
range of designs and styles. Find out how they measured up.
BY ROG E R ROY PHOTOG RAPHY BY JON WH ITTLE
We tested fins at
Alexander Springs
Recreation Area
in central Florida.
Testers used underwater slates to
record comments
and rate each fin
from 5 (excellent) to
1 (poor) in the following categories:
OPEN-HEEL FINS
HOW WE
TEST
FLUTTER KICK The
ease, efficiency and
stability of the fin in
flutter kick.
FROG KICK The
ease, efficiency and
stability of the fin in
frog kick.
OTHER KICK STYLE
The ease, efficiency
and stability of the
fin in dolphin, scissor or other kick
style.
ACCELERATION
How efficiently
do the fins allow
you to quickly
increase your
speed?
“
Really
powerful
for weight
and
comfort.”
EASE OF DONNING
Both in and out of
the water, how easy
is the fin to put on?
MANEUVERABILITY
How well do the
fins allow you to get
in and out of tight
locations, including
spinning, backing
(continued on page 30)
ADJUSTING FOR FIT
If straps and buckles are adjustable
without tools, how
effective and easy
to use are they?
Are they intuitive
or complicated
to operate?
TUSA
HYFLEX SWITCH
PRICE $199 CONTACT tusa.com
Test divers thought the new HyFlex might be too flexible — until they got it in the water. Just 23½ inches
long, it has a blade set at a 20-degree angle with a
series of ripples along the bottom designed to reduce
drag. “Flutter kick effortless, with good speed” and
“great power, easy on legs,” were typical comments.
The easy kicking was aided by a foot pocket rated
the most comfortable in the test, in part because of
the bungee-strap system with five adjustment positions that can be changed without tools. The bungee
was rated excellent for donning and doffing, and the
blade unbolts from the foot pocket for a travel package that’s less than 16 inches long. Selected as the
favorite by more divers than any other fin in our
test, the HyFlex Switch is our Testers Choice.
FIT AND COMFORT
How comfortable
and secure is the
fin on the foot?
Does it slip/slide/
pinch, etc., during
hard kicking?
STABILITY Do the
fins have a tendency to wobble,
slice side-to-side,
or strike each other
while kicking? Do
they track straight?
JOHN MICHAEL BULLOCK
POWER VS. STRESS
What’s your perception of the propulsion produced
during the kick
cycle relative to the
amount of effort put
into the kick?
POWER VS. STRESS
POOR
EXCELLENT
] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]
A C C E L E R AT I O N
POOR
EXCELLENT
] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]
SCUBADIVING.COM
MAY 2017 / 29
OPEN-HEEL FINS
(continued from
page 29)
up or reversing
directions?
“
Compact
and
powerful.”
SURFACE SWIMMING
While on the surface on scuba or
snorkel, how efficiently do the fins
propel you relative
to the effort?
EASE OF REMOVING
FIN How easily can
you remove the fins,
in and out of the
water? Are straps
or buckles easy to
grasp? Is it unusually difficult to slide
your boot out of
open-heel pockets?
“
Nice allaround fin.”
Fins were also
evaluated for weight,
buoyancy (in fresh
water), construction/
durability, and the
effectiveness of
nonslip material on
the bottom.
DIVE
DEEPER
For more on
ScubaLab testing, go to scuba
diving.com.
If the Shoe Fits
How screwy are
open-heel fin sizes? In our test, one
diver wore different fins that were
in sizes medium,
medium-large,
large and extralarge. Turns out fin
sizes, like pirate
rules, are really
more like guidelines. In fin-makers’
defense, sizing for
open-heel models
isn’t really about
your foot, but about
the boot you’re
wearing in that fin.
That’s especially
true of tec fins designed for use with
bulky drysuit boots.
Bottom line: If you
want to make your
open-heel fins fit,
try them on with
the boots you’ll be
wearing in them.
APEKS
DACOR
RK3 HD
MARINER
PRICE $160 CONTACT apeksdiving.com
PRICE $89.99 CONTACT westmarine.com
This new version of Apeks’ RK3 is made from a denser,
negatively buoyant material. Like the original RK3, its
DNA can be traced to some of the first vented-rubber
fins. Its tec orientation is clear, and to be fair, that put it at
a disadvantage in our more rec-oriented evaluation. But
despite that — and its stubby appearance (19 inches) —
it notched performance scores at the top. Divers rated it
very good for power vs. stress, acceleration and maneuverability. Fittingly, given its froglike appearance, it took
top score for efficiency in frog style. The flutter, especially at speed, was a little more work given the fin’s weight
(2½ pounds each), but still rated very good. Though on
the boxy side, the foot pockets provide good support, and
the fin earned very good scores for comfort and stability.
With a bit of a blast-from-the-past look, the Mariner
was the only fin in our test not equipped with bungee or
spring straps, and these days that's like a teenager on
vacation with no Internet. But here’s the thing: Get past
all the “What, no Internet?” gripes, and the Mariner held
its own against a lineup of much-pricier footwear. Yes,
the strap is so 2008, but the soft, supportive foot pocket scored as high for comfort as any fin here. And with
its longish vented blade (25 inches) with modest and not
especially progressive flex, the Mariner could still cover
some ground, earning very good scores for efficiency in
flutter and alternate kicking styles and acceleration. The
Mariner also won praise from test divers including “nice
all-around fin” and “solid performance.”
POWER VS. STRESS
POOR
POWER VS. STRESS
POOR
EXCELLENT
EXCELLENT
] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]
] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]
A C C E L E R AT I O N
POOR
A C C E L E R AT I O N
POOR
EXCELLENT
] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]
SCUBADIVING.COM
EXCELLENT
] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]
MAY 2017 / 30
“
Makes me
feel like
a frog.”
Q: What determined the
winning fins?
A: Personal
“
Kick-ass
power.”
preferences
in fins vary
greatly, even
among our
test divers.
But the
elements
the winners
shared
were these:
a blade
capable of
delivering
power without undue
fatigue, and a
foot pocket/
strap with
the comfort
and stability
to put the
fin to work.
DEEP SIX
MARES
E D DY
X R P OW E R P L A NA T E C
PRICE $100 CONTACT deep6gear.com
PRICE $199 CONTACT mares.com
The Eddy has the look of a traditional jet fin but with a different feel, made of a stiffer, lighter polymer (2¼ pounds
in size large) — except for the smallest size, which is
made of a more flexible material. The foot pocket also
is curved along the top and toes, and has a longer foot
bed to better support soft-soled boots. Those features
helped it score well in our rec-oriented evaluation, with
divers rating the fin very good for comfort and stability.
The Eddy also was rated very good for maneuverability and for efficiency in the frog kick, where it excelled.
“Very responsive to frog kick,” commented one test diver.
It takes a little work to keep the long blades (21 inches
in size large) moving fast in a flutter, but divers rated it
good for efficiency and acceleration.
Weighing 3½ pounds each (size regular), with a design
that looks inspired by prehistoric sea monsters, this new
stainless spring-strap tec version of the Power Plana is
more badass than ever. “The Rock would buy these fins,”
wrote one diver, and indeed, they don’t look fit for the
faint-hearted. But they proved to be surprisingly manageable, earning very good scores for stability, power vs.
stress, acceleration, maneuverability and efficiency in
flutter and frog kick. Content to cruise along, they’re also
capable of churning up a wake if you have the legs to
keep those big blades pumping. As one test diver noted,
“These paddles move a lot of water.” A foot pocket that’s
made for drysuit boots didn’t help its comfort scores, but
the fin impressed with its stability and efficiency.
POWER VS. STRESS
POOR
POWER VS. STRESS
POOR
EXCELLENT
EXCELLENT
] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]
] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]
A C C E L E R AT I O N
POOR
A C C E L E R AT I O N
POOR
EXCELLENT
] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]
EXCELLENT
] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]
SCUBADIVING.COM
MAY 2017 / 31
OPEN-HEEL FINS
“
Sexy
as hell.”
TWEAKING
THE FIT
Springs and
bungees are all
the rage, and
we’re cool with
that. Who doesn’t
like convenience?
But sometimes it
would be nice if you
could just make
that spring a little longer, or that
bungee a smidge
snugger. Most
stretch straps that
allow adjustment
require a screwdriver and wrench
to move a bolt. But
two of the fins in
this test have clever adjusters that
require no tools.
The Tusa HyFlex
Switch has a cover
that opens to reach
a retaining pin in
the bungee end that
can be moved to
make the strap on
each side about a
half-inch longer or
shorter. There are
no loose parts to
drop when you’re
making the switch.
The Oceanic Manta
Ray also has an adjuster for its spring
strap that’s elegant
in its simplicity;
push the strap forward through the
mount on the fin,
and you can move
a pin that retains
the spring end. It
has three additional
positions in ½-inch
increments. If you
drop the retaining
pin, there’s an extra
on each side.
“
Very light,
but with a
lot of snap.”
OCEANIC
SEAC
M A N TA R AY
F1S
PRICE $199.95 CONTACT oceanicworldwide.com
PRICE $149 CONTACT seacusa.com
The Manta Ray’s design was inspired by the fins of
marine animals, and you can see the resemblance. It
isn't especially long (23½ inches), but the blade is relatively wide and has a large, soft center channel flanked
by stiff side sections. The Manta Ray’s efficiency scores
put it in about the center, but individual divers split higher or lower; those with a preference for stiffer blades
with a big bite scored it high, while those who like more
flex tended lower. The foot pocket is rigid and a bit boxy;
divers with wide feet and heavy-soled boots found it
supportive and comfortable, while those with thinner
boots found it less so. The fit was helped by the clever adjusters in the buckles that allow about an inch of
movement in the spring strap on each side without tools.
The F1S is 25 inches long (size medium-large) with a
robust foot pocket and broad, square-tipped blade, so
we were surprised it weighed just 1½ pounds. The design, with rigid sections in the blade connected by a web
of rubbery elastomer, creates a soft tip that stiffens toward the toes. The result was power without leg fatigue,
helped by a comfortable foot pocket and bungee strap.
“Good return on muscle investment,” wrote one diver,
and testers rewarded the fin with very high scores for
efficiency in the flutter kick and very good scores for
power vs. stress and for stability. It also showed good
acceleration, especially if you let those big blades work
up to speed a bit gradually. With performance and comfort at an attractive price, the Seac F1S is our Best Buy.
POWER VS. STRESS
POOR
POWER VS. STRESS
POOR
EXCELLENT
EXCELLENT
] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]
] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]
A C C E L E R AT I O N
POOR
A C C E L E R AT I O N
POOR
EXCELLENT
] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]
SCUBADIVING.COM
EXCELLENT
] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]
MAY 2017 / 32
TOO LATE TO TEST
WE WEREN’T ABLE TO GET ALL
SIZES OF THESE BRAND-NEW
MODELS FOR FULL TESTS. BUT
SOME OF OUR DIVERS GOT
THEM IN THE WATER FOR A
TRIAL RUN.
INDIGO
“
APEX XT
Excellent
flutter
kick.”
PRICE $199.95
CONTACT indigoindustries.com
This intriguing new split is
completely modular, with foot
pocket and three side-rail versions
(soft, medium, hard) switchable
by unbolting the stainless book
screws. We were able to try only
the soft version, which we thought
was too soft for our conditions.
INDIGO
DEFIANT XT
PRICE $199.95
CONTACT indigoindustries.com
Identical to the Apex except for the
split, the Defiant also was available
only in soft version and limited
sizes. A third model — the Shift XT
— can be switched between blade
and split in seconds. We look forward to fully testing all three.
XS SCUBA
RECOIL
PRICE $150 CONTACT xsscuba.com
The unique feature of the Recoil is the pair of short
springs on the bottom of the side rails. They stretch on
the upstroke to let the blade flex, but bottom out on the
downstroke when the blade reaches about 45 degrees to
the foot pocket, pushing lots of water with the soft blade
channel. A comfortable foot pocket and secure spring
strap let you kick hard with comfort; the result was the
highest score in our test for efficiency in the flutter kick,
and a very good score for acceleration. Made of dense
thermoplastic rubber, the Recoil weighs 3½ pounds
each in size medium. A few divers noted a slight click
with each kick — not annoying, but unusual. The Recoil
scored good for frog kick and maneuvering, areas where
some divers felt the springs worked against it.
POWER VS. STRESS
POOR
EXCELLENT
] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]
A C C E L E R AT I O N
POOR
ZEAGLE
RECON
PRICE $159.95 CONTACT zeagle.com
The tec-oriented Recon is made
of natural rubber compounds with
beefy reinforcing rails along the
sides of the supple blade. It has a
supportive foot pocket and a slippery, low-drag design, with adjusters that allow up to 2 inches of
movement in the spring strap.
EXCELLENT
] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]
SCUBADIVING.COM
MAY 2017 / 33
BAREFOOT FINS
“
Nice, soft,
forgiving
foot pocket.”
TEC FIN IN A
REC FIGHT
Our review compared all open-heel
fins on a head-tohead basis, but we
should point out the
conditions we tested in were much
more rec than tec.
Some of the common traits that can
be a plus in tec fins
— negatively buoyant materials, big
foot pockets for
bulky drysuit boots,
blade designs that
emphasize pinpoint
control — tend to
be less popular in
rec uses. That’s
also true in areas of
convenience such
as ease of donning
and doffing; rec
divers tend to like
big, soft-strap finger loops for easy
gripping, while tec
divers don’t want
big loops that might
tangle. Our Testers
Choice and Best
Buy winners are
selected because of
their performance
in our test conditions, which might
be very different
from your own
dive style. That’s
why we describe
in detail in How
We Test and in the
review of each fin
the ways in which
we conducted our
evaluations and our
observations about
the experience
of using each of
the fins.
Tec: Finger Tab
Rec: Finger Loop
CRESSI
SCUBAPRO
AG UA
GO
PRICE $39.95 CONTACT cressiusa.com
PRICE $69 CONTACT scubapro.com
The Agua stiffens the rear of the otherwise very flexible
blade with two buttresses on the bottom near the toes.
We were able to try the Agua in only three of the six
available sizes, but divers who found a size that worked
well rated it good for comfort. The comfortable foot
pocket and the fin’s light weight (less than 1 pound each
in size 10-11) let you kick long and hard without fatigue.
That’s good, because the soft blade requires steady kicking to work up and maintain speed. Some divers found
the Agua a little too soft for a scuba diver with the drag
of a BC and other gear. But its lightweight, low-stress
design, comfortable foot pocket and very good surfacekicking performance make the Agua an attractively
priced option for a snorkel fin.
Aimed at travelers, the GO is just a little over 1¼ pounds
each and 20½ inches long in size medium-large, with
a nifty clip on the blade to bungee them together. That
makes it great for packing, but it’s even better in the water. The short blade is wide and set at a steep 25-degree
angle to the foot pocket, with deep rails and ridges. That
lets it work like a bigger fin, earning very good scores
for kicking in flutter, frog and alternate styles, and for
acceleration. “Kicked like a much larger fin” was a typical test-diver comment. Rated good for comfort, the GO
is available in five sizes from 3XS to XL. It seemed sized
a little small to us, though it fit all of our testers except
those with the largest feet. Efficient and powerful, the
Scubapro GO is our Testers Choice for barefoot fins.
POWER VS. STRESS
POOR
POWER VS. STRESS
POOR
EXCELLENT
EXCELLENT
] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]
] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]
A C C E L E R AT I O N
POOR
A C C E L E R AT I O N
POOR
EXCELLENT
] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]
SCUBADIVING.COM
EXCELLENT
] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]
MAY 2017 / 34
DIVE DEEPER
Take your skills to the next level
with NAUI Worldwide, a leader in
underwater education since 1960.
Offering courses in free diving, nitrox
diving, technical diving, wreck diving,
search and rescue, and more, NAUI
makes it easy to define your diving
beyond the basics. Are you ready for
your next challenge?
Photo by Dan Orr
naui.org
T
TRAVEL ROUNDUP
OCEAN
CLOCKWISE FROM BOTTOM: ANUAR PATJANE FLORIUK; PETE MESLEY; BRANDON COLE; CARLOS MINGUELL.
OPPOSITE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: JASON SINTEK; BRANDON COLE; TAKAKO UNO; GAVIN HELLIER/NPL/MINDEN PICTURES
Clockwise: Cabo
Pulmo’s sand flats;
Bikini Atoll’s USS
Saratoga; Galapagos
blue-footed booby;
Dendronephthya soft
coral in Jeju Island
waters; schooling
mobula rays and bigeye trevally in Cabo
Pulmo; basket star
shrimp off Komodo;
Rapa Nui Moai statue.
SCUBADIVING.COM
MAY 2017 / 36
T H E U N E S C O W O R L D H E R I TAG E L I S T
C O M P R I S E S M O R E T H A N 1 ,0 0 0 S P O T S
— 2 0 P E R C E N T O F T H E M N AT U R A L —
D E S I G N AT E D A S T H E L E G AC Y O F A L L M A N K I N D. T H E S E 1 3 S P O T S R E P R E S E N T A N
EVEN MORE PRECIOUS SLICE: THEY CAN
B E F U L LY A P P R E C I A T E D O N LY B Y D I V E R S
::::: BY TERRY WARD :::::
FROM THE TAJ MAHAL TO THE GRAND
Canyon, the most spectacular cultural
and natural places in the world find
a spot on the storied UNESCO World
Heritage List — an international cooperation
created during a 1972 United Nations conference
to protect the world’s most wondrous locales.
And while divers know there are seemingly
limitless places to explore with a tank strapped to
their backs, only a select few of the world’s dive
destinations meet the World Heritage criterion.
When you dive one of these sites, you’re submerging someplace deemed to have “outstanding
universal value” that’s worth protecting at all
costs. In our world, that’s a dive for the books.
»
BELIZE
BARRIER
REEF
RESERVE
SYSTEM
Belize
Clockwise:
Belize’s Great Blue
Hole is at the heart
of Lighthouse Reef;
Aldabra Atoll’s
giant tortoises and
red snapper.
Diving the
UNESCO-listed
reefs of Belize is
like riding a conveyor belt through
the evolution of
reef development,
rolling through
such varied environments as
mangrove forests,
lagoons, sandy
cayes and pristine
atolls. Among the
seven marine protected areas within the Meso-American Barrier Reef
are the famed dive
destinations of
Glover’s Reef Marine Reserve, Half
Moon Caye Natural Monument and
Blue Hole Natural
Monument. All
up, the protected
area encompasses
roughly 450 mangrove and sandspun cayes. The
barrier reef is the
largest in the Western Hemisphere
and home to
such diverse and
protected species
as the West Indian
manatee, loggerhead turtles and
American crocodiles. Highlights
for divers include
the chance to fin
alongside great
hammerheads
at Blue Hole, and
whale sharks off
Gladden Spit and
Glover’s Reef Atoll.
Among the endemic species you
might bump into
topside or below
are Yucatan birds,
lizards, tunicates
and sponges, in
addition to several
species of fish,
including the
Glover’s toadfish,
found on Glover’s
Reef and Carrie
Bow Cay.
ISLA MARISOL RESORT
ISLAMARISOL
RESORT.COM
SCUBADIVING.COM
MAY 2017 / 38
2
D
WORLAGE
HERIT
CO
UNEE S
SITES
DIV
ALDABRA ATOLL
Seychelles
FROM TOP: BECKY KAGAN SCHOTT; THOMAS PESCHAK/NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CREATIVE; KADU PINHEIRO
TREK DIVERS, TREKDIVERS.COM
T
TRAVEL ROUNDUP
Like a massive doughnut flung into the
Indian Ocean, Aldabra Atoll is one of the
largest atolls in the world and stretches
across 60 square miles of ocean to the
northeast of Madagascar. Largely sheltered
from outside influences, its remote location has protected a singular creature on
the raised coral atoll, home to the largest
population of giant tortoises in the world
(yes, more than in the Galapagos). The
four main islands that make up the atoll
surround a shallow lagoon and are cut
through with passes. Dives here are carefully calculated according to the variability
of the tides and the rush of water in and
out of the lagoon. A drift dive from the outside of the pass through the channels that
lead to the inner lagoon is as exciting as
recreational diving gets. Shoals of fish and
sharks patrol the lagoon’s entrance, and
once inside, you can admire reef fish and
might even spot the elusive dugong.
3
GREAT
BARRIER
REEF
Australia
Australia’s national marine treasure consistently springs to mind when considering the world’s underwater riches. The figures are astounding. Living on the more than 2,500 individual reefs that comprise
the Great Barrier Reef are more than 1,500 species of fish, 400 types of coral (including one-third of the
world’s soft coral) and 4,000 different varieties of mollusks. Dugongs and marine turtles are among the
threatened species at home in this part of the Coral Sea. But the Great Barrier Reef itself is increasingly
threatened due to man-made and natural causes that include climate change, illegal fishing, and land-based runoff.
Coral bleaching has killed off huge swaths of coral in the GBR’s remote north, but you can still set out by liveaboard to
the famed Ribbon Reefs to dive some of the most pristine regions. “The Great Barrier Reef is scientifically accepted as
a climactic barometer for global reef systems,” says Craig Evans, operations manager for Mike Ball Dive Expeditions,
“and the fragile yet resilient reef system unequivocally offers some of the best diving found anywhere in the world.”
»
MIKE BALL DIVE EXPEDITIONS, MIKEBALL.COM
SCUBADIVING.COM
MAY 2017 / 40
D
WORLAGE
HERIT
CO
UNEE S
SITES
DIV
FROM LEFT: PETE MESLEY; FABIEN MICHENET
Left to right: A
Curtiss SB2C
Helldiver that
was ripped
from its chains
on the Saratoga
during Bikini
Atoll nuclear
testing; Komodo mantis
shrimp have
the most complex eyes in
the world.
Marshall Islands
The first site in the Marshall
Islands to be given UNESCO
World Heritage Status, Bikini
Atoll is infamous for its Cold
War history as the location
of 67 nuclear tests carried
out by the U.S. from 1946
to 1958. And while the criterion of its UNESCO listing
TRUK MASTER,
MASTERLIVEABOARDS.COM
5
KOMODO
NATIONAL PARK
Indonesia
Komodo has the most diverse diving in
all of Indonesia. And considering Indonesia’s location — nearly smack central in a
triangle of biodiversity — that’s saying a lot.
Komodo is “a one-stop destination that will
whet your appetite for Indonesian diving,”
says Debbie Benton Arriaga of the boutique
liveaboard Arenui. Picture reefs blooming
with soft corals, hard corals awash with anthias, turtles feeding in the shallows, and
seamounts swarmed by large schools being stalked by jacks and sharks. Legendary
dive sites include the ripping drifts of Karang Makassar and the cleaning stations of
Manta Alley. There are surprisingly prolific
muck sites too, where you can train your
lens on such oddities as rhinopias, ghost
pipefish and starry night octopuses. The site
called Cannibal Rock offers a surface interval like no other on Earth, with the chance
to observe the famous Komodo dragons
stalking topside.
ARENUI, THEARENUI.COM
SCUBADIVING.COM
MAY 2017 / 41
TRAVEL ROUNDUP
BIKINI ATOLL
NUCLEAR
TEST SITE
has to do with the atoll’s
history as a nuclear test
site, it’s the storied wreck
diving here that interests
modern-day tec explorers.
The mock naval fleet laid to
rest in the lagoon during the
nuclear testing includes aircraft carriers, battleships
and cruisers that make for
some of the most intrepid
wreck diving in the world.
Bikini Atoll could hardly be
more remote, located just
above the equator in the
Pacific, and roughly equidistant from Australia and
Hawaii. The tropical marine
environment has more than
rebounded since the days of
the testing, and what awaits
for those fully trained is an
underwater Eden visited by
only about 80 divers per year.
T
Below: Moai
statues and
the arch at the
Cathedral dive
site on Rapa
Nui. Opposite:
A scalloped
hammerhead
shark off
Cocos Island.
COCOS
ISLAND
NATIONAL
PARK
Costa Rica
»
OKEANOS AGGRESSOR I AND OKEANOS AGGRESSOR II, AGGRESSOR.COM
RAPA NUI
NATIONAL PARK
Chile
A plunge underwater at Rapa Nui — aka
Easter Island, of the famed Moai monolith statues — won’t likely bring the most
prolific fish life you’ve ever seen. But for
some of the most crystalline ocean waters in the world and dramatic seascapes
that include walls, caves and caverns, it
can’t be beat. Visibility often extends over
190 feet at Rapa Nui (just try to imagine
that!) thanks to a lack of outside contamination and plankton. And in Hanga
Roa Bay, you can often fin alongside sea
turtles and admire interesting stands of
lobe coral. “Diving near the motus (rock
islands) with the sunlight piercing the
breaking waves is spectacular,” recalls
Swedish PADI instructor Peder Nielsen.
“And the light is also what struck me
most about topside in Rapa Nui. Walking
around the countless moais just before
sunset, the statues were bathed in the
softest possible light. It was mystical.”
ORCA DIVING CENTER, ORCADIVINGCENTER.CL
SCUBADIVING.COM
MAY 2017 / 42
FROM TOP: SHUTTERSTOCK; ANDRES CUEVAS. OPPOSITE: GREG LECOEUR
6
“To be designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, you must be significantly
different from any other world heritage site,” explains Georgienne Bradley, the
founder of Sea Save Foundation, who helped win Cocos Island National Park
a spot on the list in 1997. “Cocos has so much in common underwater with
the Galapagos that the first two proposals were turned down,” she says, so the
petition she contributed to shined a spotlight on Cocos’ endemic topside species and tropical rainforest. And while “going topside” won the case, according to Bradley, underwater is
where divers lose their minds in this archipelago located some 340 miles off Costa Rica’s
Pacific coast. Remembering one of the best dives of her life, Bradley says, “Sharks were hitting us left and right. Jacks and chubs had created this orb down below, and there were silkies and Galapagos sharks. Dolphins kept circling the perimeter. There were sailfish too, and
birds were diving.” A feast for every sense and from every angle, in other words. Sign us up.
D
WORLAGE
HERIT
CO
UNEE S
SITES
DIV
Tias ex et veliqui
arciissi omnihil
ibusam, optate eosam, sam et eossitatis et laborum as
experi
GALAPAGOS
ISLANDS
Ecuador
9
TUBBATAHA
REEFS
NATURAL
PARK
Philippines
Clockwise from
top left: A Galapagos mola mola
and sea lion pup;
Jeju Island waters host Dendronephthya soft
corals; a Sally
Lightfoot crab parades in front of
marine iguanas in
the Galapagos.
“Schooling hammerheads,
walls of rays, and giant
schools of fish that make
day turn into night when
you are surrounded by
them” are just a sampling of what awaits when
you dive in the Galapagos,
says Renske Lauterbach
of Worldwide Dive & Sail,
an adventure outfitter that
runs liveaboard trips in
the region. And while the
protected area includes
all 19 of the archipelago’s
islands, it’s Darwin’s Arch
and Wolf Island in the
remote northwest part
of Galapagos that appeal most to divers, with
huge schools of fish and
common sightings of
Located in the
middle of the Sulu
Sea between the
Visayan Islands
and the island of
Palawan, the reefs
of Tubbataha can
be dived only by
liveaboard thanks
to their remote
setting. Declared
a UNESCO site in
1993, the park is
comprised of a
north and south
atoll as well as the
emergent coral
cay of Jessie Beazley Reef. In total,
the area covers
nearly 400 square
miles known for
attracting such
big boys as dolphins, tiger sharks,
whales, turtles and
napoleon wrasse.
Astoundingly,
nearly 90 percent
of all corals in the
Philippines can
be found on the
Galapagos sharks, silky
sharks and schooling
hammerheads. “There’s a
chance to see almost everything on a diver’s bucket
list on one dive,” says
Lauterbach, rattling off
mola mola, whale sharks,
mantas and sea lions
among the highlights. Add
to that the topside wonders
that include not only tortoises but also marine
iguanas, lizards and the
famed finches, and it’s easy
to see why Galapagos is
one of the most treasured
ecosystems and marine
systems in the world.
GALAPAGOS MASTER,
MASTERLIVEABOARDS.COM
reefs here. And the
area is also home
to the largest density of whitetip
reef sharks in the
world. “It’s a truly
rich and wild marine environment
that promises
mantas, several
varieties of sharks,
wrecks, schooling
fish and even
rare seabirds,”
says underwater
photographer
Mike Bartick.
PHILIPPINE SIREN,
SIRENFLEET.COM
D
WORLAGE
HERIT
CO
S
E
N
U
TES
DIVE
SI
10
JEJU VOLCANIC
ISLAND AND
LAVA TUBES
Republic of Korea
A relatively recent addition
to UNESCO’s World Heritage
Sites (2007), this Korean island is revered for having
one of the world’s finest examples of cave lava tube systems, as well
as other unique volcanic features. Far off
the radar of mainstream international divers, the waters around Jeju are known for
Korea’s best diving. One visiting underwater photographer likened the underwater
views to a mix of Norway and the Red Sea,
thanks to the unusual convergence of
sights that include kelp and black rocks,
as well as soft corals and tropical fish.
Scorpionfish, lionfish, octopuses, angelfish,
jacks and grouper are all commonly spotted on dives, and the mix of white sandy
bottoms, plunging walls, volcanic rock and
walls of soft coral keep the topography fascinating. Divers who love the little things
relish Jeju’s abundance of colorful nudibranchs, often seen carpeting entire walls.
»
CLOCKWISE FROM BOTTOM RIGHT: CARLOS MINGUELL; BRANDON COLE (2); GREG LECOEUR
TRAVEL ROUNDUP
DEEP BLUE QUEST, DEEPBLUEQUEST.COM
T
D
WORLAGE
HERIT
CO
UNEE S
SITES
T
TRAVEL ROUNDUP
11
FERNANDO DE
NORONHA
Brazil
At the heart of the Brazilian Atlantic Islands,
accorded UNESCO World Heritage status
in 2001, Fernando de Noronha Marine National Park offers some of the most surprising diving in the Americas. Your eyes will
widen at otherworldly volcanic peaks (the
islands are a submerged mountain chain).
Underwater, the clear views bring Brazil’s
best visibility, which can reach more than
130 feet. Some 200 species of fish live here,
and sightings of lobsters, octopuses, rays
and sharks are common. Humpback whales
are also seen. “And as a dolphin sanctuary,
Fernando de Noronha can surprise you
with groups of curious dolphins swimming
by,” says Rio de Janeiro-based photographer Andre Maceira. The untouched feel
and pristine marine life has to do with the
remote location of the 21 islands, as well as
the fact that the government controls the
number of visitors to Brazil’s most treasured
marine environment.
CABO PULMO
NATIONAL
MARINE PARK
Mexico
Within the UNESCO-listed
Island and Protected Areas
of the Gulf of California
World Heritage Site (which
is actually in Mexico), Cabo
Pulmo National Marine Park
offers aquariumlike diving
conditions. It’s known as the
best place to dive in Baja
Sur thanks to the living coral
reefs and abundant sea life.
The park is just 3 miles from
AGUAS CLARAS, AGUASCLARAS-FN.COM.BR
SCUBADIVING.COM
MAY 2017 / 46
east to west and 9 miles
from north to south, but
don’t let its diminutive size
fool you. Over 300 fish species live here, and the park
is known for its abundant
mobula rays – a species
that migrates in groups of
up to 250,000 animals and
is known for its aerial acrobatics (the rays can leap
more than 10 feet into the air
above the water’s surface).
Most of the diving here takes
place close to shore in Cabo
Pulmo Bay, where you’ll see
beautiful hard and soft corals
and, depending on the time
of year, schooling cownose
rays and mobulas, hawksbill turtles, whale sharks,
and perhaps even a passing
humpback whale or two.
ROCIO DEL MAR,
ROCIODELMARLIVEABOARD.COM
CABO PULMO BEACH RESORT,
CABOPULMO.COM
Left to right:
The rugged
peaks of
Fernando de
Noronha; bigeye trevally
in the Sea of
Cortez, which
Cousteau
dubbed “The
Aquarium of
the World.”
FROM LEFT: ULRICH HOLLMANN/GETTY IMAGES; JASON SINTEK
DIV
13
ROCK ISLANDS
SOUTHERN
LAGOON
Palau
Rising like so many emerald toadstools from a turquoise sea, the unmistakable limestone
islands of Palau have been the poster child of countless conservation messages and websites.
And while the topside beauty of the volcanic islands is spectacular, it’s what’s underwater
here that truly wows. The 445 uninhabited islands in the Rock Islands Southern Lagoon are
home to the most marine lakes on the planet (the 52 lakes here include the famous Jellyfish
Lake). And new endemic species are constantly being discovered within the lakes, as well as out on the barrier reef fringing the lagoon. Channels, tunnels, caves, walls and arches underwater lay the groundwork for
some of the very best diving in the planet at legendary sites like Ulong Channel, Peleliu Wall and Blue Corner. And cleaning stations bring in mantas by the dozens at German Channel. If you can dream it, chances
are you can dive it in this epicenter of exceptionally high biological and marine habitat biodiversity.
»
SAM’S TOURS, SAMSTOURS.COM
SCUBADIVING.COM
MAY 2017 / 47
ADVANCED
ADVENTURE
NEWFOUNDLAND’S
BELL ISLAND MINE
IS A TIME CAPSULE OF
A CANADIAN ISLE’S
HEROIC STRUGGLE TO
SUPPORT A MIGHTY
WAR EFFORT WHILE
PROTECTING A NOWL O S T C U LT U R E A N D
WAY O F L I F E . T O D AY
AN INTREPID GROUP
O F E X P L O R E R S PAV E S
T H E WAY F O R M O R E
DIVERS TO EXPERIENCE
T H E M I N E ’ S WAT E R Y
DEPTHS, WHILE THEIR
O W N D I V E S Y I E L D D ATA
T H AT C O U L D H E L P K E E P
ALL DIVERS SAFER
FROM DECOMPRESSION
ACCIDENTS.
TEXT AND PHOTOS
Author Jill Heinerth — explorer in residence for the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, a sponsor of the Bell
Island project — hovers over derelict equipment in the mines, which soon might be open to recreational divers. »
SCUBADIVING.COM
MAY 2017 / 48
CAS DOBBIN
BY JILL HEINERTH
ADVANCED ADVENTURE
BLACK-AND-WHITE IMAGES COUNTERCLOCKWISE FROM TOP: COURTESY BELL ISLAND HISTORICAL SOCIETY (2); COURTESY SANDRA SPURRELL
I
n the pale light of a
wintry Newfoundland
dawn, a bone-chilling
Arctic blast persuades
me to snug my toque
securely down over my ears.
Buried deep in the neck of my
parka, my muffled breath emits
curly wisps of white vapor into
the abruptly cold air.
Clad in not much more than
a long-sleeve T-shirt, strapping,
severely underdressed John
Olivero vaults clear of his truck,
announcing, “Let’s go diving!”
Disbelief hijacks my strong
Canadian resolve. “First we
have to get out of the driveway,
Johnny!”
“No problem!” He smiles. “We
have a secret weapon.”
Who would have imagined a
diving expedition that required a
snowplow? The list of necessary
tools grows even more peculiar.
Olivero and Ocean Quest
Adventure Resort owner Rick
Stanley have been stockpiling
pickaxes and shovels for months,
and wrangling volunteers to help
prepare for our visit. The group
has moved tons of iron ore, built
decks and benches, and installed
critical lighting in preparation
for our dive into the depths of the
Bell Island Mine.
Newfoundland is not the
first destination that comes
to mind when planning a dive
vacation. It’s probably not even
in most divers’ top 20 — yet.
The easternmost precipice of
North America is the outlier
BURIED TREASURE
of Canada’s Atlantic frontier.
The independent vibe of this
place is inspiring — strong, free
and a little bit quirky. Living life
in geographic and meteorologic
extremes breeds a true sense of
community. You can’t leave this
place a stranger.
We’re in Newfoundland to
reveal some of its hidden geography — historic iron mines
that descend more than 1,800
feet beneath Bell Island. Now
filled with water, the mines
were once the economic engine
of the area; by 1923, Bell Island
was the second-largest community in Newfoundland, providing extremely high-grade iron
ore to shipbuilding efforts in
both World Wars. Recognizing
the strategic importance of the
mines, Germany twice sent
U-boats to raid the island in
1942. The Germans knew that
if they could disrupt the flow of
ship-building materials, even
temporarily, Allied war efforts
D E T E R M I N I N G T H AT
E X T R ACT I O N WA S N O
LONGER FEASIBLE,
THE OWNERS
PULLED THE PLUG
O N T H E D E WAT E R ING PUMPS AND LET
T H E VA S T N E T W O R K
O F T U N N E L S S L O W LY
F I L L , L E AV I N G T H E
would be seriously affected. In
two separate attacks, German
submariners sank the SS Saganaga and SS Lord Strathcona,
followed by the SS Rose Castle,
and the Free French vessel PLM
27, while destroying the oreloading wharf on Bell Island.
In all, 70 men were killed, and
the sheer temerity of the attack
alerted North Americans that
they were now on the front line
of the Battle of the Atlantic.
These massive vessels, now sitting intact at 80 to 150 feet, rival some of the most beautifully
decorated wrecks in the world.
Part of the mine closed not
long after WWII due to a decline
in the market value of ore. Then
the economic hammer slammed
down hard over the Christmas
holidays in 1966. When miners
returned to work in the bitter
cold of January, they discovered that their workplace was
full of water. Determining that
extraction was no longer feasible, the owners had pulled the
plug on the dewatering pumps
and let the vast network of tunnels slowly fill, leaving the entire
island in jobless despair. The
remaining dry sections of Bell
Island collected cobwebs until a
modest museum opened at the
entrance to the No. 2 mine. Offering walking tours of the first
650 feet down to the waterline,
guides kept their family histories alive telling stories about
the more than 100 men who died
in the course of their work there.
ENTIRE ISLAND IN
J O B L E S S D E S PA I R .
« Clockwise from top left: A Bell Island miner in an undated photo; team member John Olivero floats over a discarded bucket;
Jill Heinerth and Gemma Smith are helped with prep by Mark McGowan; part of the dewatering mechanisms, at 135 feet;
miners begin their 2¼ mile journey down the main slope in 1955; partly buried tracks in an area called Grebe’s Nest.
SCUBADIVING.COM
MAY 2017 / 51
What It Takes: Bell Island Mine All divers are escorted into the mine, briefed and supported by local safety
staff. Certified cave divers can file an independent dive/exploration plan; Intro/Basic Cave-qualified divers may
participate in guided dives. Landlubbers can enjoy a fascinating tour of the No. 2 Mine and Museum.
IN THE BELLY OF
THE BEAST
My dive buddy, Cas Dobbin,
emerges from heavy silt that
has obscured visibility near our
entry point. The haze of iron
ore mixed with melting snow
and runoff eases as we descend,
following iron tracks down the
main shaft. The squared-off walls
are marked with large white figures enumerating every crossing
rib in this maze of hematite ore
that descends 1 foot with every
body length we swim. Seventeen
feet above the floor, electrical
wiring with bright turquoise insulators and wooden crossbars
lead us toward some of the massive machinery that once kept
this place dry.
We swim over a crumpled
bucket and a pair of old leather
shoes, a discarded soda bottle,
and broken shovels and saws.
Nobody bothered to take an inventory before they deemed this
place extinct. What remains is
a time capsule preserving the
demoralizing moment of desperation when the pumps were
turned off.
We turn a corner, gliding over
the chassis of an ore cart to
reach a large dewatering pump.
A hulking, crippled wheel connects to long-silent gears with
broken pistons that supply
severed pipelines. An inscription on the wall catches our
attention. “James Bennett” has
scrawled his name beside a cartoonish caricature sporting a
small pipe and watchman’s cap
— I envision this man taking a
smoke break in the dank, dustfilled darkness. A nearby tangle
of rusty box springs might be
evidence that he also took a
few covert naps as well. Around
the next corner, we pause at
another epitaph. A tiny white
cross adorns the wall in a place
where a miner lost his life. Was
it a fall of rock or did he get run
CONTINUED ON PAGE 55
SCUBADIVING.COM
MAY 2017 / 52
BURIED TREASURE
«
ADVANCED ADVENTURE
Team member Cas Dobbin pauses to reflect in a spot where a miner lost his life, indicated by the small white cross
that can be seen on the mine wall, to the left of the remains of a ladder (opposite).
5 Tips for
Shooting
Bell Island
1 Protect your
camera from getting warm between
dives or you might
find fog in the
housing on descent.
Wrap your camera
in a cool towel or
place in a coldwater rinse bucket.
2 Make sure you
can operate your
camera while
wearing thick
gloves. Preset and
test as many functions as possible
before descending.
3 Carefully angle
strobes and lights to
prevent backscatter
in the nutrient-rich
ocean or silt-laden
mine water.
4 Get additional
lighting or strobes
off the camera and
into your buddy’s
hands to further
minimize backscatter issues.
INSET: COURTESY RICK STANLEY
5 Swim and shoot
into the current to
capture the large,
open anemones on
the wrecks.
SCUBADIVING.COM
MAY 2017 / 53
NEED TO KNOW
When to Go June through
September, with the best
weather and wildlife in late
June and early July
Dive Conditions Near-freezing
temps on the bottom and up
to 50°F on the surface for
Bell Island’s wrecks, which
are sheltered from all but the
worst weather; the mine water
temp is 40°F plus, accessible
year-round in all weather.
Operator Ocean Quest
Adventure Resort (oceanquest
adventures.com), Newfoundland and Labrador’s
only full-service dive and
adventure business, with
packages and daily recreational or full technical
excursions to the mines, Bell
Island wrecks, Iceberg Alley,
and snorkel trips to swim
with humpbacks in summer.
Its 42-foot cruiser Mermaid
SCUBADIVING.COM
MAY 2017 / 54
offers a large transom elevator lift; a sizable, warm enclosed space; and a full galley
supplying the best onboard
soup you’ll find anywhere.
Price Tag It’s $2,800 for a
five-day, full technical/rebreather diving package that
includes wreck and/or mine
diving, gases, CCR sorb, and
accommodations in a cozy and
well-appointed lodge.
ADVANCED ADVENTURE
BURIED TREASURE
« Clockwise from top left: Jill Heinerth and Dr. Neal Pollock at the easternmost point of Canada, with the flag of the Royal
Canadian Geographical Society; team member Cas Dobbin on the wreck Lord Strathcona; Dobbin and John Olivero swim
down the dewatering pumps, which descend 1 foot of depth for every 6 feet traveled into the mines.
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 52
BLACK-AND-WHITE IMAGE: COURTESY JOHN OLIVERO
over by a cart racing through the
darkness on the narrow track? It
was a tough business, and hardly
a family was spared from loss. If
you didn’t lose a loved one in the
mine, you probably have a family tale about the nights German
torpedoes brought the war to
your doorstep.
OLD STORIES, NEW DATA
Our project has been chosen as
the Expedition of the Year by the
Royal Canadian Geographical
Society and granted a flag from
the Explorers Club, but we are
not interested in merely telling
stories of the past. Researchers
are also assessing our bodies
to reveal how we respond to
decompression stress on repetitive and lengthy cold-water dives.
Dr. Neal Pollock, former research director for Divers Alert
Network (now research chair in
hyperbaric and diving medicine
at Laval University in Quebec),
heads the team. After each dive,
we shed our gear as quickly as
possible to meet with Pollock and
researcher Stefanie Martina, who
have set up a makeshift lab in the
mine museum. They poke, prod
and examine us with 3-D heart
ultrasounds every 20 minutes,
plus blood draws and swabs that
might offer evidence about how
decompression stress can reprogram humans at a genetic level.
We decide to let the cameras roll
on our private medical evaluations, and subject ourselves to
the rigors of fitness testing, fat
calipers and pulmonary function
tests, with our teammates cheering us on. I exhale deeply into an
incentive spirometer while Martina encourages, “Blow, blow,
blow, you can do it, good job.” She
notes elasticity, fatigue and any
possible restrictions in my lungs
and how their overall function
might be deteriorating and/or recovering throughout this project.
The battery of tests
continues for two hours after
each excursion, coupled with
questionnaires about workload,
thermal comfort and artificial
heat sources, to help substantiate hypotheses about how the use
and intensity of heated undergarments might contribute to
decompression stress. With tests
completed, I do it all again, preparing my rebreather and camera,
and heading back down the shaft.
PAST IS PROLOGUE
The goals of our project are
simple: Lay permanent guide
lines to create popular routes,
map the locations of significant
T H E I M M E D I AT E
GOALS OF OUR PROJE C T A R E S I M P L E : L AY
PERMANENT GUIDE
L I N E S T O C R E AT E
POPULAR ROUTES,
M A P T H E L O C AT I O N S
OF SIGNIFICANT
A R T I FA C T S , A N D
OFFER LOGISTICAL
ADVICE FOR FUTURE
D I V E O P E R AT I O N S I N
THE MINE.
SCUBADIVING.COM
MAY 2017 / 55
artifacts, and offer logistical
advice for future dive operations.
But for me, this project is also
about creating a visual legacy.
My goal is to document this industrial archaeology, and offer
photos and video assets to the
Bell Island Historical Society to
help plant a seed that opens future economic opportunities for
these generous people, one that
will share the assets of eco and
cultural tourism with the world.
Our team concludes with a
series of presentations at local
schools. We set up our dive gear
in one gymnasium too spacious
for the few kids who remain. The
population is one-fifth what it
was, and yet the space is filled
with vibrating energy — there
are not many presentations
like this on Bell Island. After a
slide show and hands-on time
with gear, we casually talk to the
children about their vision of
the future. Although most will
leave the island one day, some
are discovering their sense of
place here on Bell Island. I talk
with Daniel Rees, whose grandmother rescued sailors during
the 1942 sinkings. He’s working
on his studies as a marine archaeologist and asks to have his
photo taken with the flag of the
Royal Canadian Geographical
Society. A small boy walks up to
us and enthusiastically connects
to young Daniel, then offers a
simple statement that lets me
know we have accomplished
our work. “I didn’t know we
were important. I didn’t know
Bell Island mattered.”
I N S T R U C T I O N A L T I P S T O I M P R O V E Y O U R S A F E T Y, S K I L L S A N D B O T T O M T I M E
DIVE HACKS If you
dive, you need a
save-a-dive kit; here’s
where to start P56
LESSONS FOR LIFE
Overconfidence, combined with inattention,
turns deadly underwater P58 IMAGING
Mastering Lightroom’s
Export Module P60
DIVE HACKS
/
YOUR
LITTLE
BUDDY
A WELL-STOCKED
SAVE-A-DIVE KIT
CAN BE YOUR BFF
BY ERIC MICHAEL
M
urphy’s Law
definitely applies
to dive gear: What can go
wrong, will — and often at
the worst time, typically
that long-anticipated moment when you’re just about
to giant-stride into the dive
of your life at your most exotic bucket-list destination.
Your mask strap snaps. An
O-ring pops. Your fin strap
gives up. That’s why the
savvy carry a treasure chest
of spare parts, backup gear,
and repurposed household
goods that would make any
hoarder proud. The save-adive kit can do just that — if
properly outfitted.
“Self-reliance is key
in and out of the water,”
says California-based
Lowell O’Rourke, a master scuba diver trainer and
specialty instructor who
has captained liveaboards
across the globe. “A proper
save-a-dive kit will keep
you diving through most
equipment problems.”
“Thoroughly examining
your equipment prior to a
dive can lessen the likelihood of issues,” says master
instructor and law-enforcement diver Woody Tinsley
of Boston. That said, Tinsley
continues, “O-rings seem
SCUBADIVING.COM
to have a mind of their own,
and it’s not uncommon for
mask or fin straps to break
from wear and tear.” “My job is to take people
around the world on underwater photo safaris,” says
Berkley White, professional photographer and owner
of Backscatter Underwater
Video and Photo in Monterey, California. “There is
nothing worse than when a
guest experiences a failure
MAY 2017 / 56
in the field. While I try to
predict items commonly
forgotten, I quite frequently
have to resort to MacGyver
solutions in the field.”
These pros have done and
seen heaps when it comes
to equipment malfunction.
So take their advice.
EXPECT NOTHING,
PLAN FOR EVERYTHING
“It seems that you need
something from your kit
most when you don’t have
it,” White says. “Some items
in my kit have bounced
around for years without
use, but once you’ve turned
an emergency into a success
story, you tend to keep the
same items in there. Some
of them have just become
good-luck tokens.”
The highlights of White’s
go-to photographer’s kit:
1 pound of bolts, nuts and
washers in common metric and standard sizes, fastcure superglue and epoxy,
high-quality gaffer tape
(“duct tape sucks”), 20 feet
of paracord, 1-inch bundle of
mixed-length zip ties, hole
reamer, micro tweezers, battery-powered soldering iron
and solder, and fiberglass
WHAT YOU MIGHT
NOT CONSIDER
“Not all tools are meant
for scuba diving, so buying
tools specifically made for
save-a-dive kits will eliminate kit rot and rust buildup,” Tinsley says. “Specialty
tools are available at your
local dive shop.”
“Baggage fees have everyone fretting about going
over weight,” says White.
“Traveling light is cool, but
saving a few hundred dollars
in excess baggage on a trip of
a lifetime is silly when you’re
missing a key part. Spend
a few extra bucks to make
sure you have all the tools
and toys you’ll need.”
“I keep my personal kit
in a toolbox, and it’s pretty
FROM TOP: JON WHITTLE; COURTESY CRESSI; COURTESY DAN. OPPOSITE: SHUTTERSTOCK
“NOT ALL TOOLS ARE MEANT FOR
SCUBA DIVING, SO BUYING TOOLS
SPECIFICALLY MADE FOR
SAVE-A-DIVE KITS WILL ELIMINATE
KIT ROT AND RUST BUILDUP.”
contact scratch brush.
“As an instructor,” says
Tinsley, “I have enough
spare parts to fix most
minor problems, and I
personally take an entire
spare regulator with me,
along with straps for
numerous types of fins and
masks, O-rings, lubricant,
plugs, wrenches, a spare
pocket mask, batteries of
various sizes, a bag with a
wax candle for zipper care
(keep it in a bag since it
can melt in the heat), some
nylon webbing, and zip ties,
zip ties and more zip ties.”
“Build a save-a-dive kit
that will accommodate your
gear,” says Keith Nichols, an
open-water instructor, public-safety diver and owner
of Pink Ink Scuba in Tamassee, South Carolina. “Ask
your local dive shop what
they recommend for your
gear, and look at what your
instructor, divemaster or
buddies carry in their kits.”
organized,” Tinsley says.
“I have seen people keep
them in zip folders, Tupperware containers and plastic
tubes, but if you want to be
really cool, you can wear it
in a fanny pack.”
“When you realize a need
that you don’t have in your
kit, buy two,” says Nichols.
“And remember to restock
items after you use them.”
THE WEIRD AND
THE WONDERFUL
“Sometimes you experience
a camera housing that has
an unidentifiable leak, so I
keep a handful of tampons
on hand and place them
in the bottom of a system
— phenomenal technology,” White says. “I’m no
expert on the subject, but
the brand OB seems to offer minimal packaging, and
sizes that fit the tight spaces
of modern housings, or you
can use pads in larger housings, but remember to place
SCUBADIVING.COM
them sticky side up for the
best action. These also double as a great first-aid item
for a major wound. However, as I experienced, you
might need help getting the
cellophane wrapper off in
an emergency.”
“I’ve seen some really
original ways to carry extra O-rings,” says Tinsley.
“Some divemasters wear
them as toe rings, and I personally put a couple on the
strap of my dive computer
so I always have them.”
“When you’re traveling
abroad, having an oxygen
analyzer that you know
is reliable really doesn’t
hurt,” says O’Rourke. “And
it can be a great trade item
in remote locations that
don’t have access to such
equipment readily.”
ALL FOR ONE
AND ONE FOR ALL
“My kit helps me all the
time, but I only notice it
when I save someone else’s
dive,” White says. “It feels
great to help someone’s dive,
and saving someone usually
means the dive will continue without further delays.
My kit is packed for me, but
ultimately it’s packed for
everyone else too.”
“I remember as a new
diver, I bought a ready-made
save-a-dive kit from my dive
shop for $9.99,” says Tinsley.
“It had a generic mask strap,
fin strap, a few O-rings and
some silicone. I threw it in
my dive bag, and one day on
the boat, another diver had
broken his mask strap. That
guy was so desperate, I could
have sold my strap for $100,
but I ended up just giving it
to him.”
“I see divers make a mistake by using small, minimalist kits,” says O’Rourke.
“Having more than you
need is OK. If you do not
have enough space, team up
with your buddy to create a
kit between the team. Don’t
have to say to yourself, ‘I
should have brought…’”
MAY 2017 / 57
GEAR SOLUTIONS
BE PREPARED FOR ANY
EMERGENCY WITH THIS GEAR
AQUASEAL REPAIR ADHESIVE
For emergency wetsuit repair,
this clear, waterproof sealant
can handle many types of
neoprene field surgery to keep
divers wet. It’s flexible, to maintain stretch for comfort, and it
dries quickly, so nobody has to
wait for you to drop.
MSRP $7.95 (.75 oz.)
INFO gearaid.com
CRESSI EBS STRAP
This user-friendly bungee strap
can replace traditional adjustable straps on most Cressi
models, as well as many other
brands. Made from durable
materials, the strap never needs
adjusting and can accommodate
a range of foot sizes.
MSRP $34.95
INFO cressi.com
DAN GRAB & GO TRAVEL PACK
This compact first-aid kit covers
most of your bases when things
go wrong, including sting-relief
wipes, antiseptic towelettes,
folding scissors, and multiple
dressings and wound-care supplies. And it stows neatly in a
tough nylon bag with internal
waterproof zipper pockets.
MSRP $20
INFO diversalertnetwork.com
TRAINING
LESSONS FOR LIFE
/
IN TOO DEEP
AN INEXPERIENCED DIVER FORCED TO MAKE AN EMERGENCY
ASCENT RUNS OUT OF AIR — AND LUCK
BY ERIC DOUGLAS
barge made it almost sound like a rite
of passage. Steve and Alan were good
divers, and they were eager to prove
it by getting to the barge, just like the
other guys at the shop.
It was a typical early-fall day, with
air temperatures in the mid-60s, when
they began the dive. The water temperature was about the same on the
surface but dropped to the low 50s by
the time they reached the bottom. As
they descended, the two men followed
a chain connected to a surface marker.
When they reached the barge, Steve
and Alan circled it, and then Alan
took photos of Steve hovering inside
an open hatch. They couldn’t wait to
show the photos to their friends at the
dive shop.
THE ACCIDENT
THE DIVER
Steve was new to diving. He had
been certified just a year earlier, but
according to his wife, it had taken over
his life. He made a couple of trips to
the ocean with his local dive shop, but
he was at the lake diving every chance
he could. He came home every time
talking about how much fun he had
just floating and feeling like an astronaut. He was in good health with no
major problems, and he wasn’t taking
any medications.
THE DIVE
While they had made dozens of dives
in the lake, this was the first time
Steve and Alan had dived on the barge.
It was a deep dive; the barge was resting on the bottom in 112 feet of fresh
water. The two divers had been practicing and working up to making a dive
at that depth.
The fraternity of divers hanging
around the dive shop talking about the
SCUBADIVING.COM
MAY 2017 / 58
ANALYSIS
The fundamental problem on this dive
was the failure, on the part of both
Steve and Alan, to monitor their air
supply. They most likely used their
air faster than they expected. We can
only guess, but they could have been
breathing hard from excitement or
cold. Maybe they didn’t realize how
MIKO MACIASZEK
I
t was gloomy and dark when
Steve and his buddy reached the
barge sitting on the lake’s bottom,
but Steve was excited for the dive despite the conditions. He was setting
a personal depth record and couldn’t
wait to tell his new friends back at
the shop. He and Alan swam around
the barge at its deepest point and did
their best to act interested. There really wasn’t all that much to see, but it
didn’t matter. Diving the barge was a
personal goal for Steve and Alan, and
they were finally getting to do it.
When Steve noticed it was getting
hard to breathe, he looked at his airpressure gauge. That was when he
realized he was in trouble.
Steve realized it was getting harder to
breathe, but it took him a moment to
figure out why. He pulled his regulator
out of his mouth to see if something
had happened to it.
Finally, he looked at his submersible pressure gauge. It was nearly at
zero. As he swam to Alan as rapidly
as he could, Steve signaled that he
was out of air. Alan pulled out his alternate air source and gave it to his
friend. The two men locked arms and
began ascending immediately. They
tried to remain calm and remember
their training.
With both Steve and Alan breathing
from a single air source, they didn’t
make it very far before Alan’s tank was
empty as well. Already on the edge
of panic, Steve bolted for the surface
when he couldn’t get a breath. Alan
followed quickly, remembering to
exhale as he ascended.
When Alan made it to the surface,
he looked around for Steve. It took
him a minute to find his friend. When
he did, Steve was face down in the water and unconscious. Spotting several
divers suiting up on the beach, Alan
yelled for help. The divers helped Alan
drag Steve to shore, but resuscitation
efforts were unsuccessful.
quickly they were using their air
supply at the depth of the dive. It is
also possible they didn’t take into account the time it took to descend to
112 feet. Or they were suffering from
the effects of nitrogen narcosis. Whatever the reason, both men neglected
to look at their submersible pressure
gauges until there was a problem.
When Steve ran out of air on the
bottom, the two divers remembered
their air-sharing training. Steve gave
the appropriate signal. Alan reacted
well, and then the two men headed
for the surface just as they had been
taught. Alan still had some gas remaining at that point, but sharing
with Steve what little air he had in
his tank quickly depleted his supply.
Considering that Alan had made the
exact same dive as Steve, this isn’t at
all surprising. It’s quite possible that
Alan would have run out of air during the ascent even if he hadn’t had
to donate half of his remaining air
to Steve. At that moment, only halfway to the surface, both men were
now faced with making an emergency
out-of-air ascent.
Cave and technical divers use the
rule of thirds as a baseline. They
use the first third of their available
breathing gas for the cave penetration and the second third for the
return to the surface. They keep the
final third in reserve for exactly these
sorts of problems. While it’s probably
not necessary for the average recreational diver to plan to return to the
surface with 1,000 psi in his or her
tank, it is important to be prepared
for an out-of-air emergency and to
be ready to lend assistance if needed.
If Steve and Alan had each carried
a completely separate alternate
air source, it could have solved
this problem.
Panic also played a part. Panicked
divers forget their training, and the
only thing they can think of is to get
to the surface. They don’t remember
to exhale slowly on ascent. They just
swim as fast as they can.
Steve was unconscious by the time
he reached the surface. The autopsy
determined he drowned but also
showed signs of pulmonary barotrauma. The air remaining in his
lungs had expanded during his ascent
and caused an air embolism because
WHEN ALAN MADE
IT TO THE SURFACE,
HE LOOKED AROUND
FOR STEVE. IT TOOK
HIM A MINUTE TO
FIND HIS FRIEND.
WHEN HE DID, STEVE
WAS FACE DOWN
IN THE WATER
AND UNCONSCIOUS.
he didn’t remember to exhale. The
embolism entered his blood stream
and went directly to his brain, causing
Steve to lose consciousness while still
in the water.
Alan completed his ascent without
an embolism, and though he dodged a
bullet, he didn’t come away unscathed.
He displayed signs and symptoms of
decompression illness and was taken
to the hospital and then to the local
hyperbaric chamber. He was treated
with a U.S. Navy Treatment Table 6
and recovered from his injuries.
LESSONS FOR LIFE
1 CARRY AN ADDITIONAL AIR SOURCE WHEN PLANNING DEEP DIVES. This does not mean an
octopus regulator, but rather a truly independent air source and regulator.
2 MONITOR YOUR GAS SUPPLY ON ALL DIVES. There is no one underwater to bring you more
breathing gas when you run out.
3 GET THE NECESSARY TRAINING BEFORE MAKING DIVES IN NEW ENVIRONMENTS. The
training involved in a deep-diver specialty course would have helped both divers understand some of the issues — like nitrogen narcosis and accelerated air consumption — that
come into play at deeper depths.
4 PRACTICE EMERGENCY DRILLS SO THEY ARE SECOND NATURE. These divers handled
the initial emergency well, but all divers should practice emergency drills so there is no
hesitation about how to handle any situation.
» Eric Douglas co-authored the book Scuba Diving Safety, and has written a series of adventure novels,
children’s books, and short stories — all with an ocean and scuba diving theme. Check out his website at
booksbyeric.com and follow him on Facebook at facebook.com/EricDouglasAuthor.
SCUBADIVING.COM
MAY 2017 / 59
TRAINING
IMAGING
/
THE
EXPORT
MODULE
HOW TO GET YOUR
IMAGES OUT
OF LIGHTROOM
TEXT AND PHOTOS BY
ERIN QUIGLEY
L
ightroom is a nearmagical piece of
software. It’s both librarian
and technician for your
digital images and, unlike
Photoshop, it leaves your
original photo untouched
throughout the entire
editing process.
How do you create a
version of your image that
is suitable for social media,
email or printing? In
Lightroom, you don’t save
photos in the traditional
sense. Instead, you export photos. When you
export photos, you create
new versions of your files
that include Lightroom
adjustments.
If you find yourself using
the same export settings
frequently, you can save
them as presets to reuse
again and again.
1. Get started by selecting the image or images you
want to export.
To select multiple
contiguous images, click
on the first desired photo, and Shift-click on the
last one in the series. To
select multiple noncontiguous images, click on the
first photo, then Command
(Mac)/Control (PC)-click
on other images to add
them to the selected group.
Next, click the export
button at the bottom left of
the Library Module, or go
to File>Export.
SCUBADIVING.COM
The Export dialogue box
has expandable panels to rename, select a file format, resize, sharpen, add metadata,
and even add a watermark.
2. Check the header at
the top of the window and
make sure that the correct
number of images will
be exported.
3. In the top “Export
To:” pop-up menu, select
Hard Drive.
4. In the Export Location
panel, choose a destination
4
5
MAY 2017 / 60
for your files. The two
choices I use most often
are “Specific Folder” and
“Choose Folder Later.”
“Specific Folder” lets you
set the destination for your
exported files by clicking
the “Choose” button and
navigating to the desired
location for your images in
the ensuing browser.
“Choose Folder Later”
also lets you specify the final
destination for your exported files, but only as the last
step in the export process.
This is useful for presets,
where over time you might
be exporting groups of images with the same settings
to different folders.
5. If you want to rename
your exports, check ON the
“Rename To:” checkbox,
and choose from any of the
default naming presets or
create your own.
To create a new naming
template, select “Edit” at
the bottom of the pop-up
menu and configure
the Filename Template
Editor. If you don’t want
to rename your images,
make sure the “Rename”
checkbox is checked OFF.
6. If you have video files
in your export, check ON
“Include Video Files.” The
formats to choose from are
DPX, H.264, or a copy of
the original, unedited video
clip. H.264 works best for
uploads to social media.
7. In the File Settings panel,
you can choose the Image
Format, Quality and Color
Space. Available formats
are JPEG, PSD, TIFF, DNG
and Original.
For Color Space, choose
sRGB if you are planning
to export the images or
images for email, social
media, or projection on a
computerscreen or monitor. Choose Adobe RGB
for most general-purpose printing, and choose
Pro Photo RGB to stay
within the native color space of Lightroom’s
Develop Module, or other
image-editing software.
7
8
11
8. If you want to resize
your exported images,
check ON the “Resize to
Fit:” checkbox. The popup menu lets you choose
from a variety of criteria
for resizing. I most often
use “Long Edge.” You can
set dimensions using pixels, inches or centimeters.
Image resolution matters
only if you’re exporting
for print, and if you are,
300 pixels per inch is the
most common setting.
9. Output sharpening in
Lightroom is simple. If you
want to sharpen your export, Check ON “Sharpen
For:” checkbox, and choose
Screen, Matte Paper or
SCUBADIVING.COM
Glossy Paper in a Standard
amount.
10. The Metadata panel
lets you specify how much
or how little metadata you
want. If you’re uploading to
social media, choose “Copyright Only”; if submitting
for stock, choose “All Metadata” for the maximum
amount of information.
11. To add a watermark to
your exports, check ON
the “Watermark” checkbox. By default, Lightroom
will add your user name
to the bottom left corner
of your image. To customize the watermark, select
Edit Watermarks from the
pop-up menu.
12. Leave Post-Processing
set to its default of “After
Export:”; do nothing.
13. To save your settings
as a preset, click on the
“Add” tab at the bottom of
the Preset panel, and name
your preset — for example,
“Facebook,” or “12x18
Print.” Next time you open
the Export Dialog box, click
on a preset to apply those
settings automatically.
» Erin Quigley is an Adobe ACE-certified digital-imaging consultant and
an award-winning shooter. GoAskErin.com provides custom tutorials and
one-on-one instruction for the underwater-photographic community.
MAY 2017 / 61
G E TAWAYS
THE
WORLD’S BEST
DESTINATIONS
FOR SAVVY
DIVERS
DRIVE AND DIVE
P E N N S Y LVA N I A
D
DUTCH
SPRINGS
FIND YOUR
TRIBE — AND
SURPRISINGLY
GOOD DIVING —
75 MILES FROM
THE SEA
TEXT AND PHOTOS BY BECKY KAGAN SCHOTT
D
A Bombardier Challenger
600 series business jet was
added to the myriad attractions at Dutch Springs in
March 2016.
SCUBADIVING.COM
MAY 2017 / 63
utch Springs isn’t just
a place to dive as a
last resort — it’s a
spot that attracts thousands
of divers from all over the
United States, and even
other countries. This inland
gem offers a place that is
open rain or shine, where
divers can practice skills,
see a submerged plane,
and meet new dive buddies
in an environment defined
by barbecues, cookouts
and camaraderie.
Some might think that
good diving can’t be found
far from salt water, but some
of my favorite diving is in
freshwater locations. Diving
Dutch Springs requires no
boats, no rush and no need
to wash salt out of your
gear after the dive. Diving
in fresh water also offers
unique opportunities to see
or photograph different kinds
of aquatic marine life such
as largemouth bass, koi,
perch, blue gills, trout and, of
course, zebra mussels.
Those mussels are an
invasive species introduced
to the quarry and many other
places including the Great
Lakes. The negative side is
they are sharp and cover everything; on the positive, they
clear up the water to give us
50 to 60 feet of visibility on
most days. That can change
depending on algae blooms
or the number of divers
DRIVE AND DIVE
QUARRY LORE
Located in Bethlehem,
Pennsylvania, the National
Portland Cement Company
began mining limestone from
the quarry for use in cement
manufacturing in 1935.
Pumps were used to keep the
water out of the quarry and
prevent flooding. Through the
1970s the quarry continued
to be used for limestone,
but when the company went
out of business, the pumps
were turned off and water
rose, creating the 50-acre
freshwater lake that is now
known as Dutch Springs.
In 1980, Dutch Springs
was purchased and made
into a scuba diving facility.
With a maximum depth of
100 feet, the quarry is an
excellent dive site for training
of all levels, and a sure thing
when boats can’t get out due
to weather.
Dutch Springs
NEED TO KNOW
D
in the quarry, but you can
typically expect very good
conditions here.
I grew up in Florida, so
when I moved to Pennsylvania almost 10 years ago, I
had heard of Dutch Springs
but had no idea what to expect. My first time there blew
my mind, seeing about 100
dive shops set up tents, and
hundreds of divers blending
together from recreational to
technical. This is not a small
place, nor just a dive site. The
site includes a fill station,
lunch pavilions, showers,
concessions, an aqua park
for kids (and adults), and
a rock-climbing wall. This
is a place the whole family
can enjoy. If you arrive on
a Friday night in summer,
you’ll see tents spread out
over the grass and divers
entering and exiting the
water nonstop. On an average weekend, hundreds of
divers from six surrounding
states and farther venture to
this underwater Disneyland
for divers.
Bethlehem
Allentown
WHEN TO GO Dutch Springs
is open April through November on weekends and every
day from Memorial Day
to Labor Day weekend.
When you first arrive at
Dutch, you can choose to dive
on the peninsula side or what
is known as the student side.
Each has unique attractions,
and both are worth visiting.
I usually arrive early in the
morning so I can get a picnic
table on which to set up
my gear. (They have plenty,
but they can go quickly.)
Dutch offers maps that can
help point you to different
Check its online schedule
at dutchsprings.com before
you go.
DIVE CONDITIONS Temperatures can vary. In spring,
you’ll want to use a drysuit
or 7 mm full wetsuit, gloves
and a hood, since the water
temps can be in the mid-40s
top to bottom. In summer, the
surface to 25 feet on the platforms is in the 70s; below the
thermocline is usually in the
SCUBADIVING.COM
50s. There is no current, and
visibility can range from 40
to 60 feet most days, unless
there has been a lot of rain or
divers in the quarry.
OPERATOR Dutch Springs
(dutchsprings.com)
PRICE TAG An all-day dive
pass is $40 per person; tank
fills and camping are additional. Dutch also offers an
annual pass.
MAY 2017 / 64
underwater attractions such
as a school bus, crane, several boats, a fire truck, tanker,
old cars and several planes,
all in 20 to 100 feet of water.
One of the dives I enjoy
most is the pump house near
the student side. There’s a
floating dock to gear up on,
and then you descend down
a beautiful rock wall; a staircase, pipes and the pump
house are half above water
and half under it. This
is usually a quiet side
of the quarry, and you
can see koi there.
A great second dive
from the student side
is heading out to the
new jet plane. It was
added in early 2016,
uniquely suspended in
30 to 40 feet of water
so divers can see it and
stay off the silty bottom. Being suspended
also makes it look as
though the jet is flying
ITINERARY
D U T C H S P R I N GS
DAY ONE
SIDEBAR IMAGES: SHUTTERSTOCK (3)
It’s convenient to camp at Dutch
Springs on Friday and Saturday
nights (May through October),
and Sundays on holiday weekends. It’s $15 for adults and $10
for kids. If you camp, you can
also sign up for a night dive. If
camping isn’t your thing, there
are several hotels in the area
that offer discounts if you tell
them you’re diving at Dutch
Springs. Holiday Inn Express
is great, and it offers breakfast and free Wi-Fi. It’s about
10 minutes from Dutch Springs.
There are plenty of places to eat
around this area, including PJ
Whelihan’s Pub and Restaurant (pjspub.com), a local chain
known for its famous wings and
nearly 50 beers on tap.
through the water, an
exciting swim-through
and very visual for underwater photographers.
The attractions aren’t
the only things to see in
the quarry. One of my
favorite dives is to descend to about 40 feet on
the rock wall and swim
the perimeter of the area.
You’ll swim across submerged trees and telephone poles, and find the
old roads that would lead
out to other attractions.
If you follow those, you’ll
eventually make it to a
dynamite shack toward
the back of the quarry.
Most of the attractions
are marked by a buoy on
the surface; underwater,
many of them but not all
have yellow ropes leading
you on trails from one
attraction like the school
bus to the Cessna plane
on top of a rock island.
It sits at 25 feet on the
edge of the island and is
a great spot for photography. There is also a lot of
plant life and young bass
that hide in the rocks
around this area. From
the plane, divers can
descend along the wall to
a crane, or make a longer
swim out to the tanker.
QUARRY LOVE
The popularity of this
inland dive site is overwhelming. There is a
huge sense of community, a gathering place for
divers from all over the
Northeast who meet up
to share their common
passion. It’s a place for
new divers, rebreathers,
DPVs and freedivers.
On the weekends there
are events, workshops,
camping and cookouts.
There are demo days
and, on Memorial Day
Clockwise from above:
the Challenger fuselage; the floating dock
on the student side; the
quarry’s school bus.
and Labor Day, the North
East Diving and Equipment Group comes with
all types of vintage dive
equipment and hard
hats that the public can
try. Only open-water
certification is required,
and it’s one of the most
unique experiences you
can have diving. The
team will dress you in
heavy steel boots and
a Mark V hard hat, and
you can jump around on
the rocky bottom while
talking to the surface
through communications
inside the helmet. It’s
something you’ll never
forget, and can do only at
Dutch Springs.
SCUBADIVING.COM
MAY 2017 / 65
DAY TWO
Grilling lunch or dinner at
Dutch Springs is one of the
most popular things to do. You
can bring your own portable
grill or use one of the charcoal
grills available. There is nothing
better than burgers or hot dogs
after a great day of diving while
sharing stories and watching
the sun go down.
DAY THREE
Try Thai Thai II in Bethlehem
for great curry and noodles; it
has vegetarian options as well.
If you prefer Italian food, there
are dozens of great pizza and
Beauty springs
from chaos, with
new life covering a WWII jeep
at White Beach.
Opposite, a coral
hermit crab at
Leru Cut; both
sites are in the
Russell Islands.
SCUBADIVING.COM
MAY 2017 / 66
L
LIVEABOARD TAK A
SOLOMON
ISLANDS
SOLOMON
ISLANDS DIVE
EXPEDITIONS
SHOWS YOU
THE BEST OF
THE FLORIDA
AND RUSSELL
ISLANDS
BY MARY FRANCES EMMONS PHOTOS BY ALLISON VITSKY SALLMON
T
he shallow site didn’t look
like much. Our liveaboard had
tied up at a rustic Mangalonga
Island resort in the northwest Florida
Islands — sitting high in the water,
100-foot Taka seemed impossibly
massive and modern by comparison.
But our Aussie divemaster, Mossy, was
practically quivering.
“There’s every tiny thing in the coral
here,” he said, briefing us on the site
called Maravagi. He promised “a Magic 8
Ball of critters,” wonders seen here once,
“then never seen again.”
We plop off the back of Taka’s dive
deck and right away, we get it. The
viz is like glass, revealing schools of
oxeye scad flashing in the sun, along
with anemonefish galore — Clark’s,
clown, dusky and more — rising and
falling in anemones flung out across
the sand like frontier towns dotting a
Western desert. Three giant clams sit
in picturesque arrangement; Mossy
holds my hand over a valve as one
closes. Whoosh! A strong jet shoots out,
and I squeal like a little girl. A group of
striped catfish flows by, moving like a
single, multibrained organism. Along the
seawall, we spy a foot-tall intermediate
pinnate batfish, less-intensely black
than its juvenile self but still a stunner.
“I thought you weren’t impressed,”
Mossy says later. “You just stared.”
Truthfully, I was mesmerized.
Contrast Maravagi and Ghavutu
Wharf, the dive we did just before it, and
you appreciate why the Solomons are
catnip to photographers — the range of
subjects is astounding.
Little remains of the wharf, a
crumbling concrete pier used by the
Japanese when they seized nearby Tulagi in May 1942. After the war, U.S. soldiers dumped materiel into the shallows.
(“Don’t touch the armaments,” we’re
warned — many are live.) Today Ghavutu
is a fantastic muck dive that includes the
remains of a 30-foot fishing boat, pieces
of a small Japanese plane, and a larger
overturned transport, all near a lively
little reef full of spiraling foliose corals
and purplish elephant ear sponges.
The slope beneath the wharf is littered
with riveted and armored debris. Under
a beam, our divemaster, John — a champion critter-spotter — finds a wriggly,
jet-black juvenile pinnate spadefish the
size of a thimble, with a shocking orange
outline the exact shade of the encrusting
sponges covering the pilings nearby.
NEED TO KNOW
WHEN TO GO Located close
to the equator, the Solomons
have a year-round tropical
climate with temps ranging
from the high 60s in the
evening to mid-80s during
the day. High season is dry
season, April to November.
GETTING THERE Virgin
Australia, Fiji Airways and
Solomon Airlines are recommended; travel to the
Solomons generally requires
a stop in Australia or Fiji.
DIVE CONDITIONS Reefs in
the Solomons start close to
the surface and often slope
to steep walls, offering many
profiles in a single dive site.
Water temps range from
82 to 85 degrees F. Hardier
divers will find a swimsuit
sufficient, but for intensive
days of multiple dives, a
3 mm fullsuit with a vest or
light hood does the trick. Visibility of more than 100 feet
is common off out islands;
wreck dives in or near
harbors are much murkier.
Diving is done from both the
mothership and two large,
skillfully handled RIBs.
OPERATOR Taka is a steel
monohull ship owned
and operated by Solomon
Islands Dive Expeditions
(solomonsdiving.com). The
three-deck, 100-foot vessel
with a 26-foot beam has 12
cabins — including upperdeck rooms with individual
baths and air conditioning,
lower-deck berths with
shared bath, and a quadshare cabin — that can carry
up to 24 guests along with a
crew of 12.
TRAVELER’S TIP Go for
Cabin 6: This upper-deck
portside cabin is roomy and
offers natural light, good
storage, a small work table,
and privacy. Cabin 4 is a
good choice also.
PRICE TAG An upper-deck
en-suite cabin starts at
$3,639 per person doubleoccupancy for a seven-night
cruise, not including alcoholic drinks, nitrox, gear
rentals and a $25 per day
“marine kastom fee.” The
fee assists local villages —
which maintain traditional
tenure over their reefs —
who welcome divers in
their waters.
L
LIVEABOARD
The Solomons would be an amazing
destination if only for its Indonesia-like
roll call of critters, but when you throw
in the history and wrecks, often at the
same sites, you wonder why more
divers aren’t beating a path here.
SOLOMONS, TAKA-STYLE
Watching Savo Island slide by from
Taka’s covered, open-air lounge on a
lazy afternoon with a Solbrew lager in
hand, it’s hard to grasp the terror and
carnage that reigned here 75 years ago,
when American and Japanese forces
fought numerous battles from May to
November 1942 that helped turn the
course of the war in the Allies’ favor.
Solomon Islanders remain proud of the
part they played, largely as scouts and
porters; they also remain welcoming to
Americans, as I notice in long conversations with the islanders among Taka’s
dozen crew and staff.
That comfortable feeling extends to
Taka itself. Rugged and built for exploration, the 13-year-old ship has a huge
interior salon with no windows — better for high seas — but a live Web cam
on the bow beams to a big-screen TV
over communal dining tables. Briefings
are done in the salon, out of wind and
weather, with site maps shown on another big-screen TV. Three overstuffed
couches are great for viewing movies
or documentaries like Nat Geo’s The
Lost Fleet of Guadalcanal. The aromas
wafting from the open galley will keep
your mouth watering; shy Chef Kenzo
spoils us with dishes from spicy Asian
tuna salad to bangers and scrambled
eggs, beef and chicken kebabs, creamy
corn and potato salad, and ice cream
almost every night.
Taka’s recently renovated cabins
range from spacious top-deck suites to
singles and dorm-style rooms below.
The five dive-deck heads and showers
seem oddly excessive at first; they are
the shared facilities for lower cabins
and crew. There was rarely a wait,
and unlimited hot water flowed like a
cataract — I never got into my cabin
shower at all.
BEST DIVE EVER
The curse of the liveaboard life: After a
few days, you get used to this. You try
not to think that it has to end. But you
never really leave a place like the Solomons — you’re taking home memories
of perhaps the best diving of your life, at
sites like Karumolun Point in the Russell
Islands group, west of Guadalcanal and
the Florida Islands.
The fun starts with the briefing: Prepare for reef hooks and a live drop, two
experiences common in the Solomons,
where currents can be strong and
unpredictable, and moorings are few.
We suit up and step off the starboard
side amidships, single file, and are
quickly whisked away from Taka like
candies dropped on a conveyor belt.
Descending around 80 feet to a plateau
along the sheer wall, we find five or six
blacktip sharks, which quickly become
nine, 10, 15, 18, then 20-plus. As I’m
filming the sharks, a huge school of
medium-size jacks streaks over my
shoulder and right into the shot. Then a
school of young barracuda storms along
the edge of the wall where fields upon
fields of coral begin, dense thickets of
staghorn with vertical, mushroomlike
outcroppings, coral high-rises jutting
above the undersea city below. Still at
the edge of the wall, the world’s friendliest hawksbill turtle comes by, with
a wise and kindly look that’s at once
ancient and childlike. Heading up-slope,
we find ourselves in a shallow, fish-filled
coral bowl with unlimited viz and swimthroughs all around, like gaps in a maze
hedge — some are false starts, blocked
by diver-size sea fans, but many are
passable, allowing us to weave in and
out of the arena. It’s the world’s longest,
most fun safety stop — everything you
want in a dive site, with a cherry tomato
clownfish on top.
W W I I 7 5 TH A N N I V E R S A R Y C E L E B R AT I O N S
On August 7 — recognized as Solomon Islands Veterans Day — ships from the United States,
New Zealand and Australian navies, all nations that saw combat in the desperate battles fought
in the Solomon Islands in 1942 and ’43, are expected in port at Honiara, the Solomons’ capital,
on the big island of Guadalcanal. Wreath-laying ceremonies are planned over the wrecks
of warships lying offshore in the infamous Ironbottom Sound, so named for the plethora of
warships, some divable, that litters its depths. A dawn service is planned at the United States
War Memorial on a hill above Honiara.
» To learn more about planned anniversary events, go to visitsolomons.com.sb.
SCUBADIVING.COM
MAY 2017 / 68
Dramatic Leru
Cut is an unforgettable dive;
opposite, a ball
of jacks, and a
freckle-faced
blenny at Mary
Island, west of
the Russells.
////// Easy to get there, easy to be there //////
IT’S DIVE O’CLOCK SOMEWHERE
BELIZE: THE
HOLE STORY
IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT THE GREAT BLUE HOLE — THE ATOLLS’ REEFS
AND WALLS OFFER THRILLS JUST AS EPIC
BY ANDY ZUNZ
SURFACE
IN T ERVAL S
PLAY Between dives
off Half Moon Caye,
make sure you
explore the island
and see its resident
iguanas, hermit
crabs and red-footed
boobies.
the Maya Beach
Hotel Bistro on the
Placencia Peninsula
is packed with freshseafood options and
local flavors. The
duck-sausage hash
is a must.
> mayabeachhotel.com
SLEEP On Caye
Caulker, gear-laden
divers will love the
spacious rooms at
Iguana Reef Inn. Plus,
the hotel is a stone’s
throw from Belize
Diving Services and
its dock.
> iguanareefinn.com
O
n my way to Caye Caulker, a small island about
20 miles from Belize City, I’m inundated with
images of the Great Blue Hole. Videos play
on TVs in the airport terminal, posters lure visitors
into signing up for a helicopter tour or dive, and even
some of the staff at Belize Diving Services sport
shirts that read: “I Dived the Great Blue Hole.”
But I get some unexpected intel from co-owner and
general manager C.J. Graham.
“On every Blue Hole trip, divers spend the boat ride
back debating whether the second or third dive was
the best. Not the Blue Hole,” he says.
It’s quite the experience to descend into the dark
blue at the World Heritage Site, knowing that you’re
exploring the same waters as Jacques Cousteau. But
the real excitement is reserved for what comes next.
We climb back on board and head to the southernmost portion of Lighthouse Reef — one of Belize’s
three major atolls — to hop in at Half Moon Caye Wall.
Descending to 65 feet, we fin along the wall, soaking
in the beauty of the gorgonian fans waving to and
fro, queen angelfish buzzing about, and longspine
squirrelfish lurking around with their giant eyes.
Bringing up the rear, I’m distracted by the wall when
I see a diver turn around, her eyes growing big as she
points behind me. Swimming cool, calm and collected
is the king of this neighborhood: a 7-foot Caribbean
reef shark. I slow down to really appreciate its graceful
power as it moves past. Little did I know, this moment
is common around these parts. On our hourlong dive,
we see about 10 solitary Caribbean reef sharks, with
one cruising half a foot beneath me. Another maneuvers through the group and swims off into the distance,
gliding over a sandy patch where garden eels poke out
their heads and inspect this busy underwater world.
After a brief detour to the caye for lunch, we’re back
in the water for more hits at Long Caye Aquarium,
where foureye butterflyfish, fairy basslets and
princess parrotfish paint the thriving reef with color.
Heading back to Caye Caulker, I furiously scribble
notes, trying to keep track of everything we experienced, and pause a moment to think. Maybe all of this
is what draws so many people to that big blue hole:
the utter mystery of being in the ocean and all the
surprises that it holds in store. They just need to wait
for the next dives to see it.
SCUBADIVING.COM
MAY 2017 / 70
D
WORLAGE
HERIT
CO
UNEE S
SITES
DIV
DIVE
2 / SPLASH DIVE CENTER
splashbelize.com
If you’re looking to explore
ancient Maya sites and venture into the Belizean jungle on
off-days, then you might want
to make Placencia your base
camp. Splash Dive Center can
still get you out to the atolls;
it makes weekly Great Blue
Hole trips that include dives off
Half Moon Caye. Here, farther
south than Caye Caulker and
Belize City, you can also dive
with whale sharks when they
aggregate during the full moon
from March through June.
3 / BELIZE AGGRESSOR
aggressor.com
If you have more than a weekend, the Belize Aggressor III
and IV depart from Belize City
for seven- and 10-day itineraries through Lighthouse Reef
and Turneffe Atoll. The liveaboard allows you to explore
the atolls thoroughly before
returning to port, when tours
for exploring Belize’s Maya
ruins, like nearby gem Altun Ha,
and cave tubing in the jungle
are offered.
DIVE GUIDE
AVERAGE WATER
CONDITIONS
Temps stay in the
low to mid-80s
year-round. Around
the atolls, visibility
averages 60 to
80 feet.
WHAT TO WEAR
A 3 mm wetsuit
will keep you plenty
warm. If the sun is
shining, you might
be fine with a rash
guard or dive skin.
TRAVEL TIP
If flights into Belize
City are too pricey
or inconvenient,
look for cheaper
options into Cancun,
Mexico, and take
an overnight
bus ride down to
your destination.
WHEN TO GO
Year-round; whale
shark season
in southern
Belize is March
through June.
SCUBADIVING.COM
MAY 2017 / 71
FROM RIGHT: SHUTTERSTOCK; BECKY KAGAN SCHOTT. OPPOSITE, FROM TOP: SHUTTERSTOCK (2); COURTESY IGUANA REEF INN
1 / BELIZE DIVING SERVICES
belizedivingservices.com
This first-class operation on
Caye Caulker offers knowledgeable and fun dive guides — a
big plus when you have hours
to kill on the boat rides to and
from the site. BDS also offers
guided technical diving for deep
wall treks and journeys into the
caye’s Giant Cave.
S C U B A D I V I N G MARKETPLACE
BOOK YOUR
NEXT FAMILY
DIVE
ADVENTURE
TODAY
“GIVE THEM A WEEK
THEY WILL REMEMBER FOREVER.”
THE WORLD’S BEST FAMILY DIVE VACATIONS
kids@familydivers.com 803-419-2556 www.familydivers.com
AUSTRALIA
BONAIRE
BELIZE
DOMINICA
FIJI
GRENADA
GALAPAGOS
GRAND
CAYMAN
INDONESIA
MEXICO
Sea of Cortez
Baja
Socorro Islands
PALAU
PHILIPPINES
Malapascua
Dauin
Bohol
Cabilao
ROATAN
ST. LUCIA
YAP
FAMILY DIVE
ADVENTURES
DIVE WITH MARTIN SCUBA C
L
ISLAND’S FASTEST BOATS,
ISLAND’S BEST DIVE MASTERS!!
y 20+ years diving Cozumel!
y 4 day / 2-tank boat dives $255
y FREE use of Sherwood dive gear
y Group Rates y Hotel Packages
y 2-4 bedroom Condo rentals
Email Stacey for package rates
& knowledgeable service
] u t – No Fees
888-512-8747 | sburton@airmail.net | www.divewithmartin.com
visit us online at: www.ScubaDiving.com
SCUBADIVING.COM
MAY 2017 / 72
S C U B A D I V I N G MARKETPLACE
Print Subscribers
Get iPad® edition
FREE!
Download the app today
for instant access.
To Subscribe go to:
scubadiving.com/subcribe
Apple, the Apple Logo, and iTunes are trademarks of Apple Inc.,
registered in the U.S. and other countries. iPad is a trademark of
Apple Inc. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc.
the new way to see
Dive Deals
Cozumel
DIVE WITH MARTIN SCUBA
Dive your computer limits!
4 day/2-tank boat dive $255
• FREE Sherwood gear use
• Dive, Hotel & Condo pkgs.
MC & Visa accepted - No fees.
1-888-512-8747
TRUK LAGOON
,QFOXGHVDOOPHDOV
EHYHUDJHVWUDQVIHUV
)UHH1LWUR[
8QLTXHRXWHUUHHIVKDUN
DQGWHFKGLYLQJ
1LQHOX[XU\VXLWHV
1-800-757-5396
STACEY@VACATIONCONNECTIONNRH.COM
Promote Your
Dive Deals!
Contact: GLENN SANDRIDGE
glenn.sandridge@bonniercorp.com
www.trukodyssey.com
info@trukodyssey.com
SCUBADIVING.COM
MAY 2017 / 73
LOOK
PHOTOGRAPHER Jean-Louis Klein and Marie-Luce Hubert LOCATION Raiatea Atoll, French Polynesia
ABOUT THE SHOT We met this sea turtle while snorkeling on a rainy day. It was relaxed and moved at a slow
pace, so we could easily follow it. It stayed at the surface after taking a breath, which let us get some great
mirror shots. I used a Canon EOS-1D Mark II in a Seacam housing without strobes. Camera settings were
ISO 200, 1/125 sec and f/6.3 with a focal length of 22mm.
GO NOW Paul Gauguin Cruises, pgcruises.com
SCUBADIVING.COM
MAY 2017 / 74
Invite your friends
Help friends and family discover how easy it can be to get
certified, and start enjoying your adventures together.
scubadivingintro.com
Brought to you by The Cayman Islands
Документ
Категория
Журналы и газеты
Просмотров
38
Размер файла
15 575 Кб
Теги
journal, Scuba Diving
1/--страниц
Пожаловаться на содержимое документа