Features by our regulars

Learn to drive a submarine and explore the depths of the Mediterranean Sea

April 03, 2015 - 18:46
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Adventurous types, submarine enthusiasts, explorers and submersible operators can sign up for a selection of pilot training courses to be held in August 2015. No experience is necessary, as U-Boat Worx’ expert instructors will teach all the ins and outs.

Courses will be held off the island of Malta in the Mediterranean Sea, known for its crystal-clear waters and abundance of world-class shipwrecks. A fully-equipped 30-meter yacht will support the training courses and take the pilots to all the best dive sites.

Underwater Nanaimo

April 01, 2015 - 15:30
The story is found: 
on page 65

I am often asked, “Where is the best place to photograph underwater critters in British Columbia?” Well, there is certainly no simple answer to this question and I usually end up replying something like this; “Unless there is a plankton bloom, bad weather or visibility is poor, there are no bad places to dive in BC, therefore you can see critters on every dive!”

This is especially true around Nanaimo, a popular hub destination on Vancouver Island that is easy to get to and can be frequented by divers on a year-round basis.

British Columbia: Diving Canada's Freshwater Interior

March 28, 2015 - 20:15
The story is found: 
on page 45

Although British Columbia’s (BC) coastal area offers numerous shipwrecks, colorful walls and reefs full of life, there are also a considerable amount of freshwater lakes and rivers to explore within what is known as BC’s Interior Region of Canada. Actually, you might be surprised at what you will find to do and see above and below the water.

On many occasions I have joined friends and dive groups to check out some of the more popular Interior destinations, but I was amazed to find many more sites were also available. Most of the locations are listed on dozens of different websites, including a few informative You Tube videos.

The Nudibranch Safari 
at Gulen Dive Resort, Norway, March 2015

March 03, 2015 - 12:30
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The event is led by award-winning underwater photographer Christian Skauge and some of the top nudibranch experts in the world:

• Bernard Picton, author of “A Field Guide to the Nudibranchs of the British Isles”

• Erling Svensen, photographer of the book “Marine fish & invertebrates of Northern Europe”

• Dr. Jussi Evertsen, head of a nudibranch distribution/diversity project at the Univ. in Trondheim.

Participants can fly in to Bergen from over 50 European cities and transfer to Gulen Dive Resort by bus or speed ferry.

Lake Malawi

January 06, 2015 - 23:53
The story is found: 
on page 36

“I’ve heard of Malawi… Isn’t that where Madonna adopted one of her babies from?” queried one of my clients before my departure for Africa. I winced, but at least she had heard of it. Up to that point, all responses to my intent of visiting the small African nation consisted of confused looks or furrowed brows.

For some reason, many people attach an unwarranted stigma to Africa. Whenever there is trouble somewhere, be it political strife or Ebola, many assume the entire continent is hazardous by geographic association. However, as African nations go, Malawi remains refreshingly innocuous.

Pavillion Lake

January 06, 2015 - 18:50
The story is found: 
on page 83

I first learned about this unusual lake, nestled in Marble Canyon Provincial Park of British Columbia (BC), Canada, when some friends living in Kamloops asked me to join them for a dive at a local, clear freshwater lake. Since it was only a few hours from Vancouver, I decided to take them up on their offer and headed for the interior parts of BC.

I have always wanted to explore this area and was thrilled even more when they told me of the strange coral-type of life living in the lake.

Florida Manatees: Sirenians of Crystal River

January 06, 2015 - 13:51
The story is found: 
on page 16

A winter’s dawn is a special time to be on Kings Bay, for as the first rays of the Florida sun appear over the horizon, they light up the soft mist on the warm waters of the bay and create an ethereal, almost mystical, feeling. Listen carefully and you will hear the gentle ripples from the swirl pools formed by the paddle-like tails of the sirenians, as they make their way towards the freshwater springs that are the source of Crystal River.

The arrival of the manatees usually coincides with a rising tide and heralds their return from feeding on the sea grass of Kings Bay and Crystal River.

Tonga's Humpback Whales

January 06, 2015 - 13:48
The story is found: 
on page 51

Our skipper, Ali, carefully maneuvered the boat into position and cut the engine, shouting, “Go, go, go!” at the top of his lungs. And go we did—straight into the deep blue water, with cameras held in vice-like death-grips and onto the path of over a dozen mature and rather excited humpback whales.

Humpback whales average around 14m long and about 35 tons in weight―that’s a lot of mass coming at you―but there was no time to feel scared or even count these huge submarine-like mammals, because we were finally witnessing one of their famed heat runs, when a female humpback has signaled

Kimbe Bay

August 31, 2014 - 12:56
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The story is found: 
on page 35

There is a line of thought in the scientific community that this is where it all began and the first corals originated… a large sheltered bay, roughly one third along the north coast of the island now called New Britain.

There can be no doubt regarding the profound fecundity of Kimbe Bay because the numbers, as they say, cannot lie and surveys by some of the best known names in marine biology, such as Professor Charles Veron and Dr Jerry Allen, and respected organizations like The Nature Conservancy, have helped

Ron Akeson (1957-2014) - Mission Well Done

June 30, 2014 - 12:35
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The story is found: 
on page 38

I don’t think a week ever went by where I didn’t hear Ron tell someone at his Bellingham dive store, “My motto in life follows the saying: growing old is mandatory, but growing up is optional.” If you ever had the pleasure of knowing or meeting Ron Akeson, you probably understood how he viewed life, because he truly believed in trying to squeeze in every little bit of living into each and every day!

A cascade of grief seemed to grip the local dive community in a domino effect as more and more heard of his passing. Multitudes continue to call in, shocked to hear their mentor, past dive instructor and friend would no longer be around.

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