Features by our regulars

B17 Black Jack Wreck

December 21, 2011 - 23:42
The story is found: 
on page 87

Lying undisturbed in the deep water just off the fringing reef from the remote village of Boga Boga on the tip of Cape Vogel, is what many consider to be the best aircraft wreck in Papua New Guinea and possibly the world.

The wreck is the B-17F “Black Jack”, serial number 41-24521, and one of the first Flying Fortress bombers built at the Boeing factory in Seattle during WWII.

Utila - Jewel of Honduras

October 13, 2011 - 23:36
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The story is found: 
on page 27

“If you’ve been to South East Asia, don’t bother with the Caribbean” is a phrase I’ve encountered many times over the last decade. Having done virtually all of my diving in Asia-Pacific, the region’s legendary diversity tends to leave one a tad spoilt. When you’ve dived exclusively in the world’s biodiversity hotspot, it’s all-too-easy to assume that other areas will suffer by comparison.

Getting there proved somewhat easier than anticipated. I discovered a non-stop service to Roatan from my home in Toronto on Sunwing, a charter airline that just started flights this past winter.

Gozo Island

October 13, 2011 - 23:36
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The story is found: 
on page 26

“Somehow, I can’t imagine lawnmowers being a high selling item here,” was one of my first thoughts while traversing the Maltese countryside. Dry and stark, the rocky landscape couldn’t be more different than the soft green of Denmark we had left behind a mere four hours earlier.

To be honest, Malta as a holiday destination, let alone a diving one, had never even crossed my mind. However, when X-RAY MAG’s very own Peter and Gunild Symes announced a weeklong dive trip and asked me along, I was immediately intrigued.

Port Hardy (British Columbia) aboard the Nautilus Swell

October 13, 2011 - 23:36
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The story is found: 
on page 86

It wasn’t until Wayne and I were actually leaving Port Hardy aboard the new liveaboard dive boat, the Nautilus Swell, that I realized how much I missed this area of British Columbia. The beauty of a calm ocean at sunset with fresh air all around and the tranquility of stillness allowed the hustle and bustle of city life to simply melt away.

Al Spilde, a seasoned mariner for over 25 years and very familiar with this region, was our captain for the journey and predicted fair weather and good underwater visibility ahead.

Nudibranch Safari

October 13, 2011 - 23:36
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The story is found: 
on page 96

The 2012 Nudibranch Safari at Gulen Dive Resort was a phenomenal success. A staggering 49 species of nudibranchs and seven other ophistobranchs were identified during the weekend—on one divespot.

Expectations ran high as 16 participants from Norway, Sweden, Denmark and the Faroe Islands gathered at Gulen Dive Resort north of Bergen in Norway to look for nudibranchs the last weekend in March.

Beforehand, the organizers doubted whether it would be possible to find more species than last year, when participants identified what was at the time thought to be an almost unbeatable number of species: 36 nudibranchs and 4 other ophistobranchs.

Periphylla —Aliens of the Deep

October 13, 2011 - 23:36
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The story is found: 
on page 47

The jet-black rubber RIB was running flat out in the February night. We were sweeping past the Mongstad oil refinery at the Norwegian west-coast, just south of Gulen Dive Resort, and the clock was approaching midnight. Apart from the lights in the distance, the visibility was zero, and we were navigating solely on GPS, chart plotter and radar.

The crown jellies, Coronatae, belong to the Scyphozoans, a class of jellyfish counting some 200 species, many of them stunningly beautiful.

Guadaloupe's Great White Sharks

October 13, 2011 - 23:34
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The story is found: 
on page 51

My first shark appeared head-on in the distance slowly swaying from side to side. With elegant grace and composure it continued towards the cage with mouth opened just enough to boast a healthy set of triangular teeth. Like the star of a grand performance, the shark held everyone in awe as it turned slightly just in front of the cage to examine an offering of tuna.

It was a huge 14ft (4m), 2,175-pound (987kg) female. Her body was sleek and muscular, capable of high speeds if necessary. She ignored the bait and gave the caged divers a once over then slowly swam away, never changing her pace.

Diving the hot spots of Vancouver Island

October 13, 2011 - 23:34
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The story is found: 
on page 48

My dive buddy and I enter the cool clear water and descend down a mooring line to the deck of the 110-meter (366-ft) wreck Saskatchewan. The water is 8°C (47°F). I look up to see the rest of the group silhouetted in a light emerald hue arrive like slow motion skydivers.

Upon the railings and deck resides an outline of white plumose anemones, all varying in height. Small swimming scallops, curious juvenile rockfish, brittle stars, decorator crabs and colourful nudibranchs seem to occupy the rest of the deck structures.

Ambon

October 13, 2011 - 23:34
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The story is found: 
on page 35

“Have a great time, but keep your head down!” This was the response I received from a diving friend after announcing I was planning a visit to Ambon. At least he knew where it was; my announcement to friends in Toronto drew blank stares. When I mentioned the Spice Islands, a dawn of recognition crept into their eyes. It was a place they’d vaguely heard of but had no idea whatsoever as to their location.


Socorro

October 13, 2011 - 23:33
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The story is found: 
on page 28

Located 386km (250 miles) southwest of the tip of Baja California and over 720km (446 miles) west of Manzanillo, the Revillagigedos are one of three Mexican island groups in the Pacific Ocean. All four islands that make up the Revillagigedos Archipelago are remote, volcanic in origin and offer some of the most unpredictable, wild diving in the world.

Topside, the islands are completely different in appearance and are home to many endemic plant and animal species. Overall, the area is recognized as a distinct terrestrial eco-region, which is part of the Neotropic ecozone (tropical and subtropical dry broadleaf forests).

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