Diving the Maldives; Croatia's Murter Island; Wreck diving in Chuuk and Guam; Cave diving under Budapest; The new sport of hockey under ice; Mako magic; Making the shot in a Mayan cenote; Getting in shape for spring; Learning cave diving with Pascal Bernabé; Housings for mirrorless cameras; Brilliant fish on silk by Daniel Jean-Baptiste of St. Lucia; Plus news and discoveries, equipment and training news, books and media, underwater photo and video equipment, turtle news, shark tales, whale tales and much more...
Main features in this issue include:
My dream history lesson includes a tropical Pacific island where I step off a beautiful boat soaked in sunshine the warm Micronesian waters and descend on a coral covered ship that was part of World War II. This dream and these ships came to life for me during a recent trip aboard the MV Odyssey liveaboard. Truk Lagoon, now known as Chuuk, is most certainly one of the world’s greatest wreck diving destinations.
Under Japanese occupation during World War II, Truk served as one of the Japanese Imperial Navy’s main bases in the South Pacific Theater. Some compared it as Japan’s Pearl Harbor.
Born on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia, self-taught artist Daniel Jean-Baptiste captures on sumptuous silk the brilliant, vivid colors of the vibrant marine life that thrives in the sea around his native homeland.
"My work reflects that time in my life when I was so excited to discover new fish, scary crabs and to swim in what looked like liquid diamonds."
— Daniel Jean-Baptiste
X-RAY MAG: Tell us about yourself and how you came to create your marine themes on silk.
Guam’s Apra Harbor is home to a unique set of sunken warships. It is the only place in the world where a World War I and a World War II wreck sit touching each other underwater, and they can both be dived on one tank. The calm, warm waters of Guam make for easy diving, and both wrecks can be mostly explored above 100ft. The story of how these ships sank is almost as interesting as the dive itself.
German Captain Adalbert Zuckschwerdt steered his ship, the SMS Cormoran, into Guam’s Apra Harbor on 14 December 1914. With only 50 tons of coal left in the hold and not much food, he hoped the Americans of this U.S. territory would provide them with much needed supplies to continue their voyage.
The Red Sea, its reputation precedes itself. The beautiful red-orange desert mountains stand over the unexpected and contrasting blues of the water. The calm and clear waters hide much below. Under the water is a rainbow of colors, and among the ﬁsh and corals, are the remains of many ships.
The Red Sea has been deceitful to many captains over time. The beautiful reefs that divers dream about here have also caused many a ship to meet its end. Sailors thought they were safe after clearing the challenging and narrow Suez Canal only to run aground or hit reef just outside the canal.
Two buddies are holding the line. The second is holding the arm of the one leading the way, communicating with him by means of touch. With visibility nil, the first buddy protects his head and face with his hand in case of contact with a wall or rock.
Near the diving center, a guideline was stretched and positioned between some trees. Following a classroom explanation of methods and emergency procedures, the techniques are performed on a land drill prior to their underwater implementation.
For quite a time, I had been wanting to go back to Croatia to see first hand what this young nation with ancient roots had to offer, both below and above the surface.
The Romans called the Mediterranean Sea, Mare Nostrum—our sea—which signals some degree of proximity and relative ease of access, at least if you live in Europe.