X-Ray Mag #74
Malaysia's Mabul Island, Pulau Rawa and Pom Pom Island; Indonesia's Dampier Strait; River snorkeling in Austria; Italy's submerged machines at Moregallo; The Graf Zeppelin wreck; U-Boat Navigator explores wrecks of Malta; Scuba Confidential: Choose Wisely; To shark dive or not to shark dive; Composing images underwater; Shayne Greco portfolio; Plus news and discoveries, equipment and training news, books and media, underwater photo and video equipment, shark tales, whale tales and much more...
Main features in this issue include:
Choose Wisely: How to Spot a Good Dive Instructor
This issue's column is taken from a chapter in my new book Scuba Fundamental—Start Diving the Right Way, which aims to help people prepare for scuba diving, understand how the process works and make the right choices once they start.
The chapter “Choose Wisely” is a guide to making probably the most important decision of all: selecting the right instructor. I thought the topic might be interesting for current divers too and not only so you can advise friends who are thinking of learning to dive.
Composing Images Underwater: A Practical Guide
There are plenty of books, magazine articles and blogposts about underwater photography, each providing the keen underwater photographer with valuable knowledge, leaving almost no question unanswered. However, there might be one remaining question: How many of these tips, tricks and techniques can we remember when diving with our cameras?
For this reason, let’s keep things simple. Utilizing composition as the key element of underwater photography, I would like to take you through a couple of dives, sharing some ideas of composition styles that could be used in specific situations.
Indonesia's Dampier Strait
— On Foot in Raja Ampat
Located in the far east of the vast Indonesian archipelago of almost 18,000 islands, Raja Ampat has truly captured the imagination of the global diving community, with tales of the underwater adventures that abound there.
Italy: Submerged Machines of Moregallo
Moregallo is one of the most beautiful and well-known sites on Lake Como, located in the Italian province of Lecco, within walking distance of the community of Valmadrera.
Moregallo, however, is also the location of one of those dive sites that is unfortunately often mentioned in unpleasant news stories. Recently, some dive accidents have captured the attention of the media.
Malaysia's Mabul Island
— Eco-Diving in Sabah, the Right Way
As divers, we love the ocean. We have been there, done that, and want to go back as much as possible. We love what we do and spend a lot of money and time traveling to get underwater.
Malaysia's Pom Pom Island
Blessed with some of the richest waters in the world, Borneo’s Pom Pom Island offers some truly memorable macro diving. If you want prolonged, up-close encounters with some crazy macro critters and the chance to photograph the tiniest nudibranchs in the world, Pulau Pom Pom, in remote Sabah, is the place to go!
Pom Pom has become increasingly known as a macro dive destination over the last few years. The area is especially famous for its beautiful beaches and the abundance of green turtles.
Malaysia's Pulau Rawa
Located just a 20-minute speedboat ride from the coastal town of Mersing in Malaysia, Pulau Rawa offers a great alternative for those looking for a mixture of diving, beach time, relaxation and who just want to get away from it all.
Malaysia is by far one of the most popular destinations in Southeast Asia to dive.
River Snorkeling in Austria
Curiously enough, I recently had one of my best snorkeling experiences far away from the ocean. River snorkeling in Austria was a really fun experience, even for a seasoned diver.
Shayne Greco Portfolio
American artist and sculptor, Shayne Greco, creates mesmerizing sculptures of marine life forms adorning functional stone pottery built totally by hand from start to finish. X-RAY MAG interviewed the artist based in North Carolina to find out more about his creative process and inspiration from the sea.
"I have always been fascinated by aquatic creatures. It’s like there is a whole new alien world right under the surface."
— Shayne Greco
X-RAY MAG: Tell us about yourself, your background and how you became an artist.
The Graf Zeppelin
— Diving Hitler’s Aircraft Carrier
There have been a few times during my life as a diver that I have had the opportunity to dive an extraordinary wreck. The Graf Zeppelin is one such wreck. It is more than a shipwreck, it is also one of the great mysteries of World War II.
To Shark Dive or Not to Shark Dive
It was seven in the morning and my coffee hadn’t kicked in yet. The dive guide was giving me a slightly more thorough dive briefing than normal. I wasn’t supposed to wear anything colorful or shiny, and black gloves and a hood were required. Also covered in black neoprene, he was putting on chainmail gloves and told me he’d have a pole with him. He said it was more for the potato cods though, not the sharks.
Taking a giant stride off the back on the boat, the chill of the water snapped me out of my early-morning haze. Below me, the sharks were already there; at least ten were circling below the boat.
Why go tech? Motivations behind technical diving
In this essay, sports psychologist and technical diver Matt Jevon draws some parallels between the sport of technical diving and the sport of motorcycle racing, including attitudes and behaviors in regards to the inherent dangers and risks, sharing insights into our own nature as divers and adventurists.
A good few years ago, I was a newly minted sports psychologist. I had done three years of supervised experience, after getting my graduate degree, and was looking to get involved in a practice as soon as possible, applying all that knowledge and theory I had been acquired.
Wrecks of Malta
— U-Boat Navigator explores the Tragic Triangle of Valletta: HMS Russell, HMY Aegusa and HMS Nastortium
The U-Boat Navigator research vessel is known for its expeditions to the legendary HMHS Britannic (see X-RAY MAG issue #69¹) in Greece, but the company also does extremely interesting research in its “home” waters of Malta