Main features in this issue include:
On 11 May 1996, five people died near the summit of Mount Everest. Two were expedition leaders, one was a professional guide and two were their clients. The events were first recounted in the book Into Thin Air written by journalist Jon Krakauer, who was up there on the mountain that day.
The clients died mainly because the professionals persisted with attempting to reach the summit despite the fact that they had passed their turnaround time; that is, the point in the day at which an attempt on the summit would normally be aborted for safety reasons.
California artist Amadeo Bachar holds degrees in both marine biology and science illustration and has published work with National Geographic, United Nations, Scientific American, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the US Geological Survey (USGS), among others. X-Ray Mag interviewed the artist to learn more about his artwork and his passion for the marine environment.
"Diving is the best way to help people understand what that environment is like. So, divers should take pride in sharing and educating people about their experiences underwater. Keep people aware."
— Amadeo Bachar
Cape Town is a cosmopolitan, vibrant and modern city. Renowned for its beautiful landmarks of Table Mountain and the Cape Peninsula, Cape Town is a popular destination for divers who come to explore her colourful kelp forests, historic wrecks and glittering reefs.
The beauty of Cape Town stretches beyond the shoreline and beneath the waves, providing divers and underwater photographers a lively and fascinating playground with a beautiful backdrop to match.
Colour is often the key factor in underwater photographs. A keen photographic eye and a few fine adjustments in postproduction can improve colours and give your image the final touch.
The fine-tuning of our underwater images in postproduction requires a closer look at colours and a skilled photographic eye. Just aimlessly sliding sliders in Photoshop or Lightroom software and seeing what happens rarely results in pleasing images.
The diving community understands that oxygen administration is a first aid treatment priority for divers with suspected decompression illness. The goal is to deliver oxygen at the highest possible concentration, being mindful of oxygen supply limits. A variety of portable oxygen delivery systems have been designed for use in diving accidents.
Constant flow systems have flow meters with settings ranging from 0.5 to 25 liters per minute (L∙min-1). They are usually open-circuit, with expired gas released to the environment, but they can also be used with closed-circuit devices.
In World War I, unrestricted warfare meant ships that were traditionally off limits became targets for surprise attacks by German U-boats. Steve Jones visits two of the most endearing wrecks in the English Channel that were a direct result of this highly controversial policy.
An upright stern emerged through the grey-green water around 10m below me. The last time I visited this wreck on a cold October day, I was in total blackness at this depth, but today was different and the high sun overhead at last revealed the HMHS Lanfranc in its full glory.
There was a time, when “time” meant something very different than it does today. In the past, dive courses needed student commitment, were expensive, and yes, essentially, needed more time.
This is frightening, as not only do students risk their lives when participating in these “farces” of training trying to pass as dive courses, but these fast-track courses also endanger the credibility of the entire dive industry.
In my line of work as a dive industry professional, I attend a lot of dive shows and get to meet a lot of people, most of them nice and interesting in various ways. It was also at a dive show in Italy, many years ago, that I first met Andrea Donati and his partner, Daniela Spaziani, of Ponza Diving.
The world is dotted with beautiful locations, and there exist many excellent dive operations across the globe that also rightly deserve praise and accolades for the adventures and wildlife encounters they offer their patrons and for the way they manage their dive centres—and we will probably get
Jakub Šimánek lives for diving and dives for a living. He inherited his passion for the underwater world from his father at a young age. Currently, a Factory Instructor Trainer for the Liberty closed circuit rebreather (CCR), Jakub has been a part of the development team at the dive equipment manufacturer Divesoft since 2012.
He has been diving with a Liberty since the very first prototype and has helped with many SW and HW innovations (CCR bailout mode included). Since 2017, he has been collecting and recording his experiences and methodics using bailout rebreathers.
Many people outside Japan have probably never heard of Toyama or even know where it is exactly, but the ocean enthusiasts who have heard of it probably associate Toyama with squids, both big and small. The video of a 10-meter-long giant squid filmed in Toyama Bay by the owner of Diving Shop Kaiyu during Christmas 2015 went viral globally—such sightings are rare, but these squids pop up on an average of once a year in the bay.
During early spring of each year, the firefly squids ascend to the surface and put on a transcendental show of their own—their luminous organs glow bright blue as they spawn and are agitated by waves on the ocean surface near the shoreline.
Tiger Beach in the Bahamas is firmly established as one of those global dive destinations of which almost everybody has heard. Its fame is largely derived from the many published images of its most celebrated visitor—Galeocerdo cuvier, the tiger shark.
Tiger sharks are considered one of the “big three” most dangerous sharks, and along with the great white and bull sharks, are believed to be responsible for the vast majority of unprovoked attacks on humans.
More and more divers are meeting sharks for the first time, and wondering, “What do they see when they pass, gazing at us gazing at them?”
Sharks have a very different set of senses than we do, yet the eye-sight of the free swimming species is good, so when they look at you, they are seeing you.