Analyzing the Obvious II: Retaining Divers by Building a Comfort Zone

In the first article in this series, we discussed the importance of building the diver’s comfort zone and how the comfort level of the newly trained diver affects his or her long-term participation in the sport. This begs the questions: how much impact does drop-out actually have on the sport; and what can the instructor do to correct the problem?

The impact of diver drop-out is very difficult thing to assess due to a lack of data. The findings discussed in the first article in this series only tracked divers who completed an open water diver course.

Beaked Whales of El Hierro

Beaked whales—now honestly, who has ever heard of Cuvier beaked whales (Ziphius cavirostris) or Blainville beaked whales (Mesoplodon densirostris), or even knows what they look like? Anybody? No? It’s no wonder—they are shy animals, they can be seen at the water surface only for a very short time and they are usually not very noticeable.

The whales also do not ride on the bow waves of boats, but rather avoid noise and are extremely quiet representatives of their kind—a species that lives quite inconspicuously in our world’s seas and hunts at great depths.

Davide Angheleddu Portfolio

Italian artist, designer and architect, Davide Angheleddu, creates bronze and nylon sculptures inspired by the forms of zooplankton, marine microorganisms. X-Ray Mag interviewed the artist to find out more about his artwork, creative process and perspectives on art, technology and the underwater world.

After graduating with a degree in architecture from the Politecnico di Milano, Angheleddu specialized in interior design at an architecture studio, where he amassed a great deal of knowledge and experience in 3D digital modeling.

Developing the Mindset of a Successful Image Maker

Is underwater photography difficult? Actually, no—at least, not to any significant degree when compared with any other discipline of photography. Each single stage of creating an underwater photograph, if seen in isolation from the rest, is not so tricky. It is the sum of all its parts, as well as mastering the whole, which can appear confusing at times.

In terms of underwater photography, we can say that the mindset is the systematic approach to staying organized and getting the best out of our photo dives.

Fantastic Feather Stars and the Creatures Within

Crinoids, or "feather stars" as they are commonly known to the scuba diving community, are echinoderms, members of the phylum Echinodermata, meaning "spiny skin," which includes many well-known species like sea stars, sea urchins and brittle stars. Their highest concentrations are found around Indonesia, the Philippines, the Solomon Islands and Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

Many divers who have traveled to the Indo-Pacific are familiar with feather stars and admire them for their bright colors and interesting shapes. Feather stars are also well known to divers because of their propensity to attach to the wetsuits of careless divers.

Kayak Diving: Between the Boats & Beach

The words “dive trip” are enough to make most divers start daydreaming of warm water, great visibility, thin wetsuits and talented guides who can find critter after critter. Change those words to “dive adventure” and you will find a small group of divers who immediately think of kayak diving.

Scuba diving from a kayak is the perfect way to access reefs that are not otherwise accessible from land. The sites may be situated under steep cliffs or too far offshore for a surface swim.

Peer Pressure in the Dark Side

I was recently given this picture, signed by David Prowse—the original actor who played Darth Vader—by one of my students. It's awesome. Why? Well, I am a bit of a Star Wars fan and a lot of a geek anyway, but also, there is a little sub-culture in technical diving, especially cave and rebreather diving, in which divers like to refer to themselves as members of the dark side! It's kind of cool—well, for us anyway, and we like the T-shirts.

But let's look at this seriously for a minute. Why do these things appeal to us? Why do we like to be recognised and to have a group identity? Well, we could fall back on the “that-is-human-nature” argument, and certainly, there are cogent points to be made for this idea.

Preconditioning for Safer Scuba Diving

This column is adapted from a chapter in my book, Scuba Physiological – Think you know all about Scuba Medicine? Think Again! The chapters in this book were originally written by scientists in the field of decompression research as part of a three-year project called PHYPODE (Physiology of Decompression). My (self-appointed) task was to rewrite their sometimes-complex research in a form accessible to all divers.

One interesting aspect they addressed was the concept of preconditioning as it may apply to scuba diving safety.

Smaller is Better in Anilao

My dive guide finned quickly down the sandy slope and I kicked hard to keep up with him, my heavy camera and strobes creating quite a drag, slowing me down. By the time I reached the sea fan, in front of which he had stopped, I felt a thrill of excitement. I knew what he had found! Peering through my viewfinder and trying to stay calm, I followed his pointer downwards, and right there, at its tip, was my first ever pygmy seahorse.

I had reached a stage in my underwater photography journey in which I wanted to do more than just take photos—I wanted to create works of art!

Solomon Islands – 75 Years after World War II

My journey to the Solomon Islands began with an exciting dive experience and an unforgettable taste of history. Passing 100ft (30m) on my way down to 170ft (52m), I began to question the intelligence of this decision. I was in a very remote corner of the globe, with minimal surface support, dropping to a very deep depth and all on a single tank of air.

The plan was simple, descend down the sloping coral reef until we hit the seabed, spend six to seven minutes on the bottom and then begin the slow ascent back to the surface, punctuated by 25 plus minutes of decompression stops.

St Helena: Reefs, Wrecks & Whale Sharks in the South Atlantic

The remote island of St Helena has been an enigma in the South Atlantic Ocean. Historically, the only way to visit the British territory was by Royal Mail ship or yacht. With limited yet lengthy sailings and even more limited and very expensive cabins, the island was effectively out of reach for most people.

Much has been made of the new airport on St Helena Island. And much has been made of the dramatic landings on St Helena. Our reality was simple: a three-hour-and-15-minute flight from our last refuelling stop over the azure Atlantic Ocean.

The Underrated Nurse Shark

Plentiful nurse sharks attended the sessions I held during my shark study in Tahiti. They are heavily-built animals with large, graceful fins, a long, pennant tail, and small eyes. They forage on the sea floor for a variety of foods at night and sleep in grottos in the coral during the days. Though these unusual sharks typically lie around on the sea floor, they are also capable of clambering.

As darkness fell, a small nurse shark would appear, attach itself to a scrap, and rest there, its wide fins stirring, as it adjusted its position to feed. Soon, more would materialize from the dim surroundings and drift in uneven circles.

Why, When and How to Use Rebreathers for Photography

There are many advantages to diving closed circuit for the underwater image creator such as better interaction with wildlife or longer dives. However, there are also a number of disadvantages to consider such as added complexity and task loading.

Downloadbar als PDF (ca. 41 MB / 91 Seiten)

Is diving safe, Mike Ange asks

Brandi Muller goes to North Sulawesi, Thalassa Resort

Scottish muck diving

Oceanic Whitetip Sharks

Mark Powell: Permanent Change: When Have We Learnt

In Memoriam: Barb Roy Portfolio

Anemonefishes of the Indo-Pacific

Wrecks: The Demise of SMS Szent István

New species of Scorpionfish

How Octopus change their skin structure

Mike Bartick: The Snoot Method

Simon Pridmore: The Perimeter of Ignorance

... and much much more

Downloadbar als PDF (ca. 47 MB / 85 Seiten)

Im See vor Güttingen TG befinden sich Überreste uralter Siedlungen. Forscher wollen nun deren Geheimnis auf die Spur kommen.

Die Taucharchäologen haben ihre Basis beim Hafen Güttingen eingerichtet: Sie führen über einen Zeitraum von rund acht Wochen Arbeiten weiter, die bereits 2008 begonnen haben. Damals erstellte die Hafenuniversität Hamburg ein exaktes Höhenmodell des Seegrunds von einer inselartigen Untiefe vor dem Schloss Güttingen, etwa 240 Meter vom Ufer entfernt. Denn dort liegt der sagenumworbene Mäuseturm (siehe Box).

Pfahlbausiedlungen von vor 3000 Jahren

Die Arbeiten wurden durch Forschungstaucher des Amts für Archäologie Thurgau begleitet. Dabei wurden Proben von Pfählen entnommen. Die Resultate der dendrochronologischen Untersuchung ergaben, dass die in einem Quadrat von 15 mal 15 Meter stehenden Pfähle aus dem 12. Jh. n. Chr. stammen.

Zum grossen Erstaunen der Forscher stellte sich jedoch heraus, dass einige Pfähle in die Spätbronzezeit, also rund 1000 v. Chr., datiert wurden. Es wurden auch spätbronzezeitliche Gefässscherben vom Seegrund geborgen. Das bedeutet, dass hier vor über 3000 Jahren bereits Pfahlbausiedlungen bestanden haben.

«Die Fundstelle war lange unbekannt, weil sie sehr weit draussen liegt», erklärt Simone Benguerel, Leiterin des Amts für Archäologie des Kantons Thurgau. Erst in den 80er-Jahren sei sie von Fischern entdeckt worden, weil die Untiefe bei niedrigem Wasserstand sporadisch aus dem Wasser auftauchte und eine Art quadratische Insel bildete. Auch Hölzer hätten aus dem Wasser geragt.

«Mit den jetzigen Arbeiten wollen wir herausfinden, wie gross die Fundstelle überhaupt ist», sagt Benguerel. War da bloss eine Pfahlbausiedlung oder gar mehrere? Sind die Pfähle allesamt aus der Spätbronzezeit oder steckt da noch anderes dahinter? Warum stand die Siedlung so weit vom Ufer entfernt? Viele Funde seien auch für das Team nicht erklärbar. «Im Moment stehen wir noch vor mehr Fragen als Antworten», so Benguerel weiter. Vielleicht habe die Lage mit der Untiefe vor Güttingen zu tun. Bisher wisse man nicht, wo damals der Wasserspiegel lag.

«Es ist enorm kalt und wir haben viel Material»

Wichtig für die Arbeiten sind vor allem auch die Forschungstaucher. Ein Team aus sechs Personen fährt jeweils auf dem Boot zur Fundstelle hinaus. «Sobald wir draussen sind, geht alles relativ zackig», erklärt Irene Homberger, Tauchinstruktorin des Global Underwater Explorer Teams.

Eine der grössten Herausforderungen sei sicherlich das Wetter: Es schaukle auf dem Boot und schlage das Equipment umher – dies unter wie auch über Wasser. Zudem könne man am Seegrund nicht kommunizieren, das Vorgehen müsse also vorab genau geklärt werden. Auch die Kälte stelle eine Herausforderung dar: «Es ist enorm kalt – im Wasser sind es circa 5 Grad. Glücklicherweise habe ich eine elektrische Heizung in meiner Kleidung», so Homberger. Damit könne sie solange unter Wasser bleiben wie sie wolle, im Schnitt seien dies so zwei bis drei Stunden am Stück.

Für Interessierte findet am 20. April ab 15 Uhr eine Informationsveranstaltung am Güttinger Hafen statt.

Quelle mit Bilder/Videos: http://www.20min.ch/schweiz/ostschweiz/story/Taucher-sollen-Raetsel-um-uralte-Siedlung-loesen-11214153



Der Mäuseturm verdankt seinen Namen folgender Sage: 

Einst war eine grosse Teuerung im Lande. Da sorgten die Herren ringsum für ihre Leute und gaben ihnen Korn. Die Herren von Güttingen aber, deren Speicher reichlich mit Getreide gefüllt waren, erbarmten sich ihrer Angehörigen nicht. Sie selbst lebten in Saus und Braus. Als nun die Not immer grösser wurde, lief das Volk in Scharen zusammen und flehte die Herren um Brot an. Da lockten diese die bettelnden Leute in eine alte Scheune, liessen diese dann durch ihre Knechte schliessen und anzünden. Als die Unglücklichen laut wehklagten und um Erbarmen flehten, rief einer der Freiherren höhnend: «Hört, wie die Mäuse pfeifen!» Alle Leute in der Scheune kamen in den Flammen um, aber diese grausame Tat blieb nicht ungestraft. 
Zahllose Mäuse belästigten alsbald die Burgen der Herren von Güttingen. Da flüchteten diese nach ihrer Wasserburg. Allein, auch dahin verfolgten sie die Mäuse und frassen sie bei lebendigem Leibe auf. Bald nach dem Tod der Herren von Güttingen versank die Burg in den See. 

(Arnold Oberholzer, Thurgauer Sagen 1912)

* Mystical Wrecks of Truk
* Fast & Super-fast Compartments
* Wreck Exploration in the Gulf of Thailand
* The Use of SCUBA & Surface Supply Diving Systems in Deep Scientific Work – Part II

Quelle: http://techdivingmag.com

* Mystical Wrecks of Truk
* Fast & Super-fast Compartments
* Wreck Exploration in the Gulf of Thailand
* The Use of SCUBA & Surface Supply Diving Systems in Deep Scientific Work – Part II

Quelle: http://techdivingmag.com

Das neue Underwater Photography Magazine #101 ist draussen.

 März/April 2018, 64 pages.


  • Competitions
  • LED flashguns
  • Green Planet 1
  • Planet Plastic

News, Travel & Events

  • Celebrate the Sea Festival
  • Shetland’s underwater gannets with Richard Shucksmith
  • 2nd Underwater Photo Shootout with Scott Portelli
  • Basking Shark Scotland 2018 News
  • Raja Ampat 2019 with Immersed Imaging
  • Oasis Photo Contest
  • Lembeh v Gulen Shootout
  • International Year of the Reef (IYOR) 2018
  • Lisa Collins Underwater Photography Workshop

New Products

  • Ikelite 200DL housing for the EOS 800D Rebel T7i
  • Nauticam NA-TG5 for Olympus Tough TG-5
  • Acquapazza Dome Protector
  • INON X-2 for EOS80D
  • Aquatica lanyard
  • SeaLife introduce the new ReefMaster RM-4K
  • Canon PowerShot D30
  • Nimar pro housings
  • Ikelite 200DLM/A TTL Housing for Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III
  • Scubalamp P53 Video-Focus-Strobe Lights
  • Recsea CWC-G9X for Canon Powershot G9X
  • Subal ND850LE for Nikon D850
  • Hugyfot HFN-D850 for the Nikon D850
  • Nauticam N100 Wide Angle Conversion Port WACP
  • AxisGO Smartphone housing
  • SKB cases
  • Nexus NNFX D850 housing for Nikon D850
  • Diving With Sharks by Nigel Marsh and Andy Murch
  • Dive Into Colours by Ann Donahue


  • UPY 2018

Product reviews

  • Nikon D850 by The Backscatter staff
  • Weefine 1000 & 3000 Ring Lights by Phil Rudin
  • Paralenz by Dan Bolt

Marine life

  • Ghosts on the Reef by Klaus M. Stiefel

Book Review

  • Galápagos by Joseph Litt by Peter Rowlands

Parting Shot by Richard Shucksmith

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