Laryngospasm and Anxiety

Q: During dive training in the pool, I couldn’t breathe after clearing my mask with my regulator in my mouth. After surfacing, I took six to eight wheezing breaths and then could breathe normally again. It’s possible I inhaled water during the exercise, but my instructor and I could not recall when or how that would have […]

Scuba Cylinder Rundown

The 11-liter aluminum 80, aptly named for its 11-liter internal volume and 80-cubic-foot capacity when filled to its 200 bar/3,000 PSI rated pressure, is by far the most common cylinder. Just because it is the most common, however, may not mean it is the right one for you. Cylinders come in a wide variety of […]

High-Pressure Hoses

PEOPLE WHO HAVE FILLED scuba cylinders, refilled oxygen cylinders, or boosted a gas mix are familiar with using flexible hoses. Some hoses are covered with a durable rubber or thermoplastic jacket, while others appear even sturdier with a braided stainless-steel mesh on the outside. Correctly specified hoses are rated to pressures of up to 6,000 […]

Celebrating Young and Old in Turks and Caicos

A TWO-WEEK LIVEABOARD in Turks and Caicos was the first dive trip I’d taken in 18 months, and I quickly learned that this small island nation has plenty to offer adults and children alike. It was Family Week, so I got to spend time with the younger generation of divers and their parents. West Caicos […]

Titan Meets Titanic

STOCKTON RUSH AND HIS TEAM AT OCEANGATE made history on July 10, 2021, when they reached the Titanic — at a depth of approximately 12,500 feet — in Titan, the only submersible of its kind. The dive proved that this unique cylinder-shaped, carbon fiber and titanium five-person submersible can explore this wreck and was a […]

When Should the Rescue Begin?

DIVING INHERENTLY CARRIES AN ELEVATED LEVEL OF RISK because humans cannot survive underwater without specialized equipment. When things go wrong, an effective rescue is vital for a favorable outcome. Most rescue diver courses teach students basic techniques to apply after something goes wrong, but better courses also provide techniques to prevent incidents from occurring in […]

Pool Operation: Know Before You Go

WHEN IT COMES TO THE OCEAN, we know when to go and when to stay away. If it is standard practice to check conditions before a dive, shouldn’t we ask a few basic questions before diving into a pool? Years ago I ran a pool at an athletic club and someone asked, “Why do we […]

Going Up

Every night as the sun slips below the horizon, countless aquatic creatures begin migrating up from the deep in what is quite possibly the greatest show on Earth. Seeking nourishment in shallow water, zooplankton must risk a perilous journey upward, avoiding a gauntlet of predators while remaining in the safety of darkness and then returning […]

Short but Beautiful Lives

MY FELLOW DIVERS WERE ECSTATIC AFTER A TWILIGHT DIVE on the Okinawa wreck near Pompano, Florida, in early June 2019. I was shooting wide angle and hadn’t paid much attention to small creatures during the dive, but they had found the holy grail for macro photographers: nudibranchs — in this case, regal sea goddesses (Felimare […]

Mexico’s Sardine Run

Although striped marlins (Kajikia audax) are slower than some of their billfish cousins, their 50-mph speed is plenty fast for me. I try to swim alongside this stealth bomber of the sea as it works a baitball to separate individual sardines from the silvery mass. While getting outpaced by sailfish and black marlin might be […]

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