Freediving: Seeking and Finding Our Limits

WHEN YOU GROW UP IN THE FLORIDA KEYS, the Atlantic Ocean is your backyard and the Gulf of Mexico is the front — or as the locals say, the ocean and the bay. Fins are your enclosed footwear, and your mask and snorkel dangle from your elbow after school or on weekends. You never know […]

Diving After Brain Surgery

I RECENTLY UNDERWENT BRAIN SURGERY. The surgery was successful, but now part of my skull has been replaced with mesh. My neurosurgeon is brilliant but does not know how the surgery may affect my diving. Am I still able to dive? Should I limit myself to a certain depth, or should I only snorkel? While […]

Saba

I SUSPECT THAT MY LOVE FOR SABA was set in motion the first time my father threaded King Kong onto our home projector. It was the original black-and-white film from 1933 — and if you’ve never viewed it, you should. I watched, enthralled, from my comfy beanbag chair as a ship carrying a film crew motored through […]

Sherri Ferguson

SHERRI FERGUSON, MSC, IS THE LAB MANAGER at Simon Fraser University’s hyperbaric chamber, located at an altitude of 1,200 feet on Burnaby Mountain in the outskirts of Vancouver, Canada. She is a scientist working in aerospace and dive research, an experienced recreational, technical, and commercial diver, and a mother. How did you get into diving? […]

The Maldives

WHILE THE WORLD WAS STILL MOSTLY LOCKED DOWN with travel restrictions, my social media feed was alive with gorgeous photos from the Maldives. The Maldives opened sooner than most foreign dive destinations, so there was ample photographic inspiration for our trip in May. The online coverage included the whale sharks, manta rays, tiger sharks, and […]

divers with a manta ray

Emergency Oxygen

IT WAS A BEAUTIFUL, WARM SATURDAY IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST. We were conducting two checkout dives for an advanced open-water course at a popular dive site in Puget Sound. I had just gotten some divers out of the water, and we were debriefing onshore as divers from a basic open-water class exited the water with […]

Matty Smith: In Two Worlds

MORNING STAR I shot this image at Lissenung Island, Papua New Guinea, a few years ago for the island dive I owe my career to this humble little stinger. My images of these thumb-sized siphonophores have graced city billboards to advertise cameras, been plastered on the sides of buses to spread the word of London […]

Physalia physalis also known as the man-of-war

Teaching Rescue: Am I Qualified?

WHEN ASKED TO DESCRIBE THEIR FAVORITE COURSE, many divers will discuss the challenges and triumphs they experienced during their rescue class. Instructors often describe rescue as the most rewarding course they teach. It is often the first course in which divers begin thinking about others more than themselves, so it’s little surprise that it stands […]

Beyond Black

OUR UNDERWATER WORLD IS FULL OF VIBRANT COLORS, interesting patterns and textures, and fascinating creatures. It’s a wild place that is unpredictable and simultaneously harsh and harmonious. Taking a camera into that world allows us to record snippets of beauty in ways that help us tell various stories. Learning to use your camera effectively takes […]

colorful sealife

Oxygen Cleaning of Dive Gear: A Two-Part Series

IN THE PREVIOUS ARTICLE, we settled on the recommendation that equipment used to control any breathing gas mix containing 25 percent oxygen and above at typical scuba cylinder pressures should be designed and considered suitable for oxygen use. Possible debates aside, we’ll examine what oxygen cleaning means. How often should gear be oxygen cleaned, and […]

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