Michael Aw’s early life while growing up in Singapore — he didn’t see the ocean until age 17 — gave few clues that he would one day become one of the most influential print journalists in destination diving and ocean conservation. The author of or major contributor to 43 books, Aw created Ocean Geographic magazine in 2007 and also leads expeditions, often to exotic regions. He now hopes to raise awareness of the folly of shark-finning and the overexploitation of our marine resources.
The story of the search for the Japanese submarine I-52 is one of two discoveries separated by time and purpose. In the dark of night in the Atlantic Ocean in 1944, U.S. Navy anti-submarine ships searched for a clandestine meeting between German and Japanese naval crews. Operating on captured intelligence, they sought to surprise and sink the two submarines. Half a century later, the I-52 still rested undiscovered on the seafloor, but this time the search was in the dark of the deep ocean in pursuit of possibility, not destruction.
In Fall 2013, my wife, Liv, and I were supervising 16 new divers who were experiencing low visibility for the first time. Our training site had a maximum depth of 20 feet (6 meters) and protection from the currents that render many urban waterways challenging to shore divers. Two experienced rescue divers with excellent buoyancy […]
A diver didn’t heed the divemaster’s warning and was lost at sea. Deploying his large surface marker buoy helped with his rescue. DAN recommends that divers always listen to the dive briefing and follow all directions and always carry an SMB and reel. If your breathing-gas supply is critically low, get to the surface at a safe ascent rate, and then monitor for signs of decompression illness. It is better to deal with DCI on the surface than to run out of breathing gas at depth.
Located in the Bay Islands of Honduras, Roatán is a tropical gem nestled in the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea. The largest of the Bay Islands, Roatán sits about 30 miles off the Honduran coast between Utila and Guanaja. Its fringing reef system makes up the southernmost edge of the Mesoamerica Reef (the world’s second-largest reef system) and is arguably Roatán’s biggest attraction.
If you like the idea of a liveaboard adventure with remote, open-ocean diving where your dive boat is likely the only one on the reef, you’ll love a trip to Flower Garden Banks. It remains one of the best-kept secrets for wilderness diving in the continental U.S., where you can expect rare encounters such as a longlure frogfish on a sponge, scalloped hammerhead sharks feeding or a whale shark swimming by.
Turbid water can be a challenging environment for underwater photographers, particularly when shooting wide angle. Turbid water may not appear brown or green from the surface — in many cases the water looks entirely different once we drop in and begin the dive. All water is turbid to some degree. Understanding what causes turbidity and knowing how to work around it can make a world of difference when shooting in those conditions. One of the best skills a photographer can develop, particularly for shooting wide angle, is learning how to read water quality.
Our checkout dive was easy, with a maximum depth of 75 feet for 50 minutes. The current was slight, and the visibility was spectacular — an ideal first dive. It closed with a nice, slow ascent and a three-minute safety stop. When we returned to the boat, I felt a sudden tingling in my right foot followed by a dull ache in my knee. I assumed the worst, thinking I had decompression sickness (DCS). When I reviewed the dive in my mind, however, that seemed impossible.