Phuket builds underwater statue park

Sculptures We thought we'd seen everything, but oh no:

Phuket Diving Park, as the site is now known, features sculptures including Thai demons ( yak ), traditional decorative arches, a sala, two elephants and a giant pearl oyster. Over time they are expected to become artificial reefs, attracting a variety of sea life.

Via Asia Dive Site

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Diving Roatan, Honduras

Underneath-Turtle

Roatan’s underwater visibility is outstanding. The variety of soft and hard corals is immense and vibrant, and there are two fine wrecks to dive just offshore. Wherever you swim, the variety of fish is astounding, from bitty coral-banded shrimp to elegant spotted drum fish, chummy grouper, turtles, eagle rays and even whale sharks (the world’s largest fish). Some of the best dives, though certainly not all of them, include Texas, Pablo’s, Spooky Channel, El Aguila and the Bear’s Den. Night dives feature the globally rare phenomenon called “string of pearls” — imagine tiny strings of light, each a lightning bug floating in the dark sea as far as you can see, like a 3-D version of the introduction to Matrix or the twinkling tails of a gigantic firework. Phosphorescence is lovely, but Roatan’s string of pearls is even better.

Via ScubaGeek

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Mike Veitch's shark photography 101

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Different sharks require different lenses. An 18 foot Great White attacking a baited tuna carcass mere inches from your cage requires a wide angle lens. But what about the reef sharks encountered on an average dive in the tropical Pacific? A full frame 15mm photo of a 5 foot grey reef shark 4 feet away makes the shark look like a minnow. The large coverage of wide angle lenses creates a lot of “dead space” around the subject and detracts from the impact of a photo.

Via WetPixel

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Diving the Great Barrier Reef

Lordhowe Main

Ty begins his trip diving the most well-known site on the Great Barrier Reef — Cod Hole on Ribbon Reef #10. From there, he moves on to Osprey Reef, where he sees several hammerheads circling, as well as a pod of orcas! The next day he goes on a shark feeding dive, where he sees a “disappointing” number of (“only about 40 or 50”) whitetip and gray reef sharks; the day after that, members of the dive boat see mating cuttlefish, a minke whale, and green sea turtles. He ends his trip off Lord Howe Island, the southernmost coral reef in the world, which – as you might imagine – yields amazing diving and provides closure to a remarkable story.

Via Divester

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Weedy Sea Dragon coverage

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As well as a very thorough and evocative write-up, Jane has some truly spectacular photos of these amazing creatures which are so hard to find because they blend in with seaweed so perfectly (hence their name). Honestly, it's enough to make you want to plunge into the next puddle RIGHT NOW to go and find them yourself! The level of detail and the colours in the photos are just breathtaking.

Via DiveHappy

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Canon Underwater Photography Guide

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Canon have an Underwater Photography Guide which shows reasons for using a digital camera over a film camera, Marine Techniques, Pre-Dive Preparations, Understanding White Balance, taking Macro Shots and Wide Angle Shots, Panorama Shots about Movies, Maintenance on the Boat and Post-Dive Maintenance.

Via Scuba Diving Cameras

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New 230 hectare reef discovered off Khao Lak

Khao Lak Map

It is hard to believe that there are many places left in the world where we haven't already been, particularly with regard to shallow reefs in Thailand, but apparently there is a new undiscovered reef. In an article by Sydney Morning Herald, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) said a team of its divers using information from local fishermen made the discovery in January off Thailand's Phang-nga Province.

Via ScubaGeek

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Diving with dolphins in the Bahamas

Dolphins1 B8

One of the all time favorite marine animals for many is the dolphin. Previously, the closest one can ever get to a dolphin is at the various marine theme parks like Sea World. Then a few dolphin research centers started petting dolphins and swim with dolphins programs which allowed more direct interactions with these wonderful creatures. For certified scuba divers, direct interaction with dolphins under the water is possible. This is an even better experience than the swim with dolphins programs which keep guests only on the surface of the water. This unique under the water opportunity is available through UNEXSO's dolphin dive at Freeport, Grand Bahama Island.

Via Scuba Bulletin

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Olympus µ720 SW, still works 3m underwater

Olympus Mju 720 Sw

With this model, Olympus has optimised the standard weatherproof qualities found in all Mju cameras, making it waterproof to 3m. In combination with the shockproof design, a whole new world of shooting opportunities is opened to photographers. Now, where other cameras reach their limits – such as at the shoreline of the beach or during lively sports activities – the Mju 720 SW really comes into its own. It’s a classic case of “when the going gets tough, the tough get going”. For even more fun under the water’s surface and other challenging assignments, Olympus 720 SW users can boost the camera’s waterproof capabilities from 3m to an incredible 40m with the optional PT-033 underwater case.

Via Digital Camera Snaps

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Diving the Galapagos islands

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Some consider the Galapagos the premiere spot for seeing large marine fauna. Seeing pelagic species so close to shore is more common in the Galapagos than most any dive site in the world. Like the animals on land, the animals that inhabit these waters have not evolved with a sense of fear of humans, and your presence will seem no more than a curiosity to these animals.

The sharks that patrol these waters are timid and by no means dangerous, the sea lion pups that you see basking and awkward on the beaches are graceful and playful in the water; and spotted rays glide past you in the azure environment. One in every four marine species is endemic, making the varieties of angelfish and even chub in the water a marine biologist's jackpot. And after all, where else can you observe equatorial penguins diving with marine iguanas?

Via GalapagosIslands.com

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Innovative new dive ropes light up the scuba diving industry

Glowrope Diver

"The Glow Rope and Cleat assembly allows for the number one factor SAFETY for our divers," stated, Deb Savageau, CEO of Fire Forks Unlimited, N.D. "If a diver loses his or her diving buddy they can count on our illuminating glow rope to light their way to the surface."

The Glow Rope and Glow Dock Cleats were a big hit at the 2005 DEMA show, said, Tim Nelson, Director of Sales and Marketing for Fire Forks Unlimited, N.D. "Customers asked for Glow Cave Rope which was promptly produced and is NOW available in 1200 ft spools. We are very excited and happy to be a part of the diving community and be able to contribute to the well-being and safety of all our diving enthusiasts across the nation."

Via Lets Glow Camping

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Chinese lake divers find underwater 'Lost City'

Underwater Ruins

China researchers are reporting the discovery of Mayan pyramid-like buildings under Fuxian Lake in China’s Yunnan province.

"Gengwei, a professional diver, told reporters on December 19th, 2005, that images from sonar scans showed that a large relic covering at least 2.4 square kilometers sits underwater in Fuxian Lake.

"He said eight main buildings were found all under the water, including a round building and two large high buildings with floors that liken to the Mayan pyramids of Latin America."

The round one has been described as similar to a colosseum in architecture, with a 37-meter wide base and a gap to the northeast.

Via Underwater Times

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Diving Icebergs in the Weddell Sea

Antarctic16

In order to learn how various drifting iceberg-lets affect cold-water marine animals and algae, a team of scientists from MBARI's Midwater Ecology group spent December chilling out - literally! - in the Weddell Sea. Studying marine life in and underneath Antarctic icebergs, the team used nets, sampling bottles, and a small ROV to compare the animal communities normally associated with icebergs to communities in the open ocean.

Via Divester

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