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Saturday, 29 June 2013

Whale Song

Ok, this is the absolute business if you have several hours to kill at home or in the office. Your very own orca whale in your browser that you can control with your mouse! Awesome!

Link: HERE

Monday, 24 June 2013

I am Legend

As was just pointed out to me by James in the Scuba Diving community forum, Hans Haas passed away on the 13th June 2013, less than two weeks ago. I'm shocked and disappointed in how little press coverage was given to the passing of Hans as he was truly one of the great explorers and pioneers of the underwater world. 

With many credits to his name, not least the co-creation of the Drager Model 138 rebreather, he was always exploring, discovering and expanding our knowledge of life beneath the sea.

To some people he was controversial, to others a man of wisdom, to everyone he was aspirational, someone we all wanted to be when we grew up. He shall be sorely missed.

The classic Hans and Lotte photo that everyone remembers
Hans Hass was a pioneer underwater photographer, filmmaker and scientist, studying for his Doctorate in marine biology at the zoological station in Naples. In 1949 Hans visited Port Sudan, where he dived alone, having been told by all the experts that he would surely be eaten by the famous Red Sea sharks. By 1950 he returned with another team of six, including Lotte. Together they made the film “Adventure in the Red Sea”, or “Under the Red Sea” as it later became known. The film won first prize for major documentaries at the Venice Bienniele film festival in 1951.

Hass has published many books, including “Aus der Pionierzeit des Tauchens’’ (“From The Pioneering Days Of Diving”), and has made more than 100 films about the underwater world. Among many awards they have won, are those from the Historical Diving Society.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Plush

Those crazy Japanese are at it again. I mean, ok, here on the island you can get cuddly toy rays, dolphins, sharks, turltes but this aquarium in Japan has gone one step further. They're selling cuddly toy isopods. What???

Link: HERE & HERE

This is life-sized pillow of a giant isopod. A deep-sea dweller, the insect-looking giant isopod can grow between 7.5 and 14 inches long. One aquarium in Japan decided they'd sell a cool plush toy. Turns out, that was a good idea. 

The Numazu Deep Sea Aquarium in the city of Numazu, Japan, launched a life-sized giant isopod plush toy earlier this month for the 6,090 yen (approximately US$60). Within hours, the entire stock of 140 plush toys was sold out. Not bad for a local aquarium!

One man and his isopod. They should make that into a new show. Not good at herding sheep though.....
Next thing you know they'll be making plush toys in the shape of blobfish!. Hang on, I have an idea, where's my phone?...............

"my isopod and me, as happy as can be, tra-la-la-la-la"

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Secret Garden

It's not all doom and gloom. Good things do happen in the aquatic world!

Marine scientists at CCMI's Little Cayman Research Centre say the coral nursery project established in September last year to help replenish local reefs is doing well. As a pilot project, researchers deployed a single structure, multiplying four parent colonies of staghorn coral to 58 new individuals. After 3 months of the trial, all colonies have survived and are growing rapidly.

“The indirect benefits of this conservation project and a healthier reef ecosystem will positively impact local tourism and improve local fish stocks,” noted a report from the Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI).

Link: HERE

 

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Give a little bit

July's edition of Scuba Diving mag has hit the shelves (US only I'm afraid), and although it's not one of my usual full blown epic articles, I sneaked into someone elses for the feature on "United States of Scuba". 

Go get your physical or digital copy today!


Sunday, 16 June 2013

Grand Hotel

Well this looks pretty spectacular but I don't think it necessarily fits in with the look of the Maldives. If they can do it without destroying the reefs and marine life then they may just be on to something.

Link: HERE


The space-age hotel is now set to be built on the remote -- and postcard perfect -- tropical island of Kuredhivaru in the Maldive Islands, with the National Ministry of Tourism giving the go-ahead to the ambitious plan last week.

The United Arab Emirates may soon be the next home of the high-tech hotel, with a Dubai construction company also in negotiations to build the surreal structure.

Described as "Star Trek meets the undersea world of Jacques Cousteau," the remarkable building -- valued at up to $50 million -- is the brainchild of Polish company Deep Ocean Technology, backed by Swiss investors.


 

Windowlicker

I dunno, you think you move to a nice quiet respectable neighborhood, then you find you get manky undesirables looking through your windows! The nerve!

"Want to by a copy of watchtower, guv'nor?"
Next thing you know, we'll get invaded by a bunch of schemies from Pumpherston or even worse, Uphall!

"Yea, I'll just let it all hang out"
The things you have to put up with these days. Get of my land!



Update as of 7.32am. He's still there. He's been hanging on all night, bloody dosser......

Update as of 10.56am. Bob, as we call him, is still there. I think someone super glued him to our window as a joke......  

Update as of 12.38pm. News flash, Bob has moved about an inch to the left. More news as it arrives.


Update as of 13.36. Bob has finally gone. Farewell sweet Bob, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest. Good riddance! 

Friday, 14 June 2013

Future Perfect

Now if you're a bit of a geek like me then you'll have heard of the Oculus Rift VR headset for 3D purposes, games not withstanding. This piece of kit has been creating a bit of a stir now in the tech world for a while, not least because of the myriad of applications that it can be used for. 

One start up software company, Vertigo Games based in the Netherlands, is developing an online multiplayer dive game using the Oculus headset to create a truly immersive experience. Check out the video!



"World of Diving is the first online multiplayer diving game, with which we will recreate that feeling of wonder and discovery you get at the bottom of the ocean. Our team is all set to take you on the otherworldly experience that is World of Diving - all from the comfort of your own (hopefully quite dry) home."

"Starting out in the Caribbean, you can enjoy the real-world diving spots that were recreated by our team, while the entire world’s oceans are waiting for you to explore thanks to a technique called procedural generation."

"While World of Diving will appeal to both hardcore simulation fans and casual diving enthusiasts, we feel it is important to focus our development efforts on making the world fun… and not just a mathematical model. World of Diving will be a place for you to hang out with your friends - whether you have met them in or outside of the game – where you can swim with sea turtles, hunt for the great white shark or party on your own luxury yacht."


If this has you salivating at the mouth, then stop by their Indiegogo website and donate some money to get this project of the ground.

Link: HERE



Come Together

For those of you that that are on Google + or even if you're not. come and join the Scuba Diving community with over 11000 members and rising fast. 

Whatever type of diving you're into or even if you're not a diver but just love the life aquatic,  this is the place to hang out and share with like minded people. 

Come join us and be part of the family!

Join: HERE 




Wednesday, 12 June 2013

River deep, mountain high

Once more unto the breach. The scientists are heading back into the Cayman trough throughout this month for a further look in the depths at some previously unmapped areas using the Nereus ROV

Link: HERE

“By exploring this extreme and previously uninvestigated section of the Earth’s deep seafloor, this research seeks to extend our understanding of the limits (in terms of extreme environments) to which life can exist on Earth, to understand how geologic processes might generate the prebiotic materials believed to have been an essential precursor to life on Earth, and to help prepare for future efforts to explore for life on other planets"

Who know what they'll find on this expedition. My hopes is some underwater foreign object like in the Abyss, but somehow I doubt it.............



Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Iron, lion, zion

Well no surprises here. Just goes to show that indigenous species should be left in their natural environment and not transported around the world for aquariums only to get loose and endanger the eco system. Are you listening Florida?

Link: HERE

"Once found only in the Indian and Pacific oceans, before spreading in recent years to the Caribbean and Atlantic, lionfish have been found in the Mediterranean Sea for the first time in more than 20 years, scientists report"
 
"Authors of a report published last week called for immediate monitoring and control of lionfish in the Mediterranean to be carried out to try to prevent an invasion of the creatures. The invasive species has wreaked havoc on coral reefs in the Caribbean."

We are starting to see natural predators to the lionfish here on the island with groupers and sharks developing a taste for the fish. We can only hope that there isn't a population explosion in the Med and that it can be managed effectively and efficiently.


Saturday, 8 June 2013

Do the evolution

Here's a very well written slice of thought from Vikki Batten at PADI Europe on Tec diving and why it can still positively impact you even if you don't want or have no interest in being a Tec diver. 

"Probably the most obvious contribution tec diving has made is the constant innovation and refinement of diving equipment. It takes time to trickle down but we now regularly see single cylinder wing and backplate systems with long hose configurations that keep the diver in a beautiful position while they dive, ensure they are uncluttered and streamlined plus are able to respond to out of gas emergencies with ease and flexibility."

"Use of sidemount wing systems is not quite so widespread yet but with mainstream manufacturers bringing out systems designed for the open water diver which are extremely lightweight, streamlined and easy to use I don’t think it will be long before sidemount diving is the second most popular PADI specialty (EANx is the most popular)."

The evolution of Tec ultimately always filters down to the humblest of divers, whether it be technique or equipment. Have a read and see what you personally think about what Tec can do for you. You may be surprised.....

Link: HERE


Tuesday, 4 June 2013

(Broad) band on the run

Ok so due to circumstances beyond our control, we've been without broadband for a little while now as well trying to move house, do cleaning, build furniture and 10 million other jobs. If I didn't have a reason to turn grey, I've got one now!

Unfortunately because of all this shenanigans,  the diving has had to take a back seat for the past few weeks but we plan to get wet again very soon and get back to some semblance of normality. Hopefully.

In the meantime please enjoy this shot of an ice cold mudslide as I sit in the local coffee shop and leech their bandwidth. Safe diving everyone.