Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Traveler Reviews - friendly fiji - TripAdvisor

Kadavu Island: Matava - The Astrolabe Hideaway - Traveler Reviews - friendly fiji - TripAdvisor

"The resort was very clean, tropical and freindly. The diving was world class. The manta rays were graceful. the staff was one of the best i have ever encountered. the food was great. what else can i say it exceeded my expectations. i can't wait to go back."

Kadavu Island: Matava - The Astrolabe Hideaway - Traveler Reviews - friendly fiji - TripAdvisor

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

PADI Asia Pacific Partners With OIympus

Exclusive new agreement designed to promote the Digital Underwater Photographer Specialty Course throughout Asia Pacific

SYDNEY – July 2007 – Olympus, the industry leader in opto-digital technologies and pioneer in the digital camera market, together with PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) announced today that they have partnered in support of the PADI Digital Underwater Photographer Specialty Course in Asia Pacific – including Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.

During the course, participants learn to use the PADI SEA (Shoot, Examine and Adjust) method, which takes full advantage of digital technology to achieve good underwater photos faster. They not only learn the three primary principles on how to take good photos underwater, but also how to edit and share them with their friends via email or printing, optimizing their work with their computer, storage and more. They are also taught how to choose and use modern digital cameras and underwater housings.

To sign up for the course, participants must be a PADI Open Water Diver or Junior Open Water Diver (or have a qualifying certification from another training organisation). However, participants can take the course as a snorkeller and receive a non-diving certification. The PADI Digital Underwater Photographer Specialty Course certification credits toward the Master Scuba Diver rating, and is one of PADI’s most adaptable specialty courses, and can even be started during the last dive of the PADI Open Water Diver course.

On why Olympus and PADI have teamed up for this course in Asia Pacific, Mr Jimmy Loh, General Manager, Olympus Imaging Singapore said: “Olympus is the only manufacturer that has both splash proof and waterproof camera line up. This unique feature makes it ideal for water related activities, and people can have fun without any fear of accidental contact with water. Being the pioneer in developing digital camera and its underwater housing, Olympus has a good understanding of divers’ requirements. In fact, our latest digital camera models have multiple underwater pre-set programs (e.g. Underwater Wide 1 for landscape photo taking, Underwater Wide2 for landscape photo taking with quicker shutter release and Underwater Macro for close-up photo taking) that makes it very easy to start underwater photography and get beautiful results right away. We believe that we can spread the joy of photography above water and under water to PADI members as well as all digital camera users through this partnership program between PADI and Olympus.”

“We welcome the opportunity to partner Olympus in growing this exciting segment of the dive market – Underwater Photography – one which is growing at a rapid rate. Olympus’ brand recognition, market position, reach within Asia Pacific and reputation for providing a consistent quality service is the reason why we have selected Olympus as our partner. We strongly believe there are multiple synergies in this partnership for both parties. We are already working with Olympus in Europe and as such it was only natural for us to expand the partnership to the Asia Pacific region,” said Mr Shahram Saber, Marketing Manager of PADI Asia Pacific.

PADI’s membership has grown to include more than 130,000 PADI Professionals and approximately 5,300 PADI Dive Centres and Resorts operating in 180 countries and territories. PADI Professionals are among the most respected in the dive industry, delivering consistent, quality education and training to nearly 1,000,000 divers annually.


About PADI

PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) is the world’s largest recreational dive training, certification and membership organisation. PADI Members (dive centres, resorts, educational facilities, instructors, assistant instructors and divemasters) issue nearly 1,000,000 certifications worldwide each year, making underwater exploration and adventure accessible to the public, while maintaining the highest industry standards for dive training, safety and customer service. For more information, visit padi.com.

About Olympus Imaging Singapore

Olympus Imaging Singapore is the unparalleled industry leader in opto-digital technologies, delivering award-winning digital imaging products for the consumer and professional markets in Singapore. Driven by a strong commitment in providing innovative products and solutions of the highest quality, Olympus Imaging Singapore works closely with industry partners, customers and other Olympus business units in producing leading-edge products. These include analogue and digital cameras, professional SLR imaging systems, and voice recorders, amongst others. Olympus Imaging Singapore’s unrelenting efforts in superior customer service also bear testimony to its brand promise of delivering the best user experience to all consumers and professional users in the imaging field. For more information, please visit http://www.olympus.com.sg.

Monday, 23 July 2007

Digital SLR Cameras Underwater

Digital SLR Cameras Underwater

By Berkley White, Backscatter

Film vs. Digital Overview

For background information on the advantages and disadvantages of shooting digital over film, please see our previous article . While digital might not be the solution for 100% of underwater shooters, my personal experience with underwater digital stills leads me to the following conclusion.

Digital is the best solution for all new shooters that are remotely comfortable with computers. The value of instant feedback is priceless. Experienced shooters that have a working knowledge and a high success ratio with film techniques will need to evaluate their options more closely. For myself, the new digital SLRís offer me the user interface and exposure control that I have been looking for and are only inhibited with their inability to capture extreme highlight detail at the same quality as film. Based on my experiences detailed below, digital, specifically the Nikon D100 is about to become my choice for 90% of my underwater work."

Read the whole article here: Digital SLR Cameras Underwater

Sunday, 22 July 2007

Your Own Personal Rinse Tank

Your Own Personal Rinse Tank
by Bonnie Pelnar

Although many dive operators are keen to the needs of underwater photographers, the reality of having such luxuries as a fresh water rinse tank on some dive boats is still just a bit too much to ask. Other boats might have more photographers than room to accommodate the expensive toys they bring with them, and the risk of rinse tank floods due to too many cameras getting jerked around in one trash can is just too high.

A great solution is to bring your own! Although it sounds like a hassle, it is common to see divers, especially on day trips, bring their own portable rolling or collapsible cooler for their personal use as a rinse tank.

Read the whole article a: The Underwater Photographer


Thursday, 19 July 2007

Fiji forums: Window Shopping an Island Resort... - TripAdvisor

Fiji forums: Window Shopping an Island Resort... - TripAdvisor

"If you want the same kind of experience (rugged island, gorgeous scenery) on Kadavu, go to Matava.

It is exceptional. The owners are amazing, the staff is great, it's such a fun place and the food is awesome. It is a great experience and about the same price as Waisalima, but oh, so much better. Write to them at: matava@connect.com.fj and check their website at www.matava.com.

You'll be writing to Jeannie, Richard or Adrian, and tell them that Fiji Suz recommended you.

They'll treat you right!"

Fiji forums: Window Shopping an Island Resort... - TripAdvisor

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

How long to stay at an island reosort? Which Island resort... - TripAdvisor

Yasawa Island forum: How long to stay at an island reosort? Which Island resort... - TripAdvisor:

"back to Matava on Kadavu...paradise. enjoy"

Yasawa Island forum: How long to stay at an island reosort? Which Island resort... - TripAdvisor:

Fiji forums: Diving, swimming, relaxing recommendation. - TripAdvisor

Fiji forums: Diving, swimming, relaxing recommendation. - TripAdvisor

"Those are the best for diving in Fiji - which would give you the full Fiji experience.

All of these are bure-style, and you can't miss.

Matava is a bit more adventure oriented and you won't be doing as much swimming, more exploring and adventuring - but the others have relaxing elements to them."

Fiji forums: Diving, swimming, relaxing recommendation. - TripAdvisor

Kadavu Island forum: Snorkeling at Kadvu - TripAdvisor

Kadavu Island forum: Snorkeling at Kadvu - TripAdvisor

"Some of the best snorkeling I've done in Fiji was at Kadavu."

Kadavu Island forum: Snorkeling at Kadvu - TripAdvisor

Kadavu Island: Matava - The Astrolabe Hideaway - Traveler Reviews - paradise found - TripAdvisor

Kadavu Island: Matava - The Astrolabe Hideaway - Traveler Reviews - paradise found - TripAdvisor

"Friendly people, friendly places. It is a pleasure to wake up every morning. Welcome to hot coffee, fresh tropical fruits freshly picked flowers and on special days, mini bagels still warm from baking that morning. Enjoy the communal breakfast talking about the night before and the up-coming day's events. So many choices of what to do and advice given from the guests who've been there for a while and suggestions for newbies that have just arrived."

Kadavu Island: Matava - The Astrolabe Hideaway - Traveler Reviews - paradise found - TripAdvisor

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Pirates


Pirates
Originally uploaded by grischakerstan.
The boys working hard!

Saturday, 14 July 2007

DAN Incident Report Now Available FREE to All Divers

Important industry report now made available to divers around the world as a public service by DAN.

A 34-year-old male freediver was attacked by a shark while spearfishing in Hawaii. He received a nonfatal bite to the shoulder while swimming back to shore towing a bag of fish. He was able to stand and strike the 12-foot (4-meter) shark with his speargun as it returned. He was assisted from the water by local residents. – From the 2006 DAN Annual Diving Report


Know someone who’s had a similar close call? Interested in reading about more incidents? Are you convinced that you can learn a great deal by reading about divers’ missteps?

The DAN Diving Report, compiled and published annually by
DAN Research, is now available to the public at no cost: Simply go to the DAN website and download it. Formerly available free to DAN Members only, the report is now posted where dive professionals, researchers, journalists and all scuba divers can view it with just a few clicks.

You can now view
DAN accident and fatality reports from 2001 to 2006. The Diving Report for 2007 is in progress, slated for release later this year.

The latest issue, The Annual Diving Report: 2006 Edition, presents information on Project Dive Exploration, scuba diving injuries and fatalities, based on data collections during 2004. Beginning with the 2005 report,
DAN has added sections on breath-hold diving, including summary data and thumbnail case reports.

Want More Info? The entire report is available free of charge.

To download it, go to:
http://diversalertnetwork.org/medical/report/index.asp

When you need information,
DAN is here for you.

Florida Raises Ill-Fated Artificial Reefs

ENN

Florida Raises Ill-Fated Artificial Reefs

July 09, 2007 — By Jim Loney, Reuters

MIAMI -- When people began dumping used tires in the ocean 40 years ago to create artificial reefs, they gave little thought to the potential environmental cost, or to how difficult it would be to pick them up.

"It was one of those ideas that seemed good at the time," said Jack Sobel, a senior scientist at The Ocean Conservancy, a Washington-based environmental group. "Now I think it's pretty clear it was a bad idea."

Now, local authorities are going after some 700,000 tires dumped off the coast of Fort Lauderdale, up the coast from Miami. A team of 40 divers from the U.S. Army, Navy and Coast Guard spent three weeks in June pulling up 10,373 sand-filled and slime-coated tires from the ocean floor.

Using the tire project as a salvage exercise, the military divers learned they could strap together 50 to 70 tires with wire cables and lift them to the surface with inflatable air bags, where a crane hauled the bundle from the water.

Millions of tires, usually bundled with nylon straps or steel cables, were cast into the sea off Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and off the U.S. states of New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, California and Florida.

The idea was to provide habitat for fish while disposing of trash from the land, but in the rugged and corrosive environment of the ocean, nylon straps wore out and snapped, cables rusted, and tires broke free.

Thousands have been tossed up on U.S. shores, particularly during hurricanes. Tires dotted the sand as far as the eye could see along North Carolina's Topsail Island after Hurricane Fran crashed the coast in 1996.

The tires dumped off Fort Lauderdale posed a particular threat. When they broke free they migrated shoreward and ran into a living reef tract, climbing up its slope and killing everything in their path.

"If we can keep the project going we think they can get all the tires and then the reef can recover," said Ken Banks of Broward County's Environmental Protection Department. "But the reef recovery will probably take decades."

AIRCRAFT CARRIER

Officials said the Fort Lauderdale project drew together a host of government and military agencies to salvage the tires cheaply.

"If you have to pay to make them go away, it would have cost about $17 per tire. We got that down to about $2 per tire, in part because they are making other products out of them," said William Nuckols, a project coordinator for Coastal America, a U.S. government agency.

The tires were trucked to a disposal plant in Georgia, where they were chipped into fuel for a waste recycling plant.

U.S. states no longer permit tire reefs. But Sobel said the entire concept of artificial reefs needs to be reexamined.

They have been created around the globe using all manner of material, from tires and concrete sewer pipes to discarded airplanes and ships. One of the largest, the rusting 880-foot U.S. aircraft carrier Oriskany, was sent to the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico last year.

They are promoted by local officials as tourist attractions and by fishing captains and scuba operators who say they create new habitats and nurseries for fish and other sea creatures.

But Sobel said there are big questions that need to be answered.

Do they damage natural habitats, as the tires did off Fort Lauderdale? Do they concentrate marine creatures and make it easier for fishers and divers to catch them, exacerbating an overfishing problem and causing lasting damage to fisheries?

Do they draw eggs and larvae that would otherwise settle in natural habitats?

"There's little evidence that artificial reefs have a net benefit," Sobel said.

Source: Reuters via ENN

Thursday, 12 July 2007

Keep Your Towel as Dry as Your Humor

The Underwater Photographer

Keep Your Towel as Dry as Your Humor

You've hauled your camera housing out of the ocean and into the dunk tank to carefully desalinate it, now you've got it on a bench and you pop the back off. Oops! Where did that water on the camera come from?

It's important to wipe off water from a housing and -- for that matter -- your face and hair before you open a housing so loose water doesn't drip into the delicate electronics inside the housing. And although some dive operations offer towels to do so, many don't, so it's worth bringing your own towel for drying off your housing.

Towels are heavy and bulky, though, and when you're trying to squeeze every last ounce out of an airline's stingy baggage allowance, most people would rather pack more dive or photo gear than towels. That's why traveling dive photographers and videographers should consider a backpacker towel.

These towels are made of viscose rayon, which is extremely lightweight and low bulk. They're also very absorbent, and they dry very quickly so you won't have to to dry off a housing with a dripping towel. If a backpacker towel gets really wet, you can simply wring out the towel and it's ready to dry again. Backpacker towels also typically come with a snap loop on one corner, so if you're using it on the windy deck of a dive boat, you can snap it to your housing or a convenient pole so it doesn't blow away.

One source where you can buy backpacker towels is at Amazon, where they're sold under the name "PackTowl."









They come in a variety of sizes from hand towels to bath towels. I take two on a trip so one will always be dry, and I use them when packing to wrap up delicate equipment. I'm glad to have them on hand because I like my housings -- like humor and martinis -- dry.

Mike Boom

The Underwater Photographer

Backscatter - Learn - Gallery - D70 Gallery

Backscatter - Learn - Gallery - D70 Gallery

These were all taken with Richard's camera type and model: Nikon D70...

You need to get the water a LOT more Richard! LOL

Stuart

Backscatter Underwater Photography - Why I love my Focus Light!:

Backscatter: Film VS. Digital

As always, great advice from a true master, Berkley White.

Richard

=====================================================

Backscatter Film VS. Digital

"Film VS. Digital By Berkley White

The number one question in our shop- 'Is digital ready?' Here's our two cents on the matter from an underwater photographers prospective. We'll start with some very intriguing positive features of this new format and then move on to the not so positive and then to the down right aggravating."

Read the whole article here: Backscatter Film VS. Digital

The New York Underwater Photographic Society Presents

A SPECIAL EVENING OF UNDERWATER IMAGERY IN THE HEART OF NYC

July 9, 2007 (New York, NY): The New York Underwater Photographic Society, is the youngest and fastest growing in the world. Based in the heart of New York City, one of the art and photography capitals of the world, the Society launched in April of this year, and already has over 120 members.

The NYUPS will host a special event on Thursday July 12, 2007 at 6:30PM, at The Rock Theatre in the Times Square Arts Center, 300 West 43rd St at 8th Avenue, in Manhattan, for members and anyone wishing to learn more about underwater photography.

Michael McNamara, Technical Editor of Popular Photography and Imaging Magazines will be presenting New Gear Preview & How to Produce Amazing Underwater Prints, and underwater photographer Mark Snyder, will present Improving Your Underwater Lighting.

The presentations will be followed by a small cocktail reception and Networking hour, sponsored by H2OPhotoPros.com, Ultimate Dive Travel, and DivePhotoGuide.com..

More details are available at the Society’s website www.NYUPS.org.

An RSVP is necessary to reserve your space at this special event. Admission is free. The theatre seating is limited and it is important that you confirm your attendance as early as possible.

About the New York Underwater Photographic Society
NYUPS aims to bring together underwater photography & video enthusiasts and professionals from the NY, NJ and CT area. The society will be open to novices, amateurs and pros. Even those from outside the region will have a way to participate online. NYUPS provides a forum to meet new friends who share similar underwater interests. Exciting featured speakers include internationally renowned photographers, filmmakers, marine biologists, explorers, and adventurers from around the world. Members can also participate in workshops, photo & video contests and exhibitions.

AQUA VIEW FINDER RETROFIT PROGRAM

Aquatica is pleased to announce that it is making a retrofit program available for the following housings

  • Aquatica D70 housing for Nikon D70/s digital camera (minimum of 25 requests needed)
  • Aquatica 20D housing for the Canon 20D digital camera (minimum of 25 requests needed)
  • Aquatica 5D housing for the Canon 5D digital camera (no minimum request needed)
  • Aquatica D2X housing for the Nikon D2X digital camera (no minimum request needed)

A minimum of 25 request is needed per housing (except Canon 5D and Nikon D2x housing) in order to put the housing into production, if interested please forward your name and e-mail address to info@aquatica.ca with the mention retrofit program for D70 or retrofit program for 20D depending on which housing you wish to retrofit.

Cost will be:

375.00 USD + shipping and handling for the Canon 20D, Canon 5D and Nikon D70/s housings

And

200.00 USD for the Nikon D2X housing

You will need to send the rear portion of your housing to Aquatica . Submission for the Aquatica D70/s and 20D retrofit program must be received prior to the expiring date of June 30, 2007. There is no time limit for now on the Aquatica D2X and 5D program due to the fact that these are currently in production.

If minimum request is met for the Aquatica D70/s and 20D delivery should be +/- 90 days, as for Aquatica D2X and 5D delays are shorter again due to the fact these are still in production.

NOTE: THE OWNER MUST ALWAYS CONTACT YOUR DEALER OR AQUATICA FOR INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE RETURNING YOUR HOUSING FOR THE RETROFIT PROGRAM.

3025 De Baene, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, H4S 1K8

Tel.: 514-737-9481 Fax: 514-737-7685

info@aquatica.ca

www.aquatica.ca

Mares Diving Announces New Lab Concept for Technical Training

NewsITems

New “Mares Lab” training program takes technicians deeper into regulator dynamics and technology.

Mares Lab consists of several different courses that increasingly immerse technicians in Mares technology, culminating in the Master Lab program. Master Lab graduates will have completed extensive hands-on training on all Mares regulators and inflators including a special workshop on troubleshooting. The format is content rich and more in-depth than any previous Mares tech tour.

Scott Cook, Mares Lab Program Manager, will be the lead trainer for the programs. As well as his experience as Mares Warranty Technician in Baltimore, Scott has received extensive training at Mares world headquarters in Rapallo, Italy. Formerly a Navy Diver, Scott maintains a passion for diving that he shares during the seminars.

Lab stops in 2007 include; Quebec City, Montreal, Costa Mesa, Atlanta, Panama City, Dallas, Austin, San Francisco, Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore, Raleigh-Durham, San Juan, Puerto Rico & the Orlando DEMA show.

Dates and locations are available from your District Sales Manager, or Karen Flood, Marketing Services. She can be reached at kflood@us.mares.com

HEAD USA is part of the HEAD NV Group, which is based in the Netherlands and listed on the New York and Vienna Stock exchanges. The HEAD NV Group is a worldwide sporting goods company that manufactures and markets products under the HEAD brand (racquet and winter sports), Penn (world’s #1 tennis ball and racquet ball brand), and Tyrolia (wintersports bindings), in addition to the three diving brands (Mares, Dacor and Sporasub). HEAD NV’s Chairman is Johan Eliasch. The telephone number for the Diving Division is 203 855 0631; fax 203 866 9573; website www.mares.com. For HEAD USA information, log onto www.head.com

News from http://www.divenewswire.com/NewsITems.aspx?newsID=8848

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Moon Handbooks Fiji by David Stanley

Would you rather trust a guidebook written by a twenty-something whose three month assignment was to travel around a certain area and write or would you rather trust a guy who spent twenty-something years living and traveling around these areas? That's the bio of David Stanley, the author of this book and this guy knows the in's and out's of Fiji. That's obvious when you pick up this book.

Fiji Handbook starts out with the most comprehensive background of Fiji I've found in competitive books, everything ranging from its history (including cannabalism!) right down to the shark population around the island. I always like to prime up on the place I'm traveling and this section is great for it.






The next section, a Fiji "overview" is very informative. It covers the basics such as getting to/from the island, communicating off the island, and accomodations around Fiji (like camping vs. hotels). This is pretty standard in any guidebook.

The meat of the book comes afterwards, which is broken down by island chains. It covers everything you would expect, including accomodations, hotels, beaches and attractions. Maps are outstanding -- not only do they have island maps, but major city maps too with post offices, restaurants and sights discussed in the text are labelled on the map.

http://www.manta.org

http://www.manta.org

The MantaCam Passes Ocean Testing

We have just returned from a remote corner of Indonesia in the Coral Triangle. We were able to deploy our OceanCam on several occasions off the dive liveaboard Seven Seas. This was the first time that we evaluated the use of the OceanCam as part of a regular dive trip. It is common for the ship to move to a new location on a daily basis. The camera needed to be deployed and retrieved without affecting this schedule.

Our new Underwater IP Camera System which can be controlled over the Internet from anywhere in the world is now equipped with a wireless transmitter and 6-12 hour battery pack.This allowed the OceanCam to be deployed easily and quickly without long wires tethered to the ship. The system was placed on a rock in the coral reef and live video was recorded within minutes of deployment. When sea conditions worsened and the ship had to move to find a safe mooring, the camera was easily and quickly retrieved.

This was the first time that we were able to deploy a camera system on a tropical coral reef. Dr. Lida Pet, WWF, was intrigued by the footage collected. She was especially interested in the fish behavior that was very different from when divers are in the water. You can see samples of the video from Raja Ampat in Indonesia by visiting our web site at www.OceanPresence.com and selecting

Sample Video Library.

The underwater IP camera system has proved itself in open ocean evaluations and adds a new level of entertainment to dive liveaboard adventures. For more information on this new exciting technology, visit OPT's web site and view our new video brochure.
Click for brochure.

For more information visit:
www.OceanPresence.com

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Can Coral Reefs Survive Global Warming? - Undercurrent, January 2007

Can Coral Reefs Survive Global Warming? - Undercurrent, January 2007:

from the January, 2007 issue of Undercurrent

In just the last year, the scientific community produced a plethora of studies that have quashed any lingering doubt - global warming is here, and it is damaging the ocean.

This just confirms what many divers have seen with their own eyes. Bleached-out corals used to be a rarity. Now the ghostly white skeletons of dead or dying corals are a common sight in the Florida Keys, throughout the Bahamas and the Caribbean, around Pacific Island and even in the most remote Pacific coral atolls. Last summer, hot water caused the worst coral bleaching ever observed in reefs from Florida to Panama.

For more information about what you can do to save the reefs, contact these organizations:

Environmental Defense:
www.environmentaldefense.org
www.fightglobalwarming.com

Global Warming Undo It: www.undoit.org
Stop Global Warming: www.stopglobalwarming.org
Coral Reef Alliance: www.coral.org
Reef Relief: www.reefrelief.org
Seacology: www.seacology.org

Long strands of dull, gray-green algae and seaweeds now dominate reefs once alive with colorful corals and other organisms that build the structures that have supported reefs for thousands of years. Corals and the many other reef species"

Can Coral Reefs Survive Global Warming? - Undercurrent, January 2007:

Monday, 9 July 2007

Found: The clearest ocean waters on Earth - earth - 29 June 2007 - New Scientist Environment

Found: The clearest ocean waters on Earth - earth - 29 June 2007 - New Scientist Environment:

* 12:38 29 June 2007
* NewScientist.com news service
* Catherine Brahic

As clear as the clearest lakes on the planet, salty as ocean waters, and roughly the size of the Mediterranean – this, say researchers, is the clearest and most lifeless patch of ocean in the world. And it is in the middle of the Pacific.

'Satellite images that track the amount of chlorophyll in ocean waters suggested that this was one of the most life-poor systems on"

About UnderwaterTimes.com

About UnderwaterTimes.com:

"UnderwaterTimes.com is dedicated to those people who have a passion for the life of the underwater world. As a long-time SCUBA diver and underwater photographer, I not only developed a keen interest in the world's oceans, ecology, and marine life, but also an appetite for timely news related to those topics. As I discovered, there was a lot of news out there, but nothing that tied it all together. With that, the idea of UnderwaterTimes was born in April 2002.

The Idea

UnderwaterTimes was conceived as a news portal that would focus exclusively on the underwater world. The news would be offered the old-fashioned way: delivered everyday, without bias, agendas, or heavy-handed politics, edited with an independent-minded, witty approach.

Building a news organization from scratch was a curious undertaking. Where might you start, you might ask? UnderwaterTimes started by scouring the world, literally searching through hundreds of online publications, to find timely, interesting, and intriguing news stories--all related to underwater world. With that, 'page one' was born--the first page ever published by UnderwaterTimes.

Technology has evolved along the way and so has UnderwaterTimes. But technology can never trump the ability of a human editor to choose just the right stories and write the best headlines--just one part of the success of Und"

Saturday, 7 July 2007

underwater.com.au | Listing | Matava - The Astrolabe Hideaway

underwater.com.au | Listing | Matava - The Astrolabe Hideaway:

On the beautiful island of Kadavu, minutes from the Great Astrolabe Reef, Matava is the genuine eco-hideaway.

Here you can participate in affordable and exclusive diving and experience the true beauty of Fiji. Our intimate oceanfront resort has charming and comfortable Fijian bures, outstanding cuisine and we stock a wide selection of wines, beers and spirits.

PADI dive professionals ensure an unforgettable and safe diving holiday and also offer a full range of PADI certifications.

Our diving offers enormous fish variety, pristine corals and a real chance to dive with Mantas and sharks. You can also participate in, game fishing (catch and release); kayaking, surfing, snorkeling, trekking and local village events. With no roads and a maximum of 20 guests, at Matava you really can have your own little piece of paradise."

live earth :: Live Earth concerts on Saturday :: ENN

live earth :: Live Earth concerts on Saturday :: ENN:

Live Earth's First Green Test: Clean Up Own Mess

July 04, 2007 — By Alister Doyle, Reuters

OSLO -- Live Earth concerts on Saturday meant to spur action to fight global warming must first tackle another environmental hazard -- mountains of trash and thousands of tonnes of greenhouse gases caused by the events.

"We want to set a new global standard for dealing with waste and recycling," said John Rego, environmental adviser for the eight concerts meant to rock the world around the clock on a rolling basis from Sydney to New York and organised by an alliance led by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore.

Live Earth needs to lead by example and clean up to convince people to change their lifestyles in the long term to confront a "climate crisis" caused by rising emissions of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels, Rego told Reuters.

So all electricity to power the concerts will come from renewable sources, such as biodiesel. Greenhouse gases spewed out by stars' jets or by the audience's travel will be offset by investments in renewable energy and by safeguarding forests.

Concert props may live on long after stars such as Madonna, Shakira and Bon Jovi have left the stage -- old tyres and oil drums used in the New York set will be re-used while some concert signs in Johannesburg will be used as roofing.

To cut use of plastics, burger boxes in London will be made of edible starch. Tickets to the concert in Hamburg include a 0.3 euro ($0.409) fee to absorb greenhouse gases. And in Sydney, the concert tickets allow free travel on public transport.

"The goal of Live Earth is to have millions of people committing to make a few small changes in their lives and demanding change from governments and businesses," Rego said."

Read full article at ENN: live earth :: Live Earth concerts on Saturday :: ENN

Matava Mantas flyby

Part of a very nice sequence of shots on Manta Reef by Richard

Friday, 6 July 2007

Matava Mantas

Is this close enough for you?

Thursday, 5 July 2007

UW photo competition 2007-08 is about to start - gather you best shots

underwater.au.com's 3rd UW photo competition is now close to finished - but don't despair. Like last year they are running this competition continuously, so the 4th annual competition starts on July 1 - How is that !

Prizes have yet to be finalized but rest assured, you won't be disappointed.

You may have noticed that the underwater photo galleries have been expanding and they have become a much loved resource for our visitors. They have been able to secure a bunch of sales for the photographers of these images for different purposes - so there is another reason to expose yourself to the world on underwater.com.au

Close to 2500 photos form 100s of photographers - all searchable, or navigate by region - all at http://www.underwater.com.au/gallery.php

The 'Scuba & Underwater Photographers Meetup Group

Scuba Diving Fiji

"The 'Scuba & Underwater Photographers Meetup Group' is the first of its kind to bring together scuba divers who are interested in learning how to take pictures underwater or to polish the skills and techniques they already know.

The new Meetup group is open to all certified divers, photographers at all levels, and even divers who are not photographers but are just interested in dive travel with fun people to warm, tropical destinations."

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Found: The clearest ocean waters on Earth - earth - 29 June 2007 - New Scientist Environment

Found: The clearest ocean waters on Earth - earth - 29 June 2007 - New Scientist Environment:

As clear as the clearest lakes on the planet, salty as ocean waters, and roughly the size of the Mediterranean – this, say researchers, is the clearest and most lifeless patch of ocean in the world. And it is in the middle of the Pacific.

"Satellite images that track the amount of chlorophyll in ocean waters suggested that this was one of the most life-poor systems on Earth," explains Patrick Raimbault of the University of the Mediterranean, in Marseille, France (see image, right).

In October 2004, Raimbault and colleagues set out to study the remarkable patch of ocean water on a three month cruise – called BIOSOPE – that left from Tahiti in French Polynesia, passed by Easter Island and ended on the Chilean coast. Along the way, they sampled the water's chemistry, physics and biology.

Marc Tedetti, also from the University of the Mediterranean, was on the expedition to investigate the water's clarity. He was struck by the colour of the water, which he describes as closer to violet than to blue (see image, right).

Beautiful but barren

Tedetti returned having found "unequivocally" the clearest ocean waters on the planet. "Some bodies of freshwater are equally clear, but only the purest freshwater," Tedetti told New Scientist. "For instance, researchers have found equivalent measurements in Lake Vanda in Antarctica, which is under ice, and is really extremely pure."

At the clearest point of the south-east Pacific, near to Easter Island, Tedetti found that UV rays could penetrate more than 100 metres below the surface.

This correlates with Raimbault's chlorophyll measurements, which suggest the patch contains roughly 10 times less chlorophyll that is found in most ocean waters. Raimbault says the patch of ocean is the least productive marine region known to man.

In a sense, the patch is isolated from the global river and ocean circulation, which explains its lack of life. Being far away from the coast it does not benefit from continental run-off, and the thermohaline circulation – the "global conveyer belt" – which ferries ocean waters around the world, also mostly runs along the continental shelves.

To compound things, this area of ocean does not benefit from seasonal variations which tend to bring nutrients up from the seabed.

Carbon rich

Elsewhere, winter temperatures cool surface waters, making them denser and causing them to sink and push deeper, nutrient-rich waters up to the surface. But the surface waters of the southeast Pacific are warm year-round, which means they tend to perpetually "float" on top of the deeper, colder waters.

In spite of this, the expedition found the clear water is able to support a food chain, which Raimbault suspects relies heavily on the organisms' ability to recycle nutrients. "As there is no supply, there cannot be any loss either," he says.

Raimbault made another surprising discovery: the patch of the ocean that is poorest in life appears to be extremely rich in dissolved organic carbon.

He is currently teasing apart data in an attempt to explain the apparent contradiction, but believes it may be that the limited availability of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus means the bacteria that would normally degrade the dissolved organic matter are not able to complete the task.

Journal reference: Geophysical Research Letters (DOI: 10.1029/2007GL029823)

Mysteries of the Deep Sea – The deep sea is one of the harshest habitats on Earth, but is home to many remarkable creatures. Learn more in our comprehensive special report.

UK on alert for plastic duck invasion - earth - 02 July 2007 - New Scientist Environment

UK on alert for plastic duck invasion - earth - 02 July 2007 - New Scientist Environment:

"Look out Britain! Here come the plastic ducks... What's left of 28,800 plastic bath toys that were lost at sea 15 years ago are headed for the western shores of the UK, according to a retired oceanographer who has been tracking them since the beginning of their epic voyage.

Curtis Ebbesmeyer had been looking for a way to test a computer model of ocean circulation – OSCURS – developed by his colleague, Jim Ingraham at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

He knew he had come across a rare opportunity to do just that when he heard that the plastic toys – ducks, frogs, beavers and turtles – had fallen off a cargo container in the north-western Pacific on 10 January 1992.

Since then, thousands of the durable, waterproof toys – many bleached and battered by their maritime travels – have been picked up on beaches around the Pacific. Using OSCURS, Ebbesmeyer has predicted their itinerary and each new sighting serves to confirm the model."

Monday, 2 July 2007

Wetpixel and DivePhotoGuide International Photo and Video Competition 2006 Winners

Wetpixel and DivePhotoGuide International Photo and Video Competition 2006 Winners

Wetpixel.com and DivePhotoGuide.com, in association with the DEEP Indonesia dive show in Jakarta, Indonesia, are proud to announce the winners of the 1st annual international photo competition. Photographers from around the world competed in seven categories for over $20,000 in prizes. Congratulations to all the winners!

The competition included themed categories, as well as a category for images that focus on conservation and the marine environment, one specifically for entries taken by compact digital cameras, and one specifically for Indonesia entrants.

Esteemed judges Eric Cheng (Wetpixel.com ), Berkley White (Backscatter), and David Espinosa (Scuba Diver AustralAsia), selected winners. Winners are being announced here on UnderwaterCompetition.com, and will be exhibited during the rescheduled DEEP Indonesia show. Due to devastating flooding in Jakarta, the event was postponed.

Competitions such as this are not possible without the support of generous sponsors. Winners were awarded premium dive travel packages to some of the top photo destinations in the world, photo equipment, dive gear, signed books, DVD’s and more! Dive packages included trips to Sulawesi, South Africa, Vietnam, Bali, Palau, Philippines, Grand Cayman, The Red Sea, and Malaysia. Special offers from competition sponsors can be found on the competition website.

As a competition that celebrates the beauty and delicacy of our oceans and reefs, 15% of entry proceeds are donated to vital marine conservation efforts.

2007 Winners and Prizes

OUR FRIEND CHIP WON ANIMAL PORTRAIT:

John “Chip” Scarlett
USA
6-days diving in Malaysia at Layang Layang Resort