Archive for 08/22/2012

Kate Moulene – 

I grew up in Laguna Beach, Calif., a small seaside community, where from sunrise to sunset I remained firmly planted on the shore with my toes deeply buried in the sand.

It wasn’t until sleep was unavoidable that I scurried up the gravel cliffs and departed the ocean’s side.

My friends called me the Pacific Bunny because I could make it up and down the dunes with frightening and fearless dexterity.

Each morning the water was full of bleach blond surfers waiting to partner with the breaking waves.

While I admired their skill at balancing on skinny planks while gliding over curling liquid, surfers did not hold my attention.

My gaze always fell past the whitecaps out to the never-ending vista that acted as the roof and ridge to the world beneath the surface.

I named this inaccessible place “The Invisible Residence” and longed to explore the secrets of this hidden domain.

But I was afraid. After years of watching lifeguards pluck intrepid tourists from the surf I feared the ocean as much as I loved it.

On busy beach days the locals would take bets on how many “in-landers” would need to be rescued.

A lack of respect for the power of the sea is a dangerous thing for anyone who takes a visitors pass and crosses breakwater.

I passionately wanted to learn to scuba dive, but I understood that my fears could cause panic under the water, and so I was left with an empty longing for a world that I didn’t know how to visit.

We live on a planet that we call earth, but really we are a planet of water.

Oceans make up about 70 percent of our world’s surface. In the computer, cell, text mania of synthetic reality in which we live it becomes harder and harder to disconnect and experience the incorruptibility of nature.

Scuba diving not only allows an individual to appreciate the environment, it allows them to become part of it.

For those who love to explore, expanding your passport to the world beneath the sea vastly expands your options.

Full story…

Lauren Magiera –

When hunting, it’s good to get a bird’s eye view to see the lay of the land and exactly where your target game is.

But when fishing it’s hard to get that kind of view, but I went out to get an up close look at where these fish are hiding out.

Just about every time I’m fishing I say “I wish I could just see where they’re at underwater.”

So I decided to put my scuba certification to good use and do exactly that.

Timber Bay Sport and Dive owners Bill and Linda Nichols say I’m not the first.

“We have had big competitive fisherman come take dive classes so they can learn how to dive so they can figure out where all the fish are,” Linda says.

We dropped down into sparkling lake in Vilas County to scope out where and how deep the fish hang out.

“Last time were were out here we saw muskies.”

Full story…

Jess Teideman – 

Scuba diving can transport you to a magical underwater world, but in rare cases the pressure can be dangerous.

It was a bright winter day in 2001 at Kingscliff in northern NSW, and 18-year-old Daniel Trollope was on one of his regular dives to the reef.

It wasn’t until the rugby union player got to his first decompression stop at 5m that things started to go wrong.

He felt exhausted and noticed sharp pains in his lower back.

“When I got to the surface, I blacked out and had to be pulled into the boat,” Daniel, now 28, says.

“I could hear everything around me, but couldn’t even open my eyes.”

Back on dry land he walked to waiting paramedics.

That was the last time he walked.

Daniel, an experienced diver who says he’d followed all safety procedures and used both dive tables and a dive computer, was suffering a severe case of the bends – which happens in roughly one in 20,000 dives.

After 16 visits to the recompression (hyperbaric) chamber, he regained some feeling, but was left with symptoms similar to spinal-cord injury.

Decompression sickness (DCS), known as ‘the bends’ because of the associated joint pain, is a potentially deadly condition caused by bubbles of nitrogen gas forming in the blood and tissues.

It’s most common among divers using scuba tanks, but can affect free-divers and people at high altitude.

Full story…