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Scuba Diving

April 2019

Trusted for gear reviews, cutting-edge training information, underwater photo & video tips, travel information, and much more. Whether you are a sport diver, an old pro, or a new diver looking for lessons, Scuba Diving has something for you.

United States
Bonnier Corporation
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16 Issues


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all that and a bag of chips

Years ago, proofing one of my first issues, I spied an unusual-looking yacht. Half elegant floating spa, half indigenous wooden bark, it was shown cruising waterways dotted with verdant isles, and barely a human in sight.“What’s that?” I asked. “And how do I get on it?”Fuhgeddaboudit, my then-editor said. That’s Arenui, in Raja Ampat, “and the line forms here.”Fast-forward a couple of years. I remembered that moment as I sat on Arenui’s deck at dawn, listening to the Eden around me wake to the cries of hundreds of types of birds. Raja Ampat was indeed all that, above and below.With almost every kind of dive experience you can log except ice, Indonesia does not disappoint. In fact, it’s almost too much to contemplate — virtually no other single nation on…

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(TOMASZ ROSSA)Before these performers reach the sightline of 1,000-plus captivated viewers, they take their positions underwater, aided by a team of scuba divers. There’s much more going on under the surface during a performance of Le Rêve — The Dream than what meets the eye. And only a diver can get the full behind-the-scenes experience in Las Vegas. Read more about diving like a Vegas star on page 14.“Don’t just dive; dive with a purpose. Make data. Diver citizen scientists have been a key part of some of the most important conservation science discoveries over the past few decades.”…

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christy and brice semmens

(COURTESY CHRISTY AND BRICE SEMMENS)YEAR DIVE CERTI FIEDChristy, Open Water I, 1988Brice, Junior Open Water, 1985AGE WHEN CERTIFIEDChristy, 17Brice, 12DIVE CERTIFICATION LEVELChristy, Advanced DiverBrice, Master DiverWORDS TO LIVE BY“Nothing contributes so much to tranquilize the mind as a steady purpose — a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye.”—Mary ShelleyIn 1993, Christy Pattengill and Brice Semmens were interning in the Florida Keys. Reef Environmental Education Foundation in Key Largo, Florida, was establishing its now-legendary Volunteer Fish Survey Project; the pair worked on testing and development. They stayed involved with the program, and each other; today Christy is REEF’s director of science, and Brice is an associate professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California at San Diego. For 15 years they have led an effort that…

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the view from below

Imagine a night dive on a wreck … in a cavern … with no light.I can’t shake the feeling of being in some sort of dream world as my eyes adjust and my guide points out the exact spot where I should be looking.Then, it all becomes real. I squint to see a figure coming out of a tunnel just ahead — it’s a short, brawny bald man with a second stage in his mouth and a scuba diver on his back, like a skydiving instructor.Maybe this is a dream.The diver escorts the man to a massive 4,700-pound “tree,” where he hops off and grabs a hookah hose. The diver turns around and disappears into the tunnel, only to reappear with a nearly identical man and repeat the process again…

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in bloom

Monterey Bay, CaliforniaA swarm of hundreds of brown Pacific sea nettles (Chrysaora fuscescens) aggregates in the cold waters off the coast of California. These carnivorous jellies hunt by drifting along with outstretched tentacles that paralyze their prey. Scientists believe the abundance of C. fuscescens might be caused by climate change and overfishing of predatory species, causing an impact on the marine food web.…

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echinopora lamellosa

(NICOLE HELGASON)■ Because many Indo-Pacific coral species do not have common names, it’s easier to identify Echinopora lamellosa as a thin plating coral covered in dome-shaped corallites.■ Echinopora forms thin delicate plates that grow quickly and to an impressive size. Echinopora lamellosa can form single plates or tiers of flat plates. The edges of the plates can be smooth, or undulating like a wave — even sometimes looking folded like the edge of crumpled paper.■ The way to distinguish Echinopora is by looking at the corallites, which grow as little round domes on the surface of the coral. These corallites are often spaced wide apart, and the plates lack any visible ridges or valleys. The corallites are small (2.5 mm to 4 mm in diameter).■ In the center of the…