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Sport Diver

Sport Diver July 2018

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United States
Bonnier Corporation
Back issues only

in this issue

2 min.
speak up

PATRICIA WUEST joined Scuba Diving in October 1992, and has served as assistant, managing and senior editor. A diver for more than 25 years, she was named editor-in-chief in 2013. The Golden Triangle — the term divers use for the eastern Pacific islands of the Galapagos, Cocos and Malpelo — is home to hammerhead sharks that once schooled in such large numbers they blocked out the sun. Not any longer. While hammerheads enjoy some protection from illegal fishing when they are near these volcanic islands, they have little to none when migrating across the “corridors” between them. “Troubled Waters” (page 44) describes not only the plight of the hammers but also of the scientists trying desperately to save them. Scuba Diving publishes articles that span all areas of the sport, including…

1 min.

A BUMPY RIDE This is a sight seen by only a few divers each year: the wreck of a Vought F4U Corsair fighter plane off the coast of Parara in the Solomon Islands. Exposure to the open ocean and accompanying wind and waves — along with its depth outside recreational limits — make this dive tricky to navigate. “Protecting our environment is everyone’s kuleana (or responsibility). It is what we need to do, not only for future generations — our own lives are at risk if we don’t start now.” SEA HERO: JEFF AND TERI LEICHER PAGE 12…

4 min.
jeff and teri leicher

YEAR CERTIFIEDJeff, 1973; Teri, 1978 AGE WHEN CERTIFIEDJeff, 19; Teri, 22 CERTIFICATION LEVELBoth are PADI MSDT Instructors. WORDS TO LIVE BY“I like to leave a place a little better than I found it.” Jeff and Teri Leicher share a desire to make the world a better place by doing what you can, where you can. The couple, who owns Jack’s Diving Locker on the Big Island of Hawaii, have been instrumental in establishing mooring buoys throughout the state that protect Hawaii’s coral from boat-anchor strikes. Whether lobbying governments for permission, raising funds or heading underwater with a jackhammer, the Leichers don’t shrink from getting their hands wet in any way that will solve the problem. Tell us about the origins of Hawaii’s day-use mooring buoys. Jeff Leicher: Teri and I moved from Oahu…

1 min.
dendrogyra cylindrus (pillar coral)

Dendrogyra cylindrus is one of the rarest corals in the Caribbean and is listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. Dendrogyra colonies grow into pillars, spires or columns that can reach more than 6 feet tall — no wonder the common name for this coral is the Caribbean pillar coral. One of the reasons Dendrogyra is so rare is that, in 30 years, very few — if any — juvenile colonies have been recorded. In 2015, Dr. Kristen Marhaver from the CARMABI institute in Curaçao observed spawning behavior and was able to successfully raise juvenile Dendrogyra cylindrus corals in a lab. Dendrogyra is found in flat, sheltered locations, ranging from the southern tip of Florida down to Venezuela and Panama. Colonies have encrusting bases that spread across rocks, with…

1 min.
holy cow!

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA Broadnose sevengill sharks — Notorynchus cepedianus — are known by some as cow sharks, maybe for their plodding, methodical way of moving through shallow coastal waters. This allows divers in hot spots such as South Africa to really take in the majesty of these fish: Sevengills are closely related to ancient sharks that thrived around 300 million years ago. Keep a keen eye out in cold-water habitats such as this bull kelp forest. While most sharks have five gill slits, broadnose sevengills stand out.…

3 min.
a deep breath

Beaked whales can spend two hours beneath the surface. Dolphins descend down to 1,000 feet and routinely make as many as 20 dives in a row to 300 feet. Good luck finding that type of profile on a dive table. So, how do these mammals avoid getting hit with decompression sickness? Special lung architecture helps protect them from the bends, according to a study by researchers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Spain’s Fundacion Oceanografic. When air-breathing animals dive underwater, increasing pressure causes nitrogen bubbles to collect in the bloodstream and tissue. Ascending slowly allows nitrogen to return to the lungs and be exhaled. Ascend too fast, and nitrogen bubbles don’t have time to diffuse back into the lungs. Instead, they begin to expand in blood and tissues, causing pain and damage — DCS, or…