Scubashooters net e mag issue n32 oct 2017

Page 1



O C T 2017

Portfolio by Simon Lorenz

Mission Blue by Geo Cloete

Travels by M. Di Paola

Monthly Contest



The Underwater World

Martin Klein wins “Natural Light”

False Bay BlueLine

Nauticam Presents Nikon D850 Housing

Wreck Diving The Million Hope 5° Anilao UW Shootout

Dear readers, there are few studies concerning the growth of the scuba diving market and impact on the Ocean around; however, there are some very interesting. You can find one of them @ and it’s related to the US market only; they estimated that between years 2000 and 2010 the scuba diving industry rose by a 17% in the USA only. In ten years only, the scuba diving lovers increased from 2.86 millions to 3.34 millions. And we are talking about USA only. If we’d assume same figures for the rest of the world ( but they are probably far bigger considering the super fast emerging markets of China, India and Brasil ), we are talking about dozens of millions of divers visiting the Ocean every year. We surely have a big impact on the marine environment and UW life species… we do. It is our opinion this is the main reason why so many organizations started their battle in favor of the Ocean and many more will come. Of those dozens of millions of divers, only a small percentage are UW photographers and we like to call them the Ocean’s Ambassadors. Why? Simply because by taking pictures under water they bring home the beauty and fragility of the Ocean and by showing them to the world they are capable of influencing people’s consciousness towards the sea. Not many years ago, being an underwater photographer would have been very expensive; today we are luckier as a daily increasing number of small UW cameras are available to the public and an increasing number of smartphones housings are landing on the market, giving every scuba diver the chance to become an UW photographer for just few bucks. Thanks for following us, stay tuned for more.

Marino Palla Owner and Founder Scubashooters Network

Cover image by: Simon Lorenz


CONTENTS October 2017 3

EDITORIAL by Marino Palla

8 MISSION BLUE False Bay by Geo Cloete

18 REVIEW Nauticam NA-D850 by Davide Lopresti

28 CONTEST Anilao Underwater Shootout



MONTHLY CONTEST “Natural Light”: the winners

REVIEW V-Twin Beuchat Regulator 4





PORTFOLIO by Simon Lorenz

TRAVELS Wreck diving: the Million Hope by Michela Di Paola

EVENTS Italy Dive Fest

DAN EUROPE Good fortune after bad

V erein S cubashooters - 8952 S chlieren G raphic


E ditor : F abio S trazzi - S witzerland 38668878

design and supervising :

S ilvia B ogni L ayout : S ilvia B ogni , E lisa F urlani C ontributors : C hiara S crigner

MISSION BLUE False Bay Words and Pictures

Geo Cloete

Water is still dripping from my partly undressed wetsuit. With my towel comfortably wrapped around my shoulders I can feel the heat of the African sun warming me up nicely. It’s a stunningly beautiful winter’s day in Cape Town and although there is a crispness to the air, I feel in no rush to leave.

As my mind reflects back on the wonders spotted during my two dives, my eyes wander across the almost mirror flat bay to feast on the beauty of the majestic Hottentot Holland mountain range along the Eastern shore of False Bay. The soft shadows of the afternoon sun render the topography of the 8

mountains beautifully. It won’t be long now before the sky starts to turn a gradient of light blue and light pink as the sun dips lower to meet the Atlantic Ocean at sunset. As countless times before, I am firmly in the mesmerizing grip of this beautiful bay and it is easy to see why it’s considered to be one of the great bays on Earth. Indeed, there is no rush to leave its shoreline and head-on home. Discovered in 1488 by Bartolomeu Dias, the bay was first named “the gulf between the mountains” On either side of the opening to the bay iconic mountainous landmarks are found. Cape Hangklip on the Eastern end and Cape Point on the Western end. It’s these two landmarks which have gave birth to the current name of the bay. In later years, after Bartolomeu’s discovery, sailors returning to Eu-

rope from the East confused Cape Hangklip for Cape Point. A mistake not too difficult to make from the ocean. These sailors wrongfully sailed into the bay, thinking they were entering Table Bay. For this reason, early Portugese seafarers named Hangklip, Cabo Falso. From there the name, False Bay. 9




These days the number is steadily climbing, but in the past it’s only been a relatively small number of people who got to explore and witness the beauty hidden below the wide expanse of water filling the bay. Winter is the best season to explore the many dive sites along the Western shore of the Bay. It’s a blissful high descending onto one of these colourful reefs, teeming with all sorts of marine creatures, while sun rays dance all around you. The rich and diverse marine life of False Bay makes it easy to understand why it was selected to be one of the six

Hope Spots in South Africa. Whales, Orcas, various shark and ray species, Dolphins, Cape fur seals, Jackass penguins, an extensive list of reef fishes of which a fair number are endemic, octopi and a few jellyfish species all call False Bay home, or visit it seasonally. Once you slow down, as I often love to do, and start to admire the macro life the critter list grows exponentially. Nudibranch have captured the fascination of many people, and False Bay has some beautiful nudibranch. Training the eye to spot one of these magnificent creatures, among the densely covered reefs, takes a while, but also means that one gets to see and learn about so many other small critters which you would have missed if you were to just swim along. 13

Not only are there these beautiful reefs to be found in False Bay, there are also kelp forests which hold a mysterious beauty of their own. Imagine being able to fly through a forest, which is exactly the freedom you feel when you dive in the kelp forests. Where you fancy, you can go, gliding along the forest canopy or diving down to the forest floor, where the play of light and shadow constantly changes your visual environment. A particular highlight local divers have been enjoying in the kelp forest over the years has been the ability to regularly dive with one of the oldest shark species alive today, namely the Seven gill cow sharks. These prehistoric looking sharks perfectly contribute to the majestic nature of the forests as they quietly appear out of nowhere, staring straight into your eyes as they glide past inches away from you, only to disappear as mysteriously as they arrived. In a world where the ocean is generally considered an unlimited source of food, it should sadly come as no surprise that a bay with such diverse, and abundant, marine life would draw the attention of those seeking to take rather than appreciate. Yes, this beloved bay of mine is a Hope Spot and rightfully so, but it could do with more help to see it flourish. Certain areas in the bay are Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Sadly, although these are no take zones both commercial and recreational fishing operators still fish within these areas. I would love to see that the MPAs not only be proactively patrolled but 14

also that they would be increased in size. It’s heart breaking to see for example a company being given the right to fish octopi within an MPA area. Not only is it questionable that the sheer number of octopi traps granted are sustainable, but each year has seen an increase in the number of whales getting entangled in the ropes linking the traps and the buoys on the surface. I would also like to see that the water quality in the bay be addressed in earnest. Although I know that the pumping of sewerage, and other pollutants into the ocean, is not unique to False Bay, it should, by no means, allow for the authorities to turn a blind eye. The body of evidence that shows how important a healthy ocean is to our existence

and survival on Earth is extensive. It can’t be ignored, yet so often it is. It’s up to us, those who love the ocean and who already understand its importance to keep on spreading the message of hope. To grow the support base through our positive actions, caring for and sharing the wonders of the ocean. False Bay is not only my Hope Spot, it’s the place which gives me hope. 15

Puerto Galera - Oriental Mindoro - Philippines

Share your passion for diving wishlist exploring the magical underwater world of Puerto Galera. This fabulous destination offers the perfect mix of diving and culture, hiding surprises for even the most expert of divers in its unique biodiversity and colourful marine creatures. An ideal destination for macro photographers.


+63 917 533 2985



Nauticam NA-D850 THE NIKON D850

Underwater Housing

The new Nikon D850 combines a stunning amount of resolution – 45.7 mega pixels – with the blazing fast autofocus also found in Nikon’s professional D5 camera. In the past the highest resolution Nikon bodies traded continuous shooting speed for mega pixel count, but thankfully that is no longer the case. Upgraded processing allows the D850 to fire at an impressive 7 frames per second, and a large 51 shot Raw buffer provides ample runway for fast action capture. The D850 also inherits the ISO64 base sensitivity from D810. High ISO performance in low light usually gets all the attention, but this extremely low ISO level was key to the excellent sunball capture capability of the D810 camera. The D850 promises more of the same in higher resolution. The Multi-CAM 20K focus system has 153 focus points (99 cross-type sensors), and works in conjunction with a 180k pixel RGB metering sensor.


This metering sensor drives the advanced Nikon exposure system, and is also used to provide scene data for 3D focus tracking, improving accuracy. A new .75x Magnification optical viewfinder is the largest found on any Nikon SLR camera, providing a clear, bright view for framing and focus. Electronic viewfinders and large LCD screens simply can’t match the precision of an optical viewfinder. The D850 offers 4K video capture from the entire sensor width at up to 30 frames per second. This is a key development from Nikon for the motion capture world. Previous offerings have cropped the sensor significantly when capturing 4K, changing the field of view of the attached lens significantly. 4K from the full sensor is extremely convenient, and key for wide angle video. NIKON D850 KEY FEATURES • 45.7MP BSI CMOS sensor • 7 fps continuous shooting with AE/AF • 153-point AF system linked to 180,000-pixel metering system • UHD 4K video capture at up to 30p from full sensor width • 1080 video at up to 120p • 4:2:2 8-bit UHD uncompressed HDMI output while recording to card • 1 XQD slot and 1 UHS II-compliant SD slot • 1840 shot battery life • 3.2″ tilting touchscreen with 2.36M-dot (1024×768 pixel) LCD • Illuminated pushbuttons • 19.4MP DX crop mode THE NAUTICAM NA-D850 UNDERWATER HOUSING Innovation, ergonomics, and reliability are the hallmarks of the Nauticam brand. Every new housing design is carefully crafted based on feedback from Nauticam users around the globe. Feedback gained from the knowledge and experience of Nauticam owners results in every new housing design being better than the last. Key camera controls are placed within an easy reach from the ergonomic, rubberized handles. An incredible amount of design resources go into crafting this layout, but that effort pays off with unmatched ease of use. Controls on the housing are placed exactly where they should be for easiest access in water, regardless of the camera layout. 19

EXTERNAL FLASH TRIGGERING The NA-D850 uses the same integrated LED flash triggering system found in NA-D5 and NA-D500. This low profile housing mounted circuit board is convenient, easy to use, and reliable. This optical flash trigger can fire at the full 7 fps of the camera, making it the ideal solution for the rapid fire fast action shooting that the D850 is so well suited for. Optical systems, with fiber optic cables linking the external flashes to the housing, are far more reliable than any electrical sync cable system. There are no connections to flood, or fragile wires to break, and nearly every popular underwater strobe supports optical triggering. The LED trigger circuitboard is mounted directly to the front of the housing, and connected to the camera with a hotshoe cable. This new system is more powerful than the hotshoe mounted LED triggers used in the past, and is compatible with all currently available optically triggered flashes! Powered by two CR2032 batteries, battery life is measured in the tens of thousands of flashes, driven by incredibly efficient electronics. With good batteries, we expect 3-5 years of service, up to 50,000 exposures. Users of legacy flashes without optical triggering are able to add accessory Nikonos (26074) or Ikelite (26075) style bulkheads for electrical flash sync. These bulkheads plug into the LED trigger board for clean cable routing, and reliable connection. ACCESSORY TTL CONVERTER NA-D850 is also compatible with the Nauticam TTL Converter (26308). A user installable upgrade, the converter provides accurate automatic TTL flash exposure with a number of popular flashes, and offers both 20

optical and electrical strobe triggering in a single unit! Optical triggering, using LEDs integrated into the board and fiber optic cables, works well with modern flashes like Inon Z-240, Sea & Sea YSD2, and more. Electrical triggering supports Ikelite DS- and Sea & Sea YS-250 strobes connected via an electrical sync cord. UNMATCHED ERGONOMICS The right grip is mission control for the D850 camera, accessing many of the frequently used camera functions. Oversized levers are identifiable by feel, allowing tactile operation while framing with the optical viewfinder. The most frequently accessed fingertip controls (Shutter Release, Main Command Dial, and Sub Command Dial, Video Record, and AF-ON) are located here. ISO, the primary exposure control used by DSLR video shooters, is accessed by a convenient thumb lever under the right grip. INFO, useful for calling up the camera settings on the 3.2″ rear color LCD, is placed at the right thumb. A “pinky lever”, placed just under the front subcommand dial, accesses the Fn1 and Pv button. These can be linked to a number of assignable functions. The new AF-Mode Lever is a significant improvement, and one based on feedback from Nauticam customers in the field. Nikon AF Area modes have become so powerful that shooters are regularly switching between 3D Tracking, Auto Area AF, and Single Area modes. The AF-Mode lever is now easily located by feel from the left handle. A separate AF-M lever is positioned above this lever, and identifiable by feel. A double thumb lever accesses playback and the assignable Fn2 Button. 21

EXTENSIVE CUSTOMIZATION FOR A TAILORED ERGONOMIC EXPERIENCE The Nikon D850 camera in a Nauticam NA-D850 housing offers four assignable pushbuttons (AF-ON, Fn1, Fn2, and Pv) that can all be accessed from the housing handles. These custom functions can be overwhelming at first, but the creative options they unlock can be incredibly valuable in the field. In short, these assignable buttons mean less time digging through camera menus to change camera functions, and more time capturing the scene as it unfolds. There isn’t a right way configure these systems. Every photographer and shooting scenario has unique demands. Some ideas are listed below: • 1 Step Spd / Aperture, allows changing exposure settings in full f-stop increments. Think about changing from a wide angle scenic mode with relatively open aperture and slow shutter speed to a close focus wide angle shot that requires a closed aperture to shrink a sun-ball. • My Menu, a customized panel with frequently accessed menus settings. • Access Top Item in MY MENU, actually jumps into a frequently accessed sub menu structure for the top level My Menu selection, saving at least two button presses. (ie min shutter speed in auto iso 22

mode, or quickly define a preset white balance). • Quickly access another metering mode, toggling between the selected metering pattern and an alternate that more appropriately evaluates the current scene. • Flash disable / enable, this is a big one! Toggles external flashes on and off, allowing a switch between artificial light shooting (continuous shooting speed limited by flash recycle, and shutter speed limited by the strobe max sync speed at 1/250) to silhouette mode using only ambient light (full 7 fps continuous shooting speed, unrestricted flash sync speed). • AF-area mode + AF-ON – very cool functionality, for a quick way of accessing a focus mode other than the mode currently assigned and activating it while held down. Placed at the right ring finger via the re-positioned PV lever, the current focus mode be overridden with something like auto area focus for quick grab shots where there isn’t time to move the selected autofocus point, or change focus area patterns. INTEGRATED VACUUM CHECK AND LEAK DETECTION SYSTEM The Nauticam vacuum check and leak detection system is shipped with NA-D850 as standard equipment. Combined with an accessory vacuum valve (PN 25625), this monitoring system provides constant updates on the water tight and safe-to-dive status of the housing. A simple color coded LED lighting system lets the user know that the vacuum is solid, or that the housing is losing vacuum. Leak detection is built into the same circuit, so if there is water intrusion, an audible and visual indication will occur. The Nauticam system is temperature compensated, eliminating false alarms caused by a change in outside temperature, or from a camera heating up on an action packed dive. EASE OF USE No system is easier to assemble or break down. The camera drops into the housing with a quick release camera tray. The camera tray has an extending bracket that allows the AF-M selector to be easily positioned to match the camera. No controls need to be preset, as housing functions for dials and switches align automatically (on/off, af-m, still photo/video). 23

The large 120mm housing port opening allows even the largest popular pro Nikon wide angle lens (14-24 /2.8G) to be used, and the camera can even be mounted in the housing with this large lens attached. VIEWFINDERS The standard optical glass viewfinder is very good and travel friendly, but many photographers prefer the ease of a magnified viewfinder with adjustable diopter. Nauticam produces a “straight” 180º enlarging viewfinder and a 45º angled enlarging viewfinder to enhance the ease of close quarters work often associated with macro shooting. Both viewfinders have high quality optics, and allow bright viewing of the entire image. A patented external dioptric adjustment allows personal adjustment to a sharp-as-a-tack standard underwater and viewfinder changes can be executed in less than 30 seconds without using tools. Exceptional composition and focus accuracy have never been more accessible. PREMIUM PROFESSIONAL OPTICS Experienced shooters know a camera is only as good as the lens in front of it, and the same is true when choosing optics for an underwater camera system. Four optically coated glass dome ports (250mm, 230mm, 180mm, and 140mm diameters) and a series of acrylic ports support popular lenses from Nikon, Sigma, and Tokina. Port configurations are extensively tested at Nauticam to determine the ideal extension ring length for best performance. For macro and super macro shooting, the Nauticam Super Macro Converter is a revolutionary accessory. This is an entirely in house design, optimized for use in water. The water contact correction offers the highest overall sharpness, free from chromatic aberration and purple fringing, with reproduction ratios exceeding 2:1 when used with a Nikon AF-S 105mm /2.8 VR Lens. BUILD QUALITY Nauticam build quality is simply unmatched, using cutting edge product design and modern, innovative manufacturing techniques that result in service-free reliability. A bit like a fine Swiss time piece, the com24

plexity under the hood results in a trouble free user experience that just works, and keeps working for years to come.

More info:

CONTEST Anilao Underwater Shootout The Anilao Underwater Shootout is organized and sponsored by the Philippine Department of Tourism and is held in Anilao that is so popular as one of the premiere macro destinations in the world. The Anilao Underwater Shootout attracts many participants from all parts of the world. The competition judges are multi-awarded photographers from around the world as well. The Anilao Underwater Shootout will be held from November 28, 2017 to Sunday, December 2, 2017. This year’s host resort will be Acacia Resort and Dive Center, where registration, opening and closing ceremonies will be held. Participants may stay in any resort or dive operator of their choosing in the Anilao area. Participating entries must be shot during competition dates.

Competition Class Open Class Open to all participants with any type of camera and accessories. Published and professional photographers are automatically placed in this category.

Compact Class The Compact Class is exclusive for participants using cameras without interchangeable lenses. Mirrorless, SLR, and all similar type cameras are not allowed in the Compact Class. 28

Categories and special awards Macro Any close-up photograph of small subjects and marine life Marine Behavior: Photographs that feature any display of marine behavior such as feeding, breeding, etc.

Nudibranch Portrait Any close-up photograph of any soft-shelled, marine gastropod mollusk species

Fish Portrait Any close-up photograph of any fish species.

Portfolio Participants who submitted entries to the 4 major categories: (1) Macro (2) Marine Behavior (3) Nudibranch Portrait (4) Fish Portrait are automatically entered to compete in Portfolio Portfolio entries will be judges on a per-photographer basis, based on the 4 submissions in the aforementioned categories

Special Awards Creative Macro: a new category this year that allows post-processing of any underwater macro photography taken during the competition dates. This is to promote and allow for participating photographers to express their artistry. For more informations and registration visit the official web portal





Martin Klein



Martin Klein


Sean Steininger 35

Leo3 Plus


Leo3 Wi


Leo3 Smart


Beuchat regulator

The Beuchat V-TWIN is a twin regulator, provided with a 1st stage block that incorporates two separate regulator mechanisms assembled at opposite ends of the same body, one dedicated to the main 2nd stage, the other dedicated to the 2nd stage auxiliary safety system or octopus. If another diver requires emergency assistance, the innovative design allows simultaneous breathing on each of the 2nd stages, the main stage and the octopus, to procure optimum breathing performance. The twin regulator thus allows two divers to breathe in emergency conditions at depths of up to 50 meters. The European EN250-2014 standard provides for use of a 2nd stage octopus at a maximum depth of only 30 meters. Thanks to its patented design, the Beuchat V-TWIN regulator is the only device to break through this limit by pushing the envelope of emergency breathing assistance to a depth of 50 meters. Even so, the simplicity of the V-TWIN (1st stage block with standard piston mechanisms), makes it the ideal all-round regulator for divers travelling to destinations where the available cylinder packs are generally fitted with valves having only one HP port. 38

• First stage dedicated to the main regulator and another dedicated to the octopus and accessories • Perfect regulator for travel because it allows to have one first stage mecanism dedicated to the main second stage, and one first stage dedicated to the octopus and accessories (ex. Direct System) • Second stage balanced • First stages with standard piston built to a simple and highly reliable design • Venturi control



• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

• • • • • • • • • • •

FIRST STAGE Standard piston mechanisms (non compensated) Designed for greater dependability and easier maintenance Composed of two regulator mechanisms integrated in a single body but operating independently Ideal breathing performance in tropical exploration dives First regulator unit (first mechanism) dedicated to the 2nd main stage and HP gauge Second regulator unit (second mechanism) dedicated to the 2nd stage octopus and the Direct System vest balancing hose Non-adjustable MP 5 3/8 MP ports 1 7/16 HP port On First regulator unit (first mechanism): 2 x 3/8 MP ports + 1 x 7/16 HP port On Second regulator unit (second mechanism): 3 x 3/8 MP ports Optimized hose positioning Ergonomic yoke screw HP inlet cap Soft-touch facings on covers Super soft braided MP hose Reduced weight for transport (two regulators in one) SECOND MAIN STAGE Compensating valve regulator mechanism for a greater breathing comfort Adjustable nozzle Polyurethane MP valve Soft-touch cover for larger purge zone Lateral water inlets (to prevent the dynamic effect of water on the membrane) Side-mounted Venturi control lever (Dive and Pre-Dive position) to prevent free-flow when the 2nd stage is not in use (e.g. when jumping into the water) Side mounted adjustment wheel for breathing sensitivity Large exhalation valve made of silicon Compact exhalation deflector Simple and easy to maintain Tough casing 40

OCTOPUS Identical to the second main stage except • Yellow housing for easier identification • 92.5cm long yellow MP hose • No sensitivity adjustment

Checked and adjusted individually on a specialised hyperbaric test bed

More info:


PORTFOLIO Simon Lorenz


Simon’s life evolves around the underwater world. A former Marketing Director he now dedicates his time to curating and leading scuba diving trips and workshops, journalism, pool photography and the distribution of underwater photography products. A life-long traveler who speaks 6 languages and has dived on all 5 continents, he feels at home wherever there is water and animals.

With his travel company INSIDER DIVERS, he and his fellow insiders aim to provide unique diving experiences for groups of like-minded divers. As a PADI instructor and a professional photographer, his key ambition is to further the capabilities of his guests. With specialized itineraries and detailed background presentations these trips are aimed at divers who want to learn more about the animals and habitats that they visit. For those interested in developing their underwater photography skills, Simon provides the perfect environment for this with his photography workshops, in some of the top diving locations. 48




Passionate about photography, his photographs and articles have appeared in a number of publications such as Sport Diver,, Action Diver, AsianDiver, ActionAsia, Plongeurs Intl, UNTERWASSER, Dive Pacific. His work has also been depicted on the cover of a number of these magazines and has been used by NGOs for their charitable work, such as recently on the United Nations CMS Congress. Simon wants to help protect the oceans he loves. As member of the advisory board of the Hong Kong Shark Foundation, he supports activities against shark fin consumption.



He has supported The Nature Conservancy, LumiVoce and other institutions in various projects for ocean conservation. When not travelling Simon runs Pool Portrait, the only underwater pool photography studio in his home town, Hong Kong, where he has been printed several times locally with his work. He has gained recognition for the first ever series of yoga instructors displaying poses under the surface. With his company FiveGills Ltd. Simon imports underwater camera products to Asia, which he distributes to dive shops in several Asian countries. A hands-on marketer he works closely with partners such as Isotta, Saga, Glowdive, Backscatter and others to provide the best possible product solutions to customers. More info:





















TRAVELS Wreck Diving The Million Hope

Words and Pictures

Michela Di Paola


Holidays have begun by now, and I’m here for the umpteenth consecutive year on Elena, the boat of the Sheikh Coast Diving Center in Sharm El Sheikh, in company of new and old friends, looking for a new adventure. The whole group welcomes the guides’ proposal and the boat is heading towards Tiran, overtaking the atolls of Gordon, Thomas, Woodhouse and Jackson. After a few minutes of navigation, we start to

glimpse the surface of the metallic parts belonging to the Million Hope wreck. The Million Hope was a huge cargo ship with 5 large holds and 4 gantry cranes mounted between the tanks for load handling, built at Koyo Dockyard shipyards at Mihara-Hiroshima, Japan in 1972. Originally launched as Ryusei Maru, it began its activity as a cargo ship sailing the commercial routes connecting the Far East with the West, at the service of different companies. It was sold and renamed six times over the years: Pacific Royal in 1975, Linngsbon in 1981, and Feng Shun in 1987, to acquire its latest name, Million Hope, in 1996 when it was sold to Aksonas Shipping Company 76



of Limassol, Cyprus. 175 meters long and almost 25 meters wide, it could navigate at a speed of 17 knots thanks to a single shaft and the thrust of two 6-cylinder, 11,000 horsepower diesel engines. Sailed from the Aqaba port in Jordan on June 19, 1996, the next morning ran aground on the reef near the Nabq coast, a few miles north of Sharm El Sheikh, carrying 26,000 tons of potassium and phosphates, more precisely 15,000 tons potassium and 11,000 phosphate. An aura of mystery wraps, still today, the causes of the accident. Versions indicate the main causes in smoke caused by a fire in the superstructure on board the ship, and the high speed under low visibility conditions. These conditions, or the combination of both, resulted in a drastic reduction in visibility, which led the Million Hope losing its course for a few degrees, causing it to aground on the reef. All the crew, mostly Filipino, clung to the stern of the ship and refused to abandon it, until the time of the tragic epilogue. Egyptian ships and other vessels, in a joint operation that lasted more than 20 hours, rescued all the 25 crewmembers. 79



The Egyptian authorities were also worried about the contamination and deterioration due to the oil and fuel spill from the ship. Fortunately, a rescue operation removed the ship’s load before the sinking and therefore the leaks were minimal/not large. The ship, which remained on the surface for years, is currently underwater on a sandy bottom of 21-24 meters, at 28.03.42N / 34.26.40E. The Million Hope, the second largest wreck in the Red Sea, lies in sailing trim at a depth of 24 meters, with the main deck at about 6 meters and the starboard side parallel to the reef. The hull is broken into two in the central part and a large amount of the superstructures, like the four large cargo cranes that for many years protruded out of the water, were removed during the reclamation work, as well as the huge propeller and the helm blade. At the bottom, around the ship, there are steel objects, remains of the Hey Daroma, a ship that sank in the same place many years before the Million Hope. The dive Everything is ready: marine and weather conditions are excellent, this being a place beaten throughout the year by strong winds and waves. 82






Divers are subdivided into groups according to different needs and experiences: photographers and video operators, rec-divers with mono-cylinder, technical divers with bi-cylinder and scooter, and each guide carries out a briefing to his group. All the equipment and gears are ready and divers, including myself, are all eager to get into the water. We dive under the surface of this

transparent water mirror, leaving behind us the still visible external images, distorted by the sea movements. First, we head to the left of the wreck at a depth of 24 meters, at a huge crawler crane colonized by hard and soft corals, and hundreds of species of fish, especially Lionfish, that have turned this metal conglomeration in their natural habitat. A mysterious environment that does not belong to the outside world, where I am the guest and to whom I must bear tremendous respect. 88

During the descent toward the depth, where images blend and the only reference remains the sunlight, we become witnesses to a tragedy of the past. Time stops underwater, only silence and stillness surround us: there is only you, together with your buddies, astonished by the remains of this great witness of history. We start swimming along the left wall of the huge ship that we could hardly see in its entirety, and overcome the area slashed by the impact, penetrating the hull and the cargo holds. Then, getting up for a few meters, and heading towards the stern deck near the bridge, the guide leads us to the housing and workshop areas, where we can still see, thanks to the light of our torches, old desks and phones, huge mechanical wrenches, milling and grinding machines: testimonies of human life inside the cargo ship. 89

The day is sunny and the abundant light filtering from the many portholes and slits makes the atmosphere inside the wreck somehow mysterious, magic and almost unreal at the same time - an ideal place for photography enthusiasts like me. In the shadows of the passages between one room and the other there are many animal species that made this mass of iron their world. Now it is a job for my photographic ability and my sensitivity to trying to immortalize this world and freeze the emotions through my shots, in order to share them with friends, loved ones or those who share my same passion. The shots follow one after the other, until the shortage of air in the cylinder requires the controlled ascent procedure toward the surface. This sport is able to give you extraordinary and special emotions. When practiced in the company of a group of incomparable friends, led by an excellent team of professionals to make it safer, scuba diving allows you remember these amazing adventures as unforgettable experiences of life. Underwater there are no didactics, schools, languages, cultures, religions or places of origin: it is always and only a large group of people, 90

old and new friends and acquaintances... A unique group, a special sport where there is no competition but only a wonderful collaboration, where we have fun and joke with friends, creating wonderful memories! A friend, not long ago, told me that “Sharm El Sheikh at this moment is only for true connoisseurs� ... well, I confirm and say that not only the Sharm seabed, but also the Sheikh Coast Diving Center is, and will always remain, for true connoisseurs. 91




A unique staff who, with a smile and a joke always ready, is attentive to fulfill your every need both as a diver and as a person, from recreational to disabled divers, from the technical to the video operator or the photographer, all without neglecting security. Competent scuba diving instructors, fun and reliable guides, professionals and friends to refer to, to embark on a new adventure every day. A special thanks to Paola Piccini for the impeccable organization of this holiday, to Pierpaolo Peluso, friend and excellent underwater photographer, always ready to devote me time for advices and new photographic challenges, and to rejoice for the daily progress of an amateur like me, shot after shot. Last but not least, thanks to Rocco Aniello De Sosa, Massimiliano D’Accampo and Maurizio Ridolfo for their valuable advices on assembling gears, technical diving and scootering in company.


Explore Cape Town’s top dive sites

Macro Life

Kelp Forests

Beautiful Reefs


+27 (0)83 268 1851

EVENTS Italy Dive Fest Ustica, 28 August - 3 September 2017 Great success for the event dedicated to the sea and diving, organized by PADI EMEA and DAN Europe in the magnificent scenery of Ustica, with the joint participation of nine local diving centers, in conjunction with the 58th International Festival of Underwater Activities, Ustica Marine Protected Area, the Sea Superintendence, the City of Ustica, Sea Sentinel, WWF, Reef Check and many technical partners.


An original formula combined dives, technical testing, medical researches and training workshops, and has above all satisfied the seawater desire of the over 300 participants involved.

The Big Heat was the protagonist of the event and helped making the days spent on the Sicilian island intense, colorful and exciting since the early hours of the morning, when at the Diving Village a kaleidoscope of activities took off, involving really many divers. The appreciation toward this way of living the sea and the diving activity was great, successful and shared by everyone. Due to the multiplicity of planned activities, there were many experts involved, who provided their services and skills, making them available to interested parties. 101

There were technical sponsors such as Scubapro, Coltri, Mares, Beuchat, Suunto, Aqualung, Y-40 the Deep Joy, Suex, Finclip, Nauticam, who had the opportunity to present the new 2017 products and, at the same time, to test their equipment receiving feedback about everything the divers used underwater for the duration of the entire event. Moreover, also DAN Europe researchers attended, monitoring divers and diving profiles. DAN doctors made many free ENT visits to all divers who applied for it, an activity that falls under the DAN security and prevention campaign about barotrauma and ear problems.


The owners of the various PADI dive centers, and the PADI instructors, had the opportunity to take part in the PADI Business Academy, the new marketing program focused on the latest strategies for acquiring new market shares by learning new skills for the growth of their PADI Dive Center. Not just sea activities, as we said, given the

coincidence with the 58th International Festival of Underwater Activities. Italy Dive Fest was thus an opportunity to animate debates, round tables, book presentations - such as “I am the Sea” by Claudio di Manao -, exhibitions, hikes and, above all, the traditional ceremony for the Golden Trident Award and for the Awards by the International Academy of Underwater Sciences and Techniques. A ceremony that took place in an exceptional naturalistic landscape, very evocative: that of the coastal stretch of Punta Spalmatore lighthouse. The Golden Trident was awarded to Dr. Danilo Cialoni, for his researches’ results on dive’s physiopathology, and as coordinator for DAN Europe’s “on the field” research programs . 103


The 2017 Academy Award have been assigned to the DAN (Divers Alert Network), with the awarding of the five world components: the Americas, AsiaPacific, Europe, Japan and Southern Africa. Motivation: for the tireless help provided to divers under difficulty. Since 1980, DAN promoted underwater medical research and training programs to diving first aid, thus becoming a worldwide benchmark for the safety of all divers.


PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) was awarded an Academy plaque for its effective action in promoting awareness of environmental safety in diving, diving sustainability and, in particular, for the launch of an international program, aMare School:

a pun between the Italian words “mare” (sea) and “amare” (to love), for primary and secondary school students, to promote ocean knowledge and diving among young people.

For a week, Ustica has returned the world capital of diving, as it did not happen for several years. The whole town was involved and actively participated in the success of the event. A very positive balance, not only for the numbers and the great participation, but also for the high level of meetings that have combined tradition and innovation, launching ideas and projects for the future: scientific research, sea related activities, monitoring and protection of our Mediterranean, diving safety and environmental education in favor of young generations.



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DAN EUROPE Good Fortune After Bad A 40-year-old male did four rebreather dives one day from a liveaboard near Socorro Island. Maximum depths of the dives ranged from 35 to 39 metres of seawater; dive times were from 62 to 76 minutes. This was the third day of his dive series, which totaled 10 dives. All dives were uneventful, and he was out of the water at 6 p.m.

The Incident Approximately 3.5 hours after his last dive, the diver experienced nausea, vomiting and difficulty breathing during dinner. His fellow divers reported that he was unable to recognize them and could not recall his home address or date of birth. Fortunately, two physicians were among the passengers, and they examined the diver. The exam revealed dilated pupils, slurred speech, motor weakness and involuntary muscle contractions. The crew activated the vessel’s emergency action plan. They placed the diver on oxygen at approximately 10 p.m. and contacted DAN for medical advice and to initiate an evacuation to a suitable medical facility.

The Complications Located in the eastern Pacific south of the Baja peninsula, Socorro Island is approximately 240 nautical miles from Cabo San Lucas. It is one of four volcanic islands that make up the Revillagigedos Islands (the other three are San Benedicto, Roca Partida and Clarion). The boat ride to Cabo San Lucas takes about 24 hours. A Mexican military airstrip is on Socorro, but the runway is unable to accommodate larger 110

aircraft, including those that can maintain sea-level pressure during flight. Inbound flights require permission from the military and must clear customs and immigration on the mainland before departing. The airstrip is insufficiently lit to allow takeoff or landing at night. As evacuation plans were being made, the diver’s symptoms began to resolve as he breathed supplemental oxygen. DAN established direct contact with the small military facility on Socorro, which has a functional hyperbaric chamber and professional staff. They quickly recognized the severity of the diver’s condition and that a favorable window of opportunity existed to recompress him, so they agreed to receive the patient.


Though there was no physician at the chamber, the diver’s improving condition made treatment at the local facility a good option. The diver arrived at the military facility within four hours of his notable decline. He was able to walk into the chamber, and the chamber operators administered a U.S. Navy Treatment Table 6 with guidance from DAN’s physicians. The treatment led to complete resolution of symptoms, and the diver was released to the boat for monitoring and frequent detailed neurological evaluations by the physicians on board the vessel. A well-known dive medicine physician happened to be aboard another dive boat in the area, and freely rendered his assistance. After a detailed evaluation, he confirmed full resolution of the patient’s symptoms. The diver made an uneventful return home and did not experience any return of symptoms aside from some mild, intermittent general soreness.

Discussion Evacuation of this diver presented many challenges to the medical personnel involved in his care, and there are excellent lessons to be learned at each phase of treatment. First, quick recognition of serious dive-related problems is important. In many cases, denial can lead to a refusal to accept that something is wrong and needs attention. Divers may employ hopeful rationalizations to discount early symptoms, because a declared emergency has the potential to end further diving — for both the injured diver and others. Even when an injury is finally recognized, a desire exists for things to spontaneously improve without the need to notify the divemaster. In this case an astute dive team recognized abnormal symptoms and behaviors that led to a diagnosis of cerebral decompression sickness (DCS). Next, caregivers should administer first aid promptly and conduct further investigation. This dive team quickly provided oxygen, which resulted in dramatic improvement in the diver’s condition, and then identified medical professionals in the group and engaged them in his care. They contacted DAN for help with both treatment suggestions and evacuation options. In remote locations, it is important to be familiar with local medical capabilities and evacuation options before emergencies happen. 112

In this case a two-leg flight would have been necessary to get the diver to a fully capable hyperbaric facility (at the University of California, San Diego). There are hyperbaric facilities in Cabo San Lucas, but getting there would still require air evacuation or a long boat ride. Because of the limited capabilities of the island’s airstrip, an unpressurized aircraft would have to take the patient to the mainland, where a second flight would deliver him to San Diego for definitive recompression therapy. Symptoms developed in the evening, so due to darkness any flight to the island would have to be delayed until morning, introducing further delay. DAN notified the Mexican navy of the diver’s serious condition, and they understood that a delay in treatment could lead to a poor outcome. Despite the busy tempo of the remote diving unit, the commanding officer opened his recompression chamber to the civilian diver. The chamber crew were true professionals who quickly administered the necessary hyperbaric treatment that resulted in complete resolution of all the diver’s symptoms. Doctors on the dive boat reevaluated him and decided he could remain aboard and transit back to the mainland according to the ship’s original itinerary. Three days after his treatment he made an uneventful flight back home. Four fortunate events positively affected this diver’s episode of serious cerebral DCS. First, his well-trained fellow passengers and the crew quickly recognized the problem and monitored his health until he reached the medical facility. Second, they administered oxygen quickly, which resulted in considerable improvement. Third, an expert in diving medicine was diving in the vicinity and rendered assistance. And fourth, the highly professional Mexican navy opened a restricted facility, which enabled definitive treatment and prevented potentially permanent neurologic injury to the diver. He was indeed lucky, but he also was a beneficiary of divers’ willingness to help other divers. Such willingness can overcome significant obstacles, even international borders, as seen in this case. Please take time to thank the professionals who are committed to helping injured divers. In particular, thank those who keep hyperbaric facilities open for diving emergencies 24 hours per day, seven days a week; they are diving’s unsung heroes. 113 • aQua #18

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TheKudaLautBoutiqueDiveResortopenedits gates in July 2017. It is located on the idyllic Siladen - the smallest of the islands in the Bunaken National Park. It consists of • 8COTTAGES(2GardenFamilyCottageswith 2 separate rooms, 4 Beach View Cottages and 2 Beach Villas directly at the beach) • 4 SUPERIOR ROOMS Our DIVE CENTER is a central element of the new resort. It is equipped with a large drying room with separate individual booths for your diveequipmentandwithanAIR-CONDITIONED PHOTO ROOM tostoreandprepareyourphoto or video equipment. On the upper floor of the dive center there is an open-air classroom for seminars and trainings or for showing your underwater pictures of the day to your friends.

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