January 2010

Scuba Hall of Fame names 2010 inductees
The International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame will induct the following honorees in a January 30, 2010 celebration on Grand Cayman: Dr. Eugenie Clark, Wyland, Nick Icorn, Francis Toribiong, as well as the following early diving pioneers: Louis Boutan, Yes Le Prieur, Benoit Rouquayrol, Auguste Denayrouze and Henry Fleuss. -- Posted Friday, January 29, 2010 by chb

Panasonic introduces LUMIX TS2, waterproof to 33 feet
In an attempt to catch up with Olympus and Canon in the waterproof camera market, Panasonic introduced the new LUMIX DMC-TS2, a successor to the company's first rugged digital camera designed for active outdoor use, the LUMIX DMC-TS1. Featuring HD video recording capability, the new 14.1-megapixel LUMIX TS2 further strengthens its toughness when compared to its predecessor and is waterproof to 33 feet, shockproof to 10 feet, freezeproof to 14 degrees Fahrenheit and dustproof. The TS2 has a 4.6X optical zoom that starts wide at 28mm, and a 2.7-inch high-res LCD. No word on pricing and availability yet. -- Posted Thursday, January 28, 2010 by chb

Report on coral bleaching in Florida
Most divers have seen coral bleaching, the whitening of corals that occurs when the coral's symbiotic algae dies off. Most generally blame that on pollution or global warming, but apparently coral is very sensitive to cold water as well. A report released by The Nature Conservancy describes coral bleaching in Florida due to recent water temperatures dropping to 52 degrees. The coral reefs of the Florida Keys are the basis of a unique and diverse ecosystem that forms the third largest barrier reef in the world. Reef-related expenditures generate more than $4.4 billion annually in southeast Florida and reef recreation supports more than 70,000 jobs (2001).[See report on coral bleaching by The Nature Conservancy] -- Posted Wednesday, January 27, 2010 by chb

Competition for Liquid Image masks?
We're high on the Liquid Image scuba video masks (and they just released some more cool new underwater products at the 2010 CES show in Las Vegas), but now it seems like they have some competition from a video mask sold at Etronixmart. The mask apparently takes 1280 x 960 video, stored on 4GB internal memory, max depth is 200 feet, and you operate it with a magnetic ring. -- Posted Tuesday, January 12, 2010 by chb

Japanese Whaler rams, sinks Sea Shepherd catamaran
The ongoing altercations between Japanese whaling boats and the Sea Shepherd conservation organization (documented in the Whale Wars" TV coverage) escalated January 6, 2009, when the Japanese "security" ship Shonan Maru 2 rammed the Sea Shepherd's US$2 million catamaran Ady Gil, causing catastrophic damage. Japan continues to kill whales despite a worldwide moratorium. Click on the image for a larger version, and see Sea Shepherd coverage and video on CNN. -- Posted Thursday, January 7, 2010 by chb

Kodak introduces rugged waterproof HD vidcam
Eastman Kodak Company introduced the KODAK PLAYSPORT Video Camera, a rugged, durable and pocket-size HD video camera with a 2-inch display, a SDHC card slot for up to 32GB, and ability to capture full 1080p HD video. There's HDMI output (cable included), face tracking, electronic image stabilization, the camera can handle ten feet of water without extra housing (let's hope someone will make an deepwater case for it), you can also capture 5-megapixel stills, and it'll be available in April 2010 for just US$149. -- Posted Wednesday, January 6, 2010 by chb

Star Trek wetsuits!
If you're a diver and a Star Trek fan, there's probably nothing cooler than a custom-made Star Trek wetsuit. Yes, they are available in blue, red, or gold and decked out with the original rank insignias. They are made to order, available in 3/5/7mm, and cost US$434 to US$449, minus a discount if you are a member of the Roddenberry Dive Team, run by Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry's son. Not inexpensive, but also not unreasonable for a custom suit, and priceless for Star Trek fans! [See Star Trek wetsuits] -- Posted Monday, January 4, 2010 by chb