January 2011

Thailand bans scuba on damaged coral reefs
According to an article in British MailOnline, Thailand is banning scuba divers from dozens of dive sites to protect the deteriorating coral reefs in the Andaman Sea, which apparently is seeing the worst case of coral bleaching in a decade. While it is generally accepted theory that unusually high surface water temperatures cause the bleaching, some marine scientists claim that unregulated tourism - including people walking on coral, mooring of boats over reefs and contaminating the water - is to blame, hence the closing of the dive sites. Thailand's National Parks director said, "We did not close all of the national parks, just some of the dive sites. Tourists can still go see the forests and the mountains in these parks." [See article] -- Posted Monday, January 24, 2011 by chb

USS Kittiwake sunk off Grand Cayman
There's a new wreck to dive on Grand Cayman. The USS Kittiwake, a 251-foot former submarine rescue ship going back to 1945, was sunk in 60 feet of water as an artificial reef on January 5, 2011, at the northern end of Seven Mile Beach, on the West or lee side of Grand Cayman just off of the Sand Chute Dive site. There are some great YouTube videos of the sinking and then the first dive. Also check the Kittiwake official website. -- Posted Friday, January 7, 2011 by chb

Kodak releases first waterproof digital camera
Kodak introduced its first waterproof (up to 10 feet) digital still camera that is also dustproof to withstand dirt, dust and sand. The 12mp EASYSHARE SPORT has a 2.4-inch LCD, Kodak’s Smart Capture feature, multiple scene and color modes, and will be available in white, grey, red, yellow and blue for US$79.95 in spring 2011. -- Posted Wednesday, January 5, 2011 by chb

$500 Underwater Tripod... No Thanks!
While I've got most of the video gear I need, I still don't have an underwater tripod. No problem, it can't cost that much, right? Wrong! Most tripods cost between $400 and $500. After all the money I've spent on lenses, housings, video lights, memory cards, no I have to spend several hundred more bucks on a tripod? Not necessarily. Check it out my homemade underwater tripod here: $500 Underwater Tripod... No Thanks! -- Posted Monday, January 3, 2011 by jroualdes

New York State Underwater Blueway Trail Pilot Project
Many years ago I was working on an "Urban Cultural Park" project back in New York. The idea was highlighting and linking urban cultural resources in sort of a master plan. Now, New York is contemplating the New York State Underwater Blueway Trail Pilot Project, a scuba diving trail with the goal of boosting heritage tourism by preserving and promoting significant underwater sites such as the numerous shipwrecks in New York's lakes and shores. [See article in the Saratogian] -- Posted Monday, January 3, 2011 by chb