February 2007

Review: Olympus Stylus 770 SW
Don't want the bulk of a dedicated underwater camera housing? Then consider the 7.1 megapixel Olympus Stylus 770 SW that's waterproof to 33 feet, has a terrific wide-viewing-angle 2.5-inch LCD and is still small enough to fit into any pocket. And it's also shockproof, crushproof and can handle temperatures down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit. We extensively tested the 770 underwater and took it down to almost 70 feet. No problem. Read our full review of the Olympus Stylus 770 SW. -- Posted Monday, February 26, 2007 by chb

New York plans an "Underwater Blueway Trail"
We don't generally think of New York as a scuba location, but the state actually has a very large number of shipwrecks and other interesting underwater scenery. So the state's Division of Coastal Resources is planning an "Underwater Blueway Trail" to promote and preserve New York's shipwrecks and reefs. Depending on the dive location, the state of New York will provide guiding lines, marker buoys, signs, and other site improvements so that divers find a safer underwater environment and the wrecks and reefs themselves will be better protected. -- Posted Monday, February 26, 2007 by chb

Dive into the Past Scuba show
The Great Lakes Shipwreck Preservation Society will hold its eighth annual expo for scuba diving enthusiasts February 16/17. "Dive Into the Past: The Twin Cities Shipwreck-Scuba Show 2007" will be held from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at the Mermaid Event Center in Mounds View. For info, check the very interesting Great Lakes Shipwreck Preservation Society website. -- Posted Thursday, February 15, 2007 by chb

Humans 73,000,000 - Sharks 4
According to a study published in the Ecology Letters journal, about 73 million sharks are killed each year just for their fins. The number of people killed by sharks last year, according to the annual shark attack census: four. Of the four, none were divers. -- Posted Tuesday, February 13, 2007 by chb

Russian Diving Simulator game
There are simulators for just about everything, but not much for divers. Russian software developer Biart is changing that with "Diver: Deep Water Adventures," a PC-based 3D scuba diving simulator. To start out, you buy scuba gear (yes, I was able to recreate my entire ScubaPro outfit!), go for dive training, then go dive. There's a story line with all sorts of adventures. The training takes place in the NEMO33 facility with its deep 115 feet pit and training caves. Then it's on to wrecks, recovery missions, dangerous encounters and so on. The game was done by divers, so it is plenty realistic (there's also a more forgiving arcade mode), but don't expect great polish, and the English needs major work. If nothing else, check out the free Deep Water Adventures demo downloads! -- Posted Tuesday, February 13, 2007 by chb

Review: Caverns Measureless to Man
There are old divers, the dive school saying goes, and there are bold divers. But there are no old, bold divers. Cave diving pioneer Sheck Exley seemed destined to prove them wrong in more than a quarter of a century of stunning, record-setting explorations and accomplishments, but grim reality eventually caught up with him. Caverns Measureless to Man, a must-read for anyone interested in cave diving, was published after his death, 900 feet underwater, at age 45, on April 6, 1994. [Read our review of "Caverns"] -- Posted Thursday, February 8, 2007 by chb

Take Vitamin C and E before a dive?
Researchers at the Department of Physiology of the University of Split School of Medicine in Split, Croatia, conducted a study to determine the impact of antioxidants on diving. The study (see here) is a difficult read for non-scientists, but suggests that taking a good dose of Vitamins C (2 grams) and E (400 international units) a couple of hours before a dive protects against endothelial dysfunction, i.e. the operation of the cells that line the inner surface of all blood vessels including arteries and veins and impact blood pressure, clotting, and atherosclerosis. -- Posted Tuesday, February 6, 2007 by chb

Scuba Hall of Fame in the Caymans?
The Cayman Islands' dream of the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame having a permanent home there seems closer to reality. During their visit to the Caymans for this yearís induction ceremony, members of the Board of Directors of the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame scouted possible locations for the museumís physical location. [read article] -- Posted Friday, February 2, 2007 by chb