December 2009

Full review: Olympus E-620 with PT-E06 underwater case
The Olympus E-620 is a versatile 12.3-megapixel digital SLR that offers an excellent balance of performance, quality and features in a package of modest size and weight. Combined with the Olympus PT-E06 underwater housing and a couple of Olympus UFL-2 underwater strobes, it makes for perhaps the best consumer-level underwater camera rig we've tested. The camera itself lists for US$699 with a 14-42mm Zuiko Digital lens. [Read full review of the Olympus E-620 digital SLR camera with PT-E06 underwater housing] -- Posted Thursday, December 31, 2009 by chb

Best photography books of 2009
There's a lot of good photography books out there, and you can learn a lot from them. Editor Carol Cotton picked the best ones of 2009, including a description of each. [See the Best Photography Books of 2009] -- Posted Wednesday, December 30, 2009 by chb

153 scuba-diving Santas set world record
A group of UK scuba divers brought together through a diving forum called Yorkshire Divers, dresses up in santa costumes each year to raise money for a charity. In 2007 they raised a few hundred pounds with 8 participating santas. Last year they had over 80, and this year they set a world record with 153 simultaneous scuba diving Santas at an inland dive site called Vobster Quay in Somerset. -- Posted Tuesday, December 22, 2009 by chb

Guanahacabibes (Cuba) and Scuba Diving
Too bad we can't dive in Cuba. [See Guanahacabibes and Scuba Diving] -- Posted Thursday, December 17, 2009 by chb

Tiger Woods' private liveaboard
Ahh... how nice it must be to be really rich. Tiger Wood's US$22 million yacht apparently measures 155 feet, which makes it larger than almost all liveaboards. And it's nicely equipped with an 8-person jacuzzi, a gym, a theater projection system, a gourmet kitchen, BBQ grill, two motor scooters, scuba facilities, and an elevator. [See Tiger's yacht and a slide show of what it looks like inside] -- Posted Monday, December 14, 2009 by chb

Free iPhone dive site database app, the world's largest online dive site database, now has a free iPhone application where you can search for dive sites, read about dive sites, and also describe and rate dive sites. The app provides access to almost 12,000 dive sites all over the world. Search for "divetime" in the iPhone app store. -- Posted Monday, December 14, 2009 by chb

Replace your Zodiac with a ScubaCraft!
From the extremely cool and expensive adult toys front: the ScubaCraft! It's a super-elegant speedboat that can be used just for fun or also as a yacht tender, and it can also dive. Available in a 3 person and a 6 person version, the ScubaCraft uses a standard 4-cylinder motor for speeds up to 50 mph when on the surface, and a number of electric thrusters when underwater. Maximum depth is 100 feet (with a 160 feet option), and you need scuba gear when underwater. [See the ScubaCraft website -- Posted Friday, December 11, 2009 by chb

Review: Turks & Caicos Explorer II liveaboard spent a week on Explorer Ventures' Turks and Caicos Explorer II liveaboard, a large, spacious (124 feet) liveaboard vessel that offers incredibly easy and enjoyable access to numerous dive sites around the Turks and Caicos Islands. A great crew, excellent food, generously sized facilities and five dives every day (if you're up to it!) make this weeklong trip unforgettable. Pricing is reasonable, dive sites diverse and you even get to see sharks. Compared to its primary competition -- the Aggressor -- the Explorer Ventures boat is older but is slightly larger, has an extra upper deck, and trips are somewhat less expensive. [Read full review of the Explorer Ventures Turks & Caicos Explorer II]
-- Posted Friday, December 4, 2009 by chb