June 2007

FBI issues caution to SCUBA shops
washingtonpost.com and other news agencies report that the FBI has recently alerted dive shops around the nation to look out for suspicious divers seeking advanced training, including night diving, diving in murky waters and pipes, advanced navigation and use of underwater vehicles. The advisory was said not to be based on a particular threat but as a routine caution. Instructors should be aware of "odd inquiries that are inconsistent with recreational diving." NAUI estimates there are about 1,800 dive shops around the country. Terrorist fears are not unfounded. In WW II, Italian and British divers successfully launched devastating underwater attacks on enemy warships. [see "Diving as a means for terrorism] -- Posted Friday, June 29, 2007 by chb

Olympus 770SW: 77 feet without an underwater case
Those crazy folks at scubadiverinfo.com did it again, pushing equipment to the very limit. Sometimes we need a camera down there but just don't feel like taking a big, bulky underwater case along for the dive. That's where the Olympus Stylus 770SW comes in. It doesn't need a case. And though its depth rating is just 33 feet ("just" being relative; that is excellent), we've taken it much deeper. Last weekend it came along on the "deep dive" part of a NAUI Advanced Class. Did it survive 77 feet? Did it work down there? Read the Olympus Stylus 770SW at a depth of 77 feet, without case. -- Posted Tuesday, June 19, 2007 by chb

1st annual UNDER THE BLUE competition results
Underwater imagery websites DivePhotoGuide.com and Wetpixel.com teamed up with SCUBA Show to develop an annual international competition for amateurs and hobbyists worldwide. The 1st annual UNDER THE BLUE competition was a great success and entries flooded in from around the globe, and were on display during SCUBA Show in Long Beach, California, June 2nd and 3rd, and are now posted online at the official competition website, www.UnderwaterCompetition.com. -- Posted Monday, June 11, 2007 by chb

ScubaShow 2007
I really wanted to go to ScubaShow 2007 which took place June2nd and 3rd in Long Beach, CA, and do a killer writeup with lots of pics and news for scubadiverinfo.com. But life got in the way and I couldn't. That didn't keep me from analyzing the show and writing down my thoughts on ScubaShow and trade shows in general. Apart from all the seminars and speaches, here's what I missed in terms of exhibitors: Scuba gear manufacturers: 11; Photo and imaging companies: 19; Diveshops: 14; Tour operators and resorts: 87 (!!!); Non-profits: 17; Special gear/instruments/tech diving: 15; Books/magazines/sites: 7; Unrelated stuff: 9; Dive apparel and suits: 10; Insurance: 2; Dive accessories: 9. next year, definitely. [Read contemplations about ScubaShow and shows in general] -- Posted Sunday, June 10, 2007 by chb

Olympus releases new underwater camera housings, more
To be honest, sometimes we don't know how they do it and justify it, but Olympus keeps bring out new waterproof underwater cameras, cameras with underwater modes, and any number of underwater cases. They just announced the elaborate PT-E03 housing for the Evolt E-410 digital SLR (for our detailed review of the E-410's predecessor, the E-330, click here). The E-410/PT-E03 also gets a new PPO-E05 underwater lenss port for the 14-42mm lens. There are also 133-feet deepwater housings for the Olympus SP-550 UZ, Stylus 770 SW, Stylus 760 and FE-230. New is the UFL-1 underwater slave flash for use with all new SP and Stylus camera housings and most of the older digital camera underwater housings. It requires no cables and enables divers to capture stunning images even in the darkest waters. Also new (and appreciated!) are an adjustable float strap and silicone skins for the Stylus SW Series. [see new Olympus underwater gear] -- Posted Monday, June 4, 2007 by chb