|That gigantic popping sound you heard was from the huge crowbar they used to get me out of the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Scuba divers tend to love the equipment - toys, really - that the sport requires. At the annual convention of the Diving Equipment & Marketing Assn. (DEMA) (www.dema.org), manufacturers made sure we found out how badly we needed to replace our outdated gear with this new whiz-bang stuff. (Click Photos.)
Divelink International Technologies demonstrated the latest wireless underwater communications technology.
Their feature innovation is an integrated system for surface radio communications and portable phones - a first in the industry. Using a specialized adaptor, a cellular phone can be plugged into Divelink's modified headset surface unit, allowing divers to communicate with other divers around the world while the dive is in progress. Using this technology the dive can be broadcast directly from the ocean floor without pre-recording or time delay.
System innovations include:
Divelink International Technologies Inc. specializes in hands-free wireless underwater communications, supplying the Divelink system to almost 60 countries worldwide. As the next generation of wireless underwater communications, Divelink is a powerful dive tool, appropriate for search and rescue and military applications as well as sports diving and instructional use. For information and product specifications visit www.divelink.net
B.U.G watch features include:
Divelink International Technologies Inc. specializes in hands-free wireless underwater communications, supplying the Divelink system to almost 60 countries worldwide. As the next generation of wireless underwater communications, Divelink is a powerful dive tool, appropriate for search and rescue and military applications as well as sports diving and instructional use.
Malaysia's Secret Gardens revealed by international award-winning underwater photographer Michael AW.
The sea of Sarawak is located right in the heartland of the epicenter of marine bio-diversity - the richest in the world. The region is renowned to harbour over 3000 species of fishes and invertebrate life in unimaginable numbers. The Philippines in the north, Bali, Kalimantan, Sulawesi and neighbour state Sabah, all internationally acclaimed top destinations for snorkelers, underwater photographers and scuba divers from the world over. Books and magazine editorials about these places are published over and over again. Yet beneath Sarawak remains an enigma, shrouded in the mist of the Borneo Sea. There are very few pictures published of the life beneath the waves of one of the world's last remaining pristine reefs.
"Underwater Jungles," a new book by Michael AW encapsulates the reefs off the Miri, Northern coast of Sarawak illuminating them through the finest photographic imagery never before seen in one volume. They are new pictures; they are an exploratory documentation of impressions that thrilled the senses. The imagery reveals the secret gardens of Sarawak in flamboyant colours and the animals that live in this biological wonderland. Immense has never been so big nor numbers so uncountable, colours never so vivid or so rich.
With the objective of enlightening the local people, students and divers to what lies beneath the reefs of Miri and the need for its preservation, 'Underwater Jungles' show off the luxuriant habitats, flora and fauna of the Miri-Sibuti patch reef system. Though seemingly weak in pelagic biomass, the diversity of reef fishes, invertebrates, coral meadows, sea fans, sea whips and soft corals are compatible to those of the Maldives and PNG both rated to be the most prolific in the world. There are not many reefs in such immaculate condition remaining in South East Asia.
Using state of the art underwater photographic equipment the book comprised of HMI and fluorescent imagery never before published in any coffee-table book of the sea. Miri's reefs harbour an extraordinary abundance of invertebrates that fluoresces green, yellow, orange, purple and blue. Though primarily the book shall focus on seascapes, reef fishes, invertebrates and ecology of coral reefs, a chapter shall be included featuring marine life supported by oil platforms, wrecks and artificial reef systems.
The book is scheduled for official release in conjunction with Visit Sarawak Year 2003, and advance copies were available by late October. For more information about supporting the production of "Underwater Jungles" or diving in Sarawak, contact Gracie Geikie at Seridan Mulu, Tel: 60 (0) 85 414300 Fax: 60 (0) 85 416066, E-mail: email@example.com For more information about Michael AW - www.michaelaw.com
"The coral reefs of Miri, Sarawak, are a natural treasure for Sarawak, in fact they are a national treasure for all of Malaysia. These reefs are among the best and healthiest in the whole country of Malaysia." - Douglas Fenner, Ph.D., Australian Institute of Marine Science.
Books by the same author: "Celebrate the Sea"; "Beneath Bunaken"; "Dreams From a Rainbow Sea"; "Tropical Reef Fishes"; "Tropical Reef Life"; "Staghorn Corals".
I lived in the Yucatan many years before commercial tourism and sports divers discovered the Mexican/Mayan paradise.
I am happy to report that the country and the dive resorts have taken great strides in preserving the natural elements that bring divers to this historic coast.
The latest entry in the diver resort market is the Playa Sol Resort (click first photo in the feature) that is immersing itself in the Mayan wrold through the spectacular sunken Mayan City. You can dive or snorkel the reefs at Columbia and Palancar or admire the animals in thei zoo. Take a waverunner or parachute sail fromt he watersports center or even better a Sea Glacial kayak ride. Then sit under the largest palapa on the island and enjoy the international cusiine. www.playasol.com.mx
Jetsetters Magazine stopped in to speak with Heidi Alfrey, offering underwater weddings in Maui. The ordained minister can get you hitched fathoms below the sea with her Wet and Wild Wedding packages like the Pulu Ahiu Male'ana, or for deep commitments, the Hohonu Komike held at a maximum depth of 100 feet. The Black Pearl Wedding, or 'Ele'ele Momi is held as a night dive. The Half Moon shaped Molokini is the description for the Ka Mahina Molokini. Thebig Kahuna total blowout is Nui Kahuna. And one of the most spectacular weddings is on Lanai, the Cathedral Male'ana. Conact Heidi for more information at www.mauiweddingminister.com
Air Fiji Dive Flights
Diving Fiji just became a little easier and cheaper. Once you land in Fiji, Air Fiji has just your ticket for dive adventures with the Discover Fiji Pass. The pass is good for 30 days on four outer island flights except to Lakeba, Tonga, Vanuabalavu, Cicia, Moala, Koro, or Tuvalu. The price is only US$279 and each additional flight is only $90. What a great way to see the spread out archipelago. For info: www.airfiji.net or info@fiji-TravelAlliance.com
Sam's Dive Tours - on Palau has been offering great diving adventures for over ten years, and he has been consistantly voted best tour operator on the islands in the western Pacific by numerous dive magazines. Sam now offers golfing, kayaking, fishing and snorkeling expeditions. Sam is well known for his great prices and quality resorts. Book any group or individual trip to Palau to dive with Sam's Dive Tours and you will receive a free Chandelier Cave dive and copy of either Kevin Davidson's book "Palau Dive Sites, History and Culture" or "Best of Palau" video. Visit Sam at www.worldofdiving.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
New Ritz Carlton Dive Package
The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas now offers guests the opportunity to explore the Caribbean Sea under the guidance of expert instructors as part of the resort's new four- and seven-night dive vacation packages. The packages, created for both advanced and novice divers, includes breakfast for two daily and a scuba refresher course. The four-night package also includes two two-tank dives per guest and the seven-night package also includes four two-tank dives per guest. For beginner divers, one of the two-tank dives can be replaced with class and pool training or an equal number of snorkel eco-tours. Rates for the four-night package begin at $350 per room, per night and rates for the seven-night package begin at $364 per room, per night. Dive operators at the Ritz-Carlton provide guests with the ultimate in personalized service and safety and more than 20 years of local marine experience.
Feature compiled by Robert LaGrone and Kriss Hammond.