JANUARY 2011: My Surface Interval named one of the best scuba diving blogs

Monday, January 18, 2010

Scuba Diving Mask Fog Wiper

Scuba diving is a sport for those obsessed with gear, but I ask you!

Below is an image for the Scuba Diving Mask Fog Wiper

"This fog wiper is a manual device that allows the user to slide a magnet on the outside of the glass, causing an inside magnet to move in unison and wipe off fog. SIMPLE! This product works even with prescription lens masks," reads the sales description.

Or....you could just try the spit and rinse approach.

British diver lost in Red Sea

News from AFP wire posted late on Sunday.
Egyptian rescue boats searched with fading hope for a British tourist on Sunday who was lost while scuba diving in the Red Sea, one of the rescuers said.
The three boats focused their search in an area 13 kilometres (eight miles) south of the Red Sea port town of Safaga, where the 45-year-old tourist was last seen on Saturday.
He was among a group of 12 British scuba divers. The rest of the group made it safely to shore.
Essam Mahran, in charge of rescue operations with the Red Sea Association for Diving and Marine Activities, said the tourist was an expert diver, but hopes of rescuing him were dimming.

Top Ten Coral reef dives

Top10list has come up with the ten most beautiful reefs in the world. What do you think?

1. The Great Barrier Reef, Australia

The largest on the planet, this has inner and outer reefs, exotic fishes and corals that are not found elsewhere. The Great Barrier Reef has a vast coral diversity and species sprawl in abundance. This natural wonder is best visited in dry months when the weather is cool and the water is much clearer. There are other reefs in Townsville and to name a few are the Wheeler’s Reef, Davis Reef, Broad Hurst Reef and Bowden Reef.

2. The Palancar Reef, San Miguel de Cozumel, Mexico
More of a garden than a reef, this is also known as a coral. The colors of the corals here are amazing and make you wonder if there was such a profusion of color anywhere else. It is bound to take your breadth away with exotic selections of lobsters, crabs, sting rays and barracudas; a delightful holiday if you are one who wants to witness the Garden of Eden underwater.
3. Raja Ampats, Indonesia

This has an abundant assortment of coral species with large and different schools of fishes, lots of molluscs and other marine life. It has a staggering amount of coral with 600 varieties of hard coral and 1200 varieties of fishes. There is a huge population of the damsel fish here and this reef is located in a part called the coral triangle. The reefs are still in pristine condition with very little explorations and you can still find corals in the same way they were formed.
4. Grand Central Station and Chimneys, Fiji

This is also called the “Soft Coral Capital of the World” and is indeed very aptly named so. The Namina Marine Reserve has it all from mangroves and sea grass beds, with vertical walls – you have dominance of sea fans, sponges and crinoids. It is home to more than 1000 varieties of invertebrates, 400 discovered corals and 445 marine plants that have been documented. This is the migratory place for cetaceans like bottlenose dolphins, spinner dolphins, minke whales, pilot whales, sperm whales and several turtle species that are otherwise endangered.
5. Belize Barrier Reef, Belize
This is the second largest barrier reef system and there are huge varieties of corals and marine life with over 300 different varieties of fishes and 65 different corals and new ones getting discovered with every passing year. You also have turtles, manatees and sea birds; you are bound to be overwhelmed with shapes and sizes of corals found here.

Details of the remaining five outlined below on Top10List
6. Magic Passage and Planet Rock, Papua New Guinea
7. Andaman Sea Reefs, India
8. Aldabra Atoll, Seychelles
9. Diving the S.S. Yongala, Queensland, Australia
This is called the best dive in and the best wreck in the world. It is home to Flying Manta Rays, Eagle Rays, Jacks, Wrasse, Barracudas, Turtles, Bull Sharks, Octopuses and Sea Snakes.
10. Tubbataha Reef, Philippines

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Shipworms threated underwater shipwrecks

SHIPWORMS, God love 'em. Because the authorities in the Baltic don't. For these pesky wood boring marine molluscs are munching shipwrecks at an increasing rate.

Now a new project has been set up to tackle the little blighters.

Shipworms require a relatively high level of salt for their activity, and the Baltic Sea with its low salinity, has provide natural protection of the underwater cultural heritage for centuries.

Now scientists say have recorded them spreading into the area, probably as a result of climatic changes. And with an estimated 100,000 well-preserved shipwrecks and other maritime related constructions at the bottom of the Baltic able to provide archaeological info it is feared the shipworms could destroy significant finds.

Wreck Protect, which is funded by the European Commission, will now examine the growing spread of Shipworm into the Baltic Sea, and develop guidelines for protection of the submerged cultural heritage.

The very aggressive marine borers can normally destroy wooden material exposed to seawater within a very short period of time; years or even months.

According to research, the coastal waters of eastern Denmark has seen increased activity of shipworm and a study has shown they are active in the coastal waters of northern Germany.

The main objective of WreckProtect is to secure the preservation of two important objects of cultural heritage in marine environments, shipwrecks and submerged archaeological settlements

Friday, January 15, 2010

Are you addicted to scuba diving?

Website Aquaviews have come up with a list of things which will let you know whether you are addicted to scuba diving or not. Here are ten of my faves.....

You Know you’re Addicted to Scuba Diving When..
1. You physics at schools but you can amazingly calculate the partial pressure of a gas in equilibrium and its solubility and absorption rate by the body during a dive using Henry’s Law
2. Every morning the sound of shaving foam (psshhhht) makes you want to go diving.
3. You have more Cert cards than credit cards in your wallet.
4. You’re more worried about your divers insurance payments than your health insurance.
5. You see a perfectly good ship and think that would make a nice wreck to dive in.
6. You spend most of your time picking apart the unrealities in the latest Hollywood diving flick rather than watching the movie.
7. You answer “Suunto” when asked what kind of computer you use.
8. You spit on your car windshield to prevent it from fogging up.
9. When you think your neighbors’ vacation to Belize was a waste of money cos they didn’t do any Scuba Diving.
10. You can’t remember your wedding anniversary but always know when Discovery Channels “Shark Week” is on.
For the rest of the list click here.

Let me what others you can think of.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Stingrays are clever and use water as a tool

Freshwater stingrays use water as a "tool" in problem-solving tests, scientists have found.

Researchers gave South American freshwater stingrays tests and found they learned to use jets of water as a tool to extract a meal of hidden food from a plastic pipe.

It reveals that the fish, once thought a "simple reflex animal", have a bit more about them than first thought.

In his research paper abstract, Dr Michael Kuba who led the scientific research wrote: "Testing the cognitive abilities of cartilaginous fishes is important in understanding the evolutionary origins of cognitive functions in higher vertebrates. We used five South American fresh water stingrays in a learning and problem-solving task. All five subjects quickly learned to use water as a tool to extract food from the testing apparatus. The experimental protocol, which gave the animals the opportunity of correcting a wrong visual cue decision, resulted in four out of five subjects correcting an error rather than making an initial right choice. One of five subjects reached 100% correct trials in the visual discrimination task. The ability to use water as an agent to extract food from the testing apparatus is a first indication of tool use in batoid fishes."

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Even more underwater photographs with the Canon G9

Some more underwater pics from the G9. Let me know what you think by clicking on the word 'comment' below to ... comment.

Image that typified house reef diving, with snorkelers always looking with interest at what we were doing. Shutter speed 1/500. Ap 4.0 ISO 100. Really like the pic. It would be a nicer image if the water around the diver was empty of other bods but was caught be the silhouette of the diver. I'll try and organise something next time to get the look.

This little fish a couple of centimetres long was beavering around the reef so I used macro. Couldn't get him to stay still long enough to get him completely in focus, but still like it. 1/500; 3.8; 100; flash on

Better version than one in earlier post. Got the vibrant yellow of the fish to help it stand out from dull background. Composition still needs some work though. 1/320; 2.8, 200

After seeing David Doublilet's book Fishface with lots of extreme close-ups of fish I thought I'd give it a go. Had to crop a little. 1/320; 4.5; 400. Think I knocked the ISO setting on camera or left it on high value afte another shot and didn't realise, hence the grain. Another important lesson.

Shot of me courtesy of my wife using our old IXUS 500 in full auto by manual white balance. Like the silhouette. Hell I like it that there is a pic of me for a change.

Amazing coral pinnacle but without wide angle I was some way off when I took pic so it has had some post pic work on it. 1/40; 2.8; 200.

Amazing to see two morays but didn't really grasp the opportunity as we were surrounded by a giant wall of glass fish (see further on down) so just knocked off a couple of frames. Missed opportunity. Too much red in image.

Coral grouper.

Part of the wall of glass fish snaking around a coral pinnacle. Amazing spectacle. See earlier post from December with some video of it. 1/60; 3.2; 100. Same setting for shot below. Cropped a little. Probably needed to shoot with quicker shutter speed because the fish aren't pin sharp.

My blue water shot. 1/250; 4.0; 100; flash on. Liked the atmosphere with the sun rays. Just needed something to swim in front of the camera.

Really liked this one of Alison. Poor composition meant I cropped off a bit of her fin. 1/500; 2.8; 400. Same problem as another shot. Camera set up for something else and forgot to return i to normal settings before the opportunity presented itself.

Simple reef shot that when I came to edit my images cropped quite nicely with the three fish next to the soft coral. 1/125; 4.0; 400.

There you go, hope you like. Not great but a whole lot better than my first underwater stuff. I'm possibly fiddling too much with the settings and need to find the smaller number of best settings and then just tweak them accordng to the situation.
Feel free to comment, criticise, rip them to pieces by clicking below.

Lundy becomes England’s first Marine Conservation Zone

Lundy Island, one of England’s most spectacular marine habitats, has today (12/01/2010) become England’s first Marine Conservation Zone.

While the creation of the marine conservation zone (MCZ) around the island under the Marine Act is effectively just a name change for the site, which has been a marine nature reserve for more than 20 years, it is hoped it will become a blueprint to the way the seas around the UK are protected from exploitation.

Over the next two years, plans for a network of protected zones will be drawn up around English, Welsh and Northern Irish waters.

Its new status establishes it as the first example of the new approach to marine protection being taken under the Marine and Coastal Access Act, which will contribute towards the creation of the network of "ecologically coherent and well-managed marine protected areas" by 2012, said the Government's conservation agency Natural England.

Chief Executive Dr Helen Phillips, Natural England’s Chief Executive, said: “As England’s first Marine Conservation Zone, Lundy represents the first step in delivering the marine protection ambitions of the Marine and Coastal Access Act, and it is fitting that an area of such obvious environmental importance is being designated in this way.”

The seas around Lundy, off the coast of Devon, are home to an impressive range of wildlife, such as grey seals, red band fish, crawfish and at least eight species of coral, which include pink sea fans, red sea fingers and sunset cup corals). Lundy is also the only place in the UK where five cup corals exist together.

Natural England video

Its importance was recognised by its designation as a Marine Nature Reserve in 1986 and it was also designated as a Special Area of Conservation in 2000 in recognition of the significance of its special habitats, which include reefs, sea caves and sandbanks.

Natural England said the new Lundy Marine Conservation Zone will cover the same area as the former Marine Nature Reserve. The existing management of the island’s waters, including the No Take Zone, will remain in place unchanged.

Helen Phillips added: “Lundy is a showcase of what a well protected marine environment can become. Today’s designation ushers in a new era of marine protection and it is important that the momentum to develop more Marine Conservation Zones is now sustained.”

Huw Irranca-Davies, Minister for the Marine Environment, said: "We can't always see what is happening to the wildlife and habitats under our seas, but they need just the same protection as those on land and this world-first in legislation will provide that."

Lundy’s designation accompanies a much wider project to identify and designate new MCZs elsewhere. The MCZ Project is inviting people who use and value the sea to recommend the locations of future MCZs.

There are currently four independent, stakeholder-led MCZ Projects – Balanced Seas (south-east), Finding Sanctuary (south-west), Irish Sea Conservation Zones (Irish Sea) and Net Gain (North Sea).

The Marine Conservation Society is also running a campaign on the issue.

Monday, January 11, 2010

More underwater photographs using Canon G9

Following an earlier post re using the manual functions of the Canon G9 to take underwater pics below are a few more examples from a recent trip to the Red Sea.

Probably should have included some of the other tries to see where things have been improved - but then I would have needed a massive memory card.

I used custom white balance on all of them, taking a reading from the palm of my hand or the sand, except where flash was used.

So in no particular order here goes.......

Napoleon Wrasse. Quite shallow at about ten metres which is why some of the colours still remain. Shutter speed 1/60. Ap 2.8. ISO 200

Red Sea Bannerfish. Got the right angle, to get some blue between fish and reef. Looked better on the camera screen and not quite sharp enough when downloaded. Shutter speed 1/80 Ap 4.0. ISO 80. With my new wide angle lens I will be able to get closer and still keep the ref in shot and get the image sharper.
Blue spotted ray shutter speed 1/60, aperture 2.8. No flash. I've had to crop a little to get more of a focus on the eyes, and it shows. Lesson learned: get closer next time.

Giant moray, about 8-10m down. Had a bit of time with him. 1/80; 3.5; 200. Flash on hence colour in his face. Debating whether red needs to be toned down a bit.

One of my faves from the holiday because of the composition and atmosphere despite it being quite grainy. No wide angle lens (soon to be rectified) so shot from some distance away. For some reason, the shutter speed wasn't quite right 1/500 so the ISO was high at 400. An opportunity that I didn't want to miss but lesson learned: have my camera settings ready.

A reasonable one of an anemone fish and the little friends. Shutter 1/60 (probably needs to be faster with these tricky little buggers) and aperture 3.8. Flash was on.

Too washed-out to be really good, but I liked the blue water (almost like a painting) and the two fish in shot. 1/125; 4.0; 100

Lionfish. Just couldn't get low enough angle in the water to put a bit of blue between fish and reef. Ap 2.8, shutter speed 1/30. Maybe that is why water has a purple hue. Found an article giving some hints and tips about shooting good blue water. If it's any good I'll let you know. Reef in bottom left corner also a distraction.

Tried b&w with the remnants of the Yolanda wreck because a lack of w/a meant I was someway off the reef. Can't say I'm too excited. 1/60 and 3.5.

Another Moray. Full on face at about 6m. Flash on, hence the colour. 1/60; 2.8; 80

Let me know what you think, and I'll post a few more tomorrow.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

First pictures of Australian hospital ship Centaur at bottom of the ocean

The bow of the Austr alain hospital ship Centaur torpedoed during Wolrd War IIwas seen for the first time in 66 years today after is was found at the bottom of the ocean.

The clearly-marked Centaur was lost on May 14, 1943 and only found off Australia's northeast coast last month when a high-tech search uncovered it at a depth of 2,059 metres (1.3 miles), according to news agency AFP.
Search director David Mearns said he hoped Sunday's photographic proof would remove all doubt and "hopefully end a 66-year quest for unanswered questions and bring comfort to many families across Australia and beyond".
Images of the wreck, more than 2km (1.3 miles) below the sea, were captured by a remote-controlled underwater camera.
"The wreck was found leaning over towards its port side at an angle of approximately 25 degrees and the bow is almost completely severed from the rest of the hull in the area where the single torpedo hit," Mr Mearns.

"Although the wreck is very badly damaged, characteristic markings and features that identify the wreck as the Centaur were clearly visible."
Australia believes the ship was struck without warning by a Japanese submarine but Japan says the circumstances around the sinking are unclear.
Among the distinctive features revealed Sunday by the remotely-operated submersible vehicle equipped with a camera are the large red cross on both sides of the bow and the number 47 that designated the vessel as Australian Hospital Ship 47.

Of the 332 people on the ship, only 64 survived. Eleven of the 12 nurses on board died.
Acting Premier Paul Lucas said the Remotely Operated Vehicle took the images, including an image of the Red Cross on the side of the Centaur at 2.50am this morning.

“The wreck is badly damaged but David Mearns and his team were able to identify key characteristics such as the green band painted on the hull of the boat and the Red Cross on the bow.
“The first ROV mission had to be cut short because of technical issues on the surface but search Director David Mearns will send the ROV down for more pictures today.
“It is incredible to think that these are the first images any human being has seen of this tragic ship in over six and a half decades.”
The wreck location is approximately 30 miles due east of the southern tip of Moreton Island (27 deg 16.98’ South, 153 deg 59.22’ East) at a depth of 2,059 metres.
The ROV was launched from the Seahorse Spirit, the ship used to find the Centaur. Lights were used to illuminate the wreck on the sea bed so that high definition video can be recorded.
More on the search for the Centaur, including a diary from those on board the vessel can be found here

Bugatti found at bottom of lake after 70 years could fetch £80,000 in auction

It my look like a rust-bucket. But despite spending 70 years at the bottom of a lake, this one could fetch £80,000. For it is a rare 1925 touring Bugatti.

The car was pushed into Lake Maggiore by a frustrated tax official in 1936 after the owner abandoned it in Switzerland without paying the appropriate import tax.

It was re-discovered by a diver, Ugo Pillon, in 1967 over 160ft below the surface and was brought back up to the surface in last July by the club to raise money for a charity tackling juvenile violence.

It's believed that 20 per cent of the vehicle is salvageable and collectors and museums are said to be keen to buy it.

James Knight, from Bonhams auction house, said: "Sometimes we get cars that have been hidden in barns for years, but never have we had one that's spent 70 years at the bottom of a lake."

All money raised will go towards the Damiano Tamagni Foundation which is based in the town.
The sale is on January 23 at the Bonhams Retromobile sale in France.

The 1925 touring Type 22 Bugatti was built in Brescia in Italy. A small brass plate found on the car bears the name 'George Nielly, 48 Rue Nollet, Paris'. It was registered in his name in 1930.

Container ship runs aground on Woodhouse Reef in Straits of Tiran

Worrying news from Sharm El Shiekh after a large cargo vessel ran aground on Woodhouse Reef, in the northern Red Sea.

The 260m-long, Hong Kong-flagged CSCL Hamburg hit the reef, one of four popular sites in the Straits of Tiran on the morning of New Year’s Eve, while en route to Singapore.

While the extent of damage to corals has yet to be officially assessed, divers have reported widescale devastation in the area where the ship ploughed into the beautiful reef.

Underwater cameraman Tom Osborn dived there on January 2 and told Dive Magazine: "All of the reef in the area of the collision has been destroyed. It resembles a chalk quarry with fresh white lumps of rock scattered everywhere.

"An area approximately 30m wide and 20m long has tumbled away in sections down the steep slope of Woodhouse Reef like an avalanche, destroying any living coral below to a depth of at least 45m."

Tom Osborn video

It is thought the ship could have caused more damage to the reef near the surface after the tides swung the vessel 180 degrees.

John Kean, a Sharm El Sheikh-based PADI and TDI diving instructor told Divernet that the ship tried to navigate between the middle two reefs, Woodhouse and Thomas, possibly after trying to avoid a small craft.

Lovilla (aka Lillia) October 2009

Having dived beneath the wreck of the Lovilla (aka Lullia) on nearby Gordon Reef last October, I can imagine the damage. She ran aground in September 1981 and is slowly crumbling into the sea. Beneath her the reef is deeply scarred as debris, both from the wreck itself and also from the damaged reef, has plunged into the deep scouring channel from the reef on it's way down.

Star Trek goes scuba diving

They have been hidden among us for years, quietly going about their business, acting as our buddies, sharing a pint - all the while keeping their geeky credentials hidden.

But thanks to a Star Trek merchandising website, they will soon be able to show their true colours, playing out all their Kirk and/or Spock fantasies. Provided of course that those fantasies included tightly fighting rubber suits and lots of water.

Yep that's right you can now get custom wetsuits based on the original series costumes so you will be able to identify the specky geeks when they boldly go.

I'll leave it to you to decide whether you would set your stun-gun to incinerate your buddy should he turn up in one of these!

Friday, January 8, 2010

coral reefs are cradle of life

Coral reefs aren't just beautiful and rich in species. They also have long served as an evolutionary wellspring for countless types of marine life, even groups such as clams and snails that researchers thought had originated in shallow coastal waters.

That's the conclusion of a new examination of the fossil record, and the findings reinforce the idea that evolutionary potential is linked to the environment.

Scientists used fossil records stretching back 540 million years to work out the evolution rate at reefs. They report in the journal Science that new species originate 50% faster in coral reefs than in other habitats.
The team says its findings show that the loss of these evolution hotspots could mean "losing an opportunity to create new species" in the future.

Coral reefs are well-known hot spots for biodiversity, but scientists have assumed that many types of reef-dwelling animals had migrated from other ecosystems, such as shallow coastal waters.
Paleontologist and lead author Wolfgang Kiessling of the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin initially shared that assumption. But spurred by older studies of reefs and hints from the genetics of fishes, he took a closer look.
His research published in the journal Science has now determined that 1426 of the genera originated in reef environments, nearly 50% more than in shallow-water environments.

"It's an intriguing and important paper," says paleontologist Richard Aronson of the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne. "The implication," he says, "is if modern reefs continue to degrade, that could have long-term evolutionary consequences for other ecosystems by cutting off the supply of new biodiversity."

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Sealife centre - window cleaning dive

Flicking through my newspaper cuttings, it's fair to say I've done some silly things as a news reporter. But I did get chance to mix business with pleasure with an assignment at Birmingham's Sealife Centre and I thought I'd share it with you along with a couple of videos of the event.

MOST window cleaners have seen untold eye-opening situations from the top of their ladders. But few will have witnessed anything as blue as the sight that greeted a team of volunteer underwater washers in landlocked Birmingham. Because the nine scuba diving members of Scubaction have the weirdest window cleaning job in town. Their task is simple – to descend into the underwater world at the city’s Sea Life Centre to keep the giant tank spick and span. Oh, and try to ignore the sharks and turtles keeping them company while they work. Dive leader Adrian Marsland, aged 42, said: “It is unusual, but where else in the centre of Birmingham can you get to dive with creatures like that?” The tropical 800,000-litre tank is one of the main attractions at the centre in Brindleyplace with its two giant Green Turtles, family of Blacktip Reef Sharks and colourful reef fish. While the water is continuously filtered, sediment settles on the viewing windows and across the tunnel, creating a thin film interfering with their view of the marine creatures inside. About once a month, the team pack their scuba gear, pick up their fluffy squeegies and plunge into the five-metre deep fish tank to begin their unusual cleaning operation in full view of the paying public. Mr Marsland, a scuba instructor with 30 years experience, said: “The main aim is to clean sediment from the windows and the tunnel, pick up the corals and re-smooth the gravel. “The turtles scrape it away and expose the bottom of the tank and accidentally knock the corals off so we have to go in and glue them back on. We work our way through the tank cleaning the windows so people can see the exhibit clearly. “And it’s always nice to interact with the public, especially the children who seem to like it when you wave back at them.” The team was originally set up about ten years ago by Ray Kirton, now living in Corfu, who had a scuba shop in Leamington Spa. It is made up of divers Steve Johnson, Rose Johnson, Andrew Moore, Dereck Massey, Bob Mayne, Graham Williams, Nick Hillerby and Jeff Faint. Engineer Mr Marsland, originally from Stourbridge, who took over running of the group in June last year after returning from Australia, said the biggest problem was not the sharks, but the turtles. “The wildlife are not bothered about us being in the water but the turtles like to let you know you are in their domain,” he said.

Headbutted - by a 42-stone turtle I KNOW Birmingham city centre can sometimes be a dangerous place, but it’s not every day you get headbutted – by a 42-stone Green Sea Turtle. I’d expected the threat of a nibble from the family of sleek Blacktip reef sharks to be a more pressing underwater problem. But when I joined the window cleaning dive team at Birmingham’s National Sea Life Centre, they made it clear the beautiful sharks were not an issue – but the turtles could be. Underwater, graceful Gulliver and Molokai like to let you know they are boss and will bump you, scrape past your head and nibble long hair. One of them knocked my camera out of my hand. Maybe he doesn’t like papparazzi. This was one of the most surreal underwater experiences I’ve ever had. Normally I’d have to fly half-way around the world for close encounters with sharks and turtles. But here I was in tropical waters – right here in Brum. The visitors to the Sea Life Centre last Sunday were not seeing ‘fins’ – that really was a journalist with a soggy notepad and squeegie in hand. I’d joined volunteer divers to spruce up the inside of the tank but I’m not sure I made much a splash with my window cleaning. It’s fair to say I’m no George Formby. I probably spent more time waving at the awe-inspired youngsters gazing outwards at the beautiful marine life behind me. Now I know what Nemo felt like stuck in his tank.

This article first appeared in the Birmingham Mail

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Wrecksite a wreck divers' tool

Doing some research for possible wreck diving destinations this year, I came across this beauty of a website that has a wealth of information on the sunken delights littering the ocean floor.

The website recently expanded to include a database on UK wrecks and offers access to the official UK wreck database of the Uk Hydrographic Office and numerous charts for 25 euros.

Below is a screen grab of the M2. There is a wealth of documents associated to the wreck on the site. It's well worth the small donation to become a member.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Ocean's Twelve - The Bite Back calendar

Ocean's Twelve. I think we can all agree that behind bars is where George Clooney and his crew should have ended up after this travesty of a sequel.

Well thanks to shark lovers group Bite-Back you can erase all unhappy memories with a much better version - the 2010 calendar.

Twelve of the world’s most remarkable, award-winning, underwater photographers have joined forces to support the shark and marine conservation organisation, creating a spectacular 2010 fundraising calendar celebrating the oceans and drawing attention to urgent marine conservation issues.

As founder Graham Buckingham wrote: "This is an extraordinary collection of images from an extraordinary group of individuals. We're proud to have their support for our pioneering campaigns and grateful for the opportunity to share their profound observations and wisdom."

And if that wasn't enough, Bite-Back fan, Dom, has created this film featuring images from this year’s Bite-Back calendar along with shots from previous years.

Bite-Back has had a fantastic 2009 encouraging the likes of Waitrose to halt the sale of swordfish and fish restaurateur Rick Stein to stop selling shark. So if anyone is deserving of your £7.99 +p&p its this group. Buy your calendar here.

Friday, January 1, 2010

More Red`Sea diving pics

Click here and here for more pics.