Tuesday, June 26

Scuba Diving In Fiji, By: Chris Chew

The islands of Fiji are famous for its spectacular scenery and a world class attraction for sea sports such as big game fishing, snorkeling, sailing and scuba diving. Fiji is a favorite scuba diving location for scuba divers from all over the world and its highlights include a fantastic variety of colorful soft corals, more than 1200 species of fish, 12 species of whales and dolphins.

There are also many scuba diving resorts in Fiji which cater to all kinds of budgets and divers. Alternatively divers can choose live aboard dive boats or if you are a tourist on vacation in Fiji do not know how to scuba dive, you can take up lessons there or simply go snorkeling off the pristine beaches.

The Fijian archipelago is encircled by a huge reef and therefore there are many shallow lagoons to swim, snorkel or frolick in. There are also thousands of scuba dive sites to choose from. Most dive locations are easy to get to with plenty of resorts offering scuba diving scattered around the Fijian islands.

The water temperature is just perfect for scuba diving with at its coldest at only 25C. On warmer days, it is about 30C. Water visibility in Fiji is excellent with superb visibility of up to 40m or 120ft is a norm rather than exception.

Mamanuca dive sites in Fiji is easily be accessible "

See more of Chris's blog at:

Monday, June 18

Shadow Divers: The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II

This is one of those rare books that you know within the first dozen pages it's going to be a great read and you're going to be disappointed when it ends. Robert Kurson's tremendous research combined with a great historical narrative style results in learning not only about the lives of the living players such as Chatterton and Kohler, but the dead sailors on the submarine as well.

While this is Kurson's book, you can see the extensive contribution provided by Chatterton, Kohler and others who shared the experience. This book fits beautifully with "The Last Dive", which I reviewed here a few years ago. I did learn things here, which surprised me relative to "The Last Dive". I thought they had been doing mixed-gas diving much longer on U-869 then just before the Rouse's arrival. Chapter 2 is about the dangers of wreck diving and sets the stage of what to expect throughout the remainder of the book.

Kurson makes sure the reader understands this wasn't just a bunch of treasure hunters looking for some "stuff". These guys respected this dive site as sacred resting place for these German sailors and their actions (including their own research) supported that belief. And in the end, I was right...it was a disappointment to see it end.

Thursday, June 14

Technical Diving in Depth by B. R. Wienke

A long-awaited and much-needed title has just been released by BPC. "Technical Diving in Depth" by Bruce R. Wienke is the most complete and comprehensive reference work published to date on technical diving.

It contains a mixture of technical topics, with each one self-contained and developed in relationship to diving. The topics span many disciplines and focus on a number of technical arenas.

Topics Include:
Thermodynamics, pressure and density, mechanics, gas kinetics, free and dissolved phase transfer, energy and matter interactions, nucleation and cavitation, bubbles and surfactants, oxygen dose, gas mixtures, buoyancy, gauges and tanks, compressors and regulators, maladies and drugs, statistics, risk and probability, binomial distributions, waves, transport, currents, geology, oceanography, geophysics, solar energy and radiation. References and Appendix are also included.

Targeted Audience:
Technical diver, commercial diver, diving instructor, underwater researcher, doctors, hyperbaric technicians, physiologist, physicist, chemist, mathematician, engineer or biologist.

Sunday, June 10

Whales, Dolphins & Porpoises (Nature Company Guides)

Once again, reading the list of photo-credits at the back of this book is like reading the index in a "Who's Who in the world of Underwater Photography." This is an exciting book with colour photographs (though occasionally a map or diagram) on every single page and the standard of reproduction is as good as it gets.

As with "Sharks & Rays" (a book in the same series), the content is also as good as it gets and, if you only had room to pack a single book on the subject before setting out to discover some of these excellent creatures, then this book will satisfy all your requirements.

Commencing with their customary "Understanding" Whales Dolphins and Porpoises, the reader is then taken on a journey which provides a complete and wide understanding of these incredible creatures - many species of which remain on the brink of extinction. With sections on hunting, captivity, migration and much more plus a page dedicated to each specific species, this book is as complete as it should be and fully lives up to the promise in the title of being an "Ultimate" guide.

Altogether and excellent book and an essential addition to any scuba diver's library.

Saturday, June 9

Nudibranchs and Sea Snails by Helmut Debelius

A beautiful book containing over 1020 color photos, depicting gastropods from the West Coast of the US to the Red Sea to South Africa.

Half of the book is devoted to gastropods with shells and half of the book concerned with those without shells(nudibranchs) all live and in their natural habitat. There is nothing so brightly colored as a nudibranch and to see one "swim" is pure joy. A must have for divers, aquarists and those who love nature.

Although there is some animals misidentified I find it still a good field guide and should be well received by anyone who appreciates beauty.

Wednesday, June 6

Sharks of the World (Princeton Field Guides)

It's finally here -- THE DEFINITIVE and COMPLETELY (yes, very literally) EXHAUSTIVE shark guide. I've just picked up my copy and it still feels like a dream. As a serious shark enthusiast, this is the book that I have always dreamed about but has never existed, until now. If you're a shark enthusiast, it would be a tragedy not to acquire this book.

Here's why:

(1) There are lavish full color illustrations of every single species of shark known today -- 404 described species and 49 as-yet-undescribed species on 64 plates, each species in oblique view (not the usual profile shot), giving invaluable information on its shape in 3 dimensions. In addition to the most popular species (such as the great white or the blacktip reef shark), the least well known are also included in this book, such as Deania quadrispinosum or Etmopterus pusillus, or new species, such as Isistius labialis or Somniosus antarcticus. There are 3 plates of 18 species of angel sharks (Squatinidae)! All 5 species of Oxynotus are included! Nine species of saw shark (Pristiophoridae)!

(2) All breath-takingly accurate illustrations are by the same artist, ensuring consistent style. Mark Dando is among the most accomplished of shark artists; his attention to detail is truly astounding. As a discriminating and accomplished fellow natural history artist, I know what I'm talking about. Having said that, please understand that the illustrations chosen for the cover, while wonderfully accurate, are not representative of the exquisite skill demonstrated in his illustrations of more colorful species, such as the ornate wobbegong (Orectolobus ornatus). Therefore, at the risk of sinking in the mire of cliche, I nevertheless urge you not to judge this book by its cover!

(3) The work is truly exhaustive, not only in the number of species depicted. Where there is sufficient variation within a species, additional color illustrations depict sexual dimorphism, juvenile forms and races. All species are presented to scale with each other and a scale bar is provided for easy size comparisons.

(4) For those with a taste for the traditional practice of depicting sharks in profile line drawings, the illustrator satisfies in the textual portion of the book. Again, every single species is beautifully presented in a fine ink line drawing from the side (or from the top in angel sharks and saw sharks). With every species is included a detailed range map, and for most species the teeth are also illustrated. For many, the ventral view of the head is also presented.

(5) The text reads like a field guide, providing detailed notes on the measurements, distinguishing features, distribution, habitat, behavior, biology and status of each species, written by leading authorities on sharks. It even includes a checklist at the end so that shark watchers can record their sightings in the field.

I am completely confident that no shark enthusiast will be disappointed in this book. Seriously folks, the editorial review provided by the publisher for this book underestimates its worth. It's truly a gem and will probably remain the definitive reference and the ultimate field guide for a long, long time.

Monday, June 4

Two freshest PADI Dive Instructors at pro Dive Taveuni

Pro Dive Taveuni is proud to announce that they now have the two freshest PADI Dive Instructors around. Tevita Masinamoa 42 and Manasa Tikotikoca 25 , pictured below, are Fiji’s newest PADI Instructors.

Not only are they the first Fijian locals to pass the PADI Instructors Exam in over 2 years, but both canndidates hail from Pro Dive Taveuni .

Tevita has been a PADI diver for the last 12 years and Manasa has been diving since he was 18 years old. Both had recently passed their Dive Master courses while working with Pro Dive Taveuni in October 2006. Paradise Taveuni sponsored the boys diving through their Dive Master and Dive Instructors courses and the Resort’s Director, Allan Gortan, advised ‘We are all very proud of the achievements of Te & Manasa. They have both shown initiative and an eagerness to learn. Not only are they the first Fijian residents to pass the PADI Instructors Exam in over 2 years, but they both came up the ladder together and have made the Pro Dive Taveuni name proud.”

Pro Dive Taveuni is located on the oceanfront of Paradise, Fiji’s freshest boutique Resort offering 4 luxury Fijian Bures and a large range of activities including spa services, horse riding, sports fishing, jet skiing, hiking adventures, bird watching and guided tours of Taveuni. Diving is of course, one of the new Resort’s draw cards. Exclusively diving on Vuna Reef, the southern reefs of Taveuni as well as diving the legendary Rainbow Reef and White Wall, Pro Dive Taveuni offers World Class dive sites coupled with PADI safety standards and extensive local knowledge. The only deep water frontage Resort in Fiji, Paradise Taveuni offers a great variety of water sports on any tide.

For more information please contact Allan & Terri Gortan at Paradise Taveuni.

Phone: +679 888 0125

E-mail: info@paradiseinfiji.com

Website: www.paradiseinfiji.com