Reef Awareness & Hyperbaric SafetyMost divers continue to enjoy the coral reef environment, although, many donít realize that 1999 was the Year of the Reef.Pumping, ROVing and Whistling DixieThere are a number of things in diving for which we have only an incomplete or vague explanation.Current Concerns and the KathleenWhen establishing diving safety, think about the hydrographics and related conditions of the dive site.Chasing the BountyThe questions, comments and suggestions received from Skin Diver readers are the indispensable elements that make writing a continuing column both possible and gratifying.Deadly Souveniers and CigarettesComments and questions from predominately recreational Skin Diver readers indicate a worldwide interest in divable wrecks of all types and ages.Bottle Collecting and the C-cardNearly 20 years ago there was a flurry of thought in Skin Diver related to diving for bottles.Get Deeper Into DivingOne of the attractions of recreational diving is its comparative simplicityAlaska Shipwreck and SCUBANow is the time for gear inspection, especially for you vagabond divers roaming the globe for choice spots.Deep Tek Tahoe & Shell WarsI enjoyed the interesting article on Lake Tahoe by Bruce Watkins in the June í99 Skin Diver. For me it was like a stroll down dive-memory lane....When is a Pearl Not a Pearl?A letter received from Gregg Swiderski of Park Ridge, Illinois, asked if any Skin Diver readers had found pearls in shells other than pearl oysters. He wrote: ďIíve enclosed a photo of a pearl found in a Queen Conch shell....Solve a MysteryAfter a long, cold and blustery winter most divers are beginning to think it is time to go diving.More on Reading the WaterKnowledge of water conditions must become part of the dive plan. Some basic information must be obtained by reading the water well before starting the dive.No Acanthaster DisasterIn the 1960s and '70s it appeared the Spiny Starfish (Acanthaster planci) was going to denude the world's reefs of living coral.The Grosvenor, Undersea Surveillance and HypothermiaThe confusion over the Grosvenor exists because there were two vessels with the same name. One was an heroic but fictional ship that disappeared at sea. The other wreck is fabulously treasure laden.Venomous Shells, Regulator Patents & SDM CollectorsNancy, a student of shells in Hawaii, asked, How venomous are the stings of cone shells? Also, what other shells have stinging apparatus?Symbiosis and MoreFor pure enthrallment during a dive it is hard to beat studying interactions between the smaller organisms or between those organisms and the environment.Search and RecoveryThe search for and recovery of a lost object is usually a recreational divers first commercial venture.Commercial Diving;And How Deep is Deep?A reader in New York asked, I am a certified advanced open water scuba diver. Will this help me become a commercial offshore diver?Abnormal Shells and PiracyDivers will ultimately find all sizes of marine life equally exciting and certainly different. As they gain knowledge and experience about ocean life, rewards become greater.A Portable Chamber and DCSA Technifacts reader recently wrote asking What can Technifacts tell me about a German designed, portable, telescopic decompression chamber?Taravana in Pearl DiversThere has been an increasing interest in snorkeling and breathhold diving by recreational divers.Where Have All The Pearls Gone?Diving today is of international significance. Commercial dives contribute to building most infrastructures needed to promote commerce on a worldwide basis.The Grunge LineRecreational diving can be almost anything a diver wants it to be. It can range from the undiluted pleasure of breath-hold (free) diving to the hard work (and it is hard work) of mixed gas diving.Safe, Successful Commercial DivingEach year hundreds of recreational divers will make the decision to become commercial divers. Most will start their careers by attending a commercial diving school.Return to the GrosvenerOceanic shipwrecks and associated treasures have been a reason for diving for a very long time.Reading the WaterWhether it is an ocean, a lake or a river, reading the water is a skill that will improve the safety of a divePollutionIt is generally accepted that the concentration of free oxygen in the water at the seas surface is determined by the solubility of the gasHigh Altitude Diving, the Tampico and MoreFor many years, we have known some aspects of diving at altitude required changes in the procedures used at sea level.