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Articles

The Trouble with Trimix My reaction after returning from my first trimix dive in the early 1990s was, “This is just what we need.”
Get Off My Back! What’s on your back? Nothing, and that’s the point! Sound weird? Maybe, but in many of the places I cave dive, like the Mexican Yucatan, I don’t even take regular backmount gear—I dive only sidemount.
Staying Alive Planning a tek dive can sometimes require organization on par with a shuttle launch.
Looking Back and Beyond Fifty years of Skin Diver magazine—hard to believe time has passed so quickly! Skin Diver was about one year old when I first borrowed a couple of tattered copies from Jim Willis, the teenage president of the Vancouver Skin-Divers club.
Hanging Around: Beating Deco Boredom What a boring dive. OK, it wasn’t all that boring. Actually, it was pretty exciting.
Out The Oxygen Window This is really, really cool: For any depth, depth plus 33, times one minus one, divided by .79, minus 33 always equals -33.
The Extreme Sporter and Tek Diving If we remember the 1990s for one significant change in diving, it’s the rise of diving’s “extreme sport”—tek.
The Wild Underwater Indoors “I’m beat,” my friend Donna said. It was 9:00p.m. on a weeknight and her voice carried fatigue far heavier than her typical day at the office.
The Point of Tek Diving Echoes from my novice days—beginning diver class. Topic: dive knives. My instructor tells us, “You carry a dive knife for safety, in case you get entangled or need a tool for some reason. It is not a weapon.”
Readers Want to Know Every now and again I get questions from readers and friends about tek diving and being a diving writer.
Team Sports You’re on the way back from an 8,000-foot push into a cave system, working at 200 feet.
The Best Laid Schemes O’ Mice and Men Two (hundred) forty (feet) off the SoCal coast, Grant Graves and I settle on barren, featureless sand.
What's Redundant, What's Ridiculous Is mission success having all your D-rings full?
Cue the Sharks Sharks to the left, sharks to the right, here I am, stuck in the middle with the largest electrical field for miles.
Current Thinking Bet Hillary and Krakauer felt like this a hundred times on Everest,” I said to myself, hanging suspended over the void, my well-being—life perhaps—entrusted entirely to a single rope.
Fear and Loathing Below 130 Feet …being narked…is not unpleasant…but hazardous in that being u/w while blitzoid is akin to slugging six jiggers of Jack Daniels before landing a 747.
Fit for Tek What kinda shape do you gotta be in if you’re into tek?” “Well, above average,” I said, which disappointed and even angered a few...
The View From the Other Side of the Microscope Zzzaaaaappp! It didn’t really make that sound, but I felt that a chest x-ray should, as cancer-inducing subatomic particles streamed in on one side of my lungs to make a picture of the other. All in the name of science and good health.
The Art of Gas Blending Consider a typical tek trimix dive-you breathe various blends of helium, oxygen and nitrogen, none of which occur naturally. Helium, nitrogen and oxygen occur in nature, but not in the various mixes for the dive, so they have to be made.
The Long and Short Of It Anyone who logs onto a tek diving chat room or bulletin board will eventually run into the long hose/short hose debate.
Crunching the Numbers Fifteen years ago if you told your buddies you wrote your own tables, they'd have taken you to the nearest mental institution for evaluation.
SSI's Enriched Air Nitrox Course The use of nitrox in everyday recreational diving is skyrocketing.
NAUI's New Technical Diving Program ...standards that mirrored the exacting preparation and attention to detail needed in the demanding environments of deep or prolonged diving.
Ins and Outs of Cave Diving Cave diving is an exhilarating, physically and mentally challenging scuba activity.
Are You Ready for Tek Diving? Sometimes a diver will ask me, 'Am I ready for tek diving?' I usually answer profoundly, 'That's like asking if you're in love.'
Night Diving Night diving expands scuba into a 24 hour sport! Once you have seen a reef in daylight, a moonlight view is amazingly different.
Naturally Nitrox How about taking a nice, easy nitrox certification class while you are on a diving vacation?
Cavern Diving What you call cavern diving depends upon where you dive.