Mafia Island Marine Park has some of the highest marine biodiversity on the planet. There are all sorts of weird and wonderful creatures to be seen - one of my favourites is the flying gurnard! This is a seriously cool fish.
After the most intense Championship battle in the history of professional surfing, Australian Stephanie Gilmore has won her sixth World Title at the Target Maui Pro at Honolua Bay.
Watch Gilmore's highest-scoring performances of 2014, peruse pictures of her season highlights and break down her heats, wave-by-wave.
SAN MATEO, Calif. — Black Seadevil sounds fierce and looks that way, too, with spiking teeth on the outside of its oversize, angular jaw — until you realize it's only 9 centimeters long.
Researchers at California's Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute spotted a deep-sea anglerfish in their exploration of the Monterey Canyon, a Pacific Ocean canyon as big as the Grand Canyon that starts close to the central California coastline.
These anglerfish are remarkable for the flashlight-like appendage that helps them lure prey. When a smaller fish or squid approaches, its huge jaws inhale the prey caught in its sharp teeth.
"These are ambush predators," says Bruce Robison, a senior scientist at the research institute who led the dive using a remotely operated diving vehicle operated from a nearby ocean research platform.
Black Seadevils like this Melanocetus are quite elusive. Robison, who spotted the Black Seadevil last week at a depth of 600 meters (1,900 feet), said he believes this is the first time such a creature was filmed alive and at depth.
Source: Laura Mandaro, USA TODAY Network (www.news10.net)
It’s easy to prevent ear barotrauma if you follow the proper precautions and procedures. Here we aim to help divers learn more about these injuries, and how to keep them from happening.
Everyone knows that you aren’t supposed to dive with a cold — it’s one of the tenets stressed most heavily during entry-level training. But it’s a rule that divers often ignore — or try to bypass — by using decongestants because sometimes we just can’t resist getting in the water. I used to be one of the guilty parties until my actions caught up with me; I suffered a barotrauma of the middle ear as a result.
An ear barotrauma is an injury to the ear caused by abrupt changes in pressure, and can be brought on by several circumstances, as well as by diving with a cold. Barotraumas come in several different forms, and together constitute the most common scuba-diving injuries. Middle-ear barotrauma alone affects 30 percent of first-time divers and 10 percent of experienced divers. Injuries of this kind can be incredibly serious, even resulting in permanent hearing loss, and as I discovered, can be excruciatingly painful. I was lucky — my injury was mild, and healed after just two weeks; some cases of barotrauma keep divers out of the water for many months. It’s easy to prevent ear barotrauma if you follow the proper precautions and procedures. Here we aim to help divers learn more about these injuries, and how to keep them from happening.
Why Does Barotrauma Occur?In order to understand ear barotrauma, it’s important to first understand the anatomy of the human ear. Our ears are comprised of three sections: the outer ear and two internal sections known as the middle and inner ear. The part of the ear that we see is called the auricle, which channels sound (and during a dive, water) into the ear. The ear hole opens into a canal, at the end of which is the eardrum. Also known as the tympanic membrane, the eardrum separates the outer ear from the middle ear, a section filled with air that contains the three tiny bones that conduct sound, the ossicles. Importantly for understanding barotrauma, the middle ear is connected to the back of the throat by the Eustachian tubes. When we equalize during a descent, air passes along these tubes to balance the pressure inside the middle ear with the ambient pressure acting on the other (outer) side of the eardrum. The middle ear is separated at its other end from the inner ear by two exceptionally thin membranes known as the round window and the oval window. If these membranes become perforated, fluid can leak from the inner ear into the middle ear, causing considerable damage.
Preventing BarotraumaAccording to Boyle’s Law, as ambient pressure increases, a gas-filled volume in contact with that pressure decreases, and vice versa. This is the physical law relating to ear barotrauma, which occurs when increasing ambient pressure on the descent (or decreasing ambient pressure on the ascent) causes the volume of the gas-filled spaces in the ear to either contract or expand. As the spaces change, the sensitive tissues that make up the ear are distorted, eventually causing them to become damaged. In order to prevent injury, it’s important that the gas spaces inside the ear are kept equalized, i.e., at an equal pressure to the water entering the outer ear. A pressure difference of just 2 psi is sufficient to cause significant discomfort, while a difference of 5 psi is enough to cause the eardrum to rupture. A barotrauma can occur at any depth, but because the greatest pressure change per foot occurs in shallow water, a diver is most susceptible to this kind of injury in the first 14 feet of a descent from the surface. This explains why we are taught to equalize early and often, and because ambient pressure continues to change as we descend, we need to equalize every few feet to prevent a pressure imbalance.
The Dangers of DecongestantAlthough these injuries are most common on the descent, it is also possible for them to occur on ascent, particularly if a diver has taken decongestion medication that has subsequently worn off. As we ascend and the ambient pressure decreases, the gas in the middle ear expands. If the Eustachian tubes have become blocked due to congestion, this expanding air cannot escape and the membranes at either end of the middle ear compartment are liable to distort or even rupture as a result. This situation, known as a reverse block, is how I suffered middle-ear barotrauma. It was incredibly scary: already at depth, I had no choice but to surface eventually. I tried delaying my ascent, descending a few feet and giving the trapped air time to escape, but ultimately I was forced by air and no-decompression limits to ascend despite knowing that doing so would cause an injury. The resulting barotrauma was undoubtedly the worst pain I have ever experienced (including multiple broken bones), and converted me in the space of one dive from a reckless congestion diver to one with a healthy respect for the rules.
Other common causes of ear barotrauma include ineffective equalization techniques, the failure to equalize either at all or frequently enough, and equalizations that are too forceful. Unfortunately, some divers have naturally tight Eustachian tubes that may prevent them from equalizing effectively. In those cases, individuals should seek medical advice as to whether or not they are able to dive.
There are several different types of ear barotrauma:
Source: www.scubadiverlife.com By: Jessica Vyvyan-Robinson
The men's and women's World Title races are so close that both could come down to a surf-off at their final events of the year. A surf-off happens when, after the last event of the season, two athletes are tied on final rankings points, so an additional heat (or more) is needed to determine the World Title winner. The Billabong Pipe Masters and theTarget Maui Pro will determine this year's men's and women's Champions, respectively. If ties between specific surfers happen, the 2014 Title winner(s) will be determined only with an additional faceoff -- a protocol that has been used only once before in ASP history.
On the men's Tour, Mick Fanning (AUS) and Gabriel Medina (BRA) could end up deadlocked if Medina is eliminated in Rounds 2 or 3 and Fanning finishes in equal fifth. On the women's Tour, there are two ways the Title could come down to a tie-breaker: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) and Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) would tie if Fitzgibbons wins the event and Gilmore finishes in third; Gilmore and Tyler Wright (AUS) would tie if Wright wins the event and Gilmore finishes in fifth.
According to the ASP Rule Book, in the event two surfers are tied for a World Title, there would be a "surf-off" at the final event, the format of which would be determined by the Tour Manager.
If there is a tie for the World Title at the Target Maui Pro, which kicks off November 22, or the Billabong Pipe Masters, which starts December 8, ASP Commissioner Kieren Perrow, women's commissioner Jessi Miley-Dyer and Tour Manager Renato Hickel have created the following protocol:
Check out the ASP's complete Title coverage. Use the custom Heat Analyzers to see all the potential surf-off opponents' head-to-head matchups in 2014 and size them up yourself:
Medina (Heat Analyzer) vs. Fanning (Heat Analyzer)
- Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Quarterfinals
Gilmore (Heat Analyzer) vs. Fitzgibbons (Heat Analyzer)
- Cascais Women's Pro Final
- Swatch Women's Pro Final
- Vans US Open of Surfing Semifinals
- Fiji Women's Pro Final
Gilmore vs. Wright (Heat Analyzer)
- Cascais Women's Pro Semifinals
- Vans US Open of Surfing Final
- Bells Beach Semifinals
The Target Maui Pro has an event window from November 22 to December 6. The Billabong Pipe Masters has an event window from December 8-20.
This Saturday at Balsa Bill Surf Shop - 1773 Highway A1a
Satellite Beach, Florida
Bring a beach chair and relax with some good food and music.
The Surf Chasers Band. Uncle Charlie, Hula Dancers.
And of course Nola's famous Macadamia Nut Chocolate Chip Cookies.
15th Anniversary party at Balsa Bill Surf Shop owned by Balsa Bill Yerkes. The Surf Chasers played and the Satellite Beach Hula Halau danced. A tiny slice of Hawaii on a rainy day. What a great event!