Thursday, August 13, 2009

World of the Most Beautiful Tropical Paradise

Palau is a famous destination for diving. It offers some of the most unique holiday possibilities: its natural beauty, intact culture, untouched wilderness, remoteness and stability combine to offer the adventure seekers. Palau's most populous islands are Angaur, Babeldaob, Koror, and Peleliu. Palau has been described as one of the Seven Underwater Wonders of the World, with 700 species of coral and 1,200 species of identified fish.


The latter three lie together within the same barrier reef, while Angaur is an oceanic island several miles to the south. Palau is located between Guam, Philippines and Papua New Guinea. Palau offers an endless variety of sites to dive, from caves to walls and major dropoffs, to tunnels, channels and shallow reefs, where you can enjoy great visibiity and an almost limitless variety of marine life. Palau is rated as one of the world's best diving destinations by scuba aficionados.

There is 400 miles long archipelago, which became to be one of the world's unique phenomena "Rock Island". The coral atoll of Kayangel is situated north of these islands, while the uninhabited about 200 are situated to the west of the main island group. There are also parts of the country and make up the states of Hatohobei and Sonsorol. Imagine the whitest beaches you will ever see, gardens of coral just beneath the clearest waters, lakes filled to the brim with "sting less" jellyfish.

Explore caves, waterfalls and forests that have never been ravaged by man, and hundreds of islands of the purest beauty abound all along our pristine archipelago. These mushroom like islets are uninhabited and located in a large lagoon that has vast concentration of corals, fish and other marine life. White sand beaches, lush jungle and remote waterfalls are just among the highlights of Palau. The most amazing array of marine life you can ever imagine.

Explore cave
Photo: hanz.schulz

No matter your level of diving ability, there is a dive for you in Palau, fast drift dives, easy shallow dives, it's all here in Palau. It provides some of the best diving to be found in Micronesia and ideally suited for advanced divers. Explore the beauty of Palau with Scuba World Explorer Fleet. You can expect mostly wall and drift diving with visibility ranging from 60 feet to in excess of 150 feet, depending on prevailing conditions.

The tenders, however, are provided with ladders. Diving in Palau from a live aboard is better suited to those with considerable open-water experience, with the ability to maintain Perfect Buoyancy Control, and who are comfortable getting in or out of a dive tender.

Friday, August 7, 2009

No Tank - No Thanks, I Do Not Need A Scuba Tank.

Because I'm a freediver. I use mask, fin and wet-suit when I want to dive. Freedivers said! Freediving is any of various aquatic activities that share the practice of breath-hold underwater diving. The activity that garners the most public attention is competitive apnea, an extreme sport, in which competitors attempt to attain great depths, times or distances on a single breath without direct assistance of scuba.

Scuba Tanks
Photo: Iner

Freediving is the sport of breath hold diving in which the freediver descends under water on a single breath of air. Freediving includes leisure activities such as spearfishing and snorkelling as well as competitive disciplines: Constant Weight, Free Immersion, Variable Weight, No Limits, Dynamic and Static Apnea. Freediving is a technique used with various aquatic activities. While in general all aquatic activities that include breath-hold diving might be classified as a part of freediving, some sports are more accepted than others.

Freediving has many benefits and can be compared to a martial art. It promotes increased lung capacity, deeper levels of awareness and perception and control over your body. The discussion remains whether freediving is only a synonym for breath-hold diving or whether it describes a specific group of underwater activities. It is often strongly associated with competitive breath-hold diving or Competitive Apnea. The remainder of this article will discuss only competitive freediving as an athletic sport. Freediving is also an intriguing recreational sport, celebrated as a relaxing, liberating, and unique experience.

World Champion Freediver
In October 2007 Sara Campbell became the first woman to hit the 90m mark in freediving using only the natural propulsion of her monofin. She also scored a hat trick by setting three world records in three days, in fact in under 48 hours, ruling in all deep disciplines. And just ten days later she became World Champion in Constant Weight. Amazingly she had made her first competitive dive only seven months previously. In April 2nd 2009. Sara Campbell breaks a new woman freediving World Record in the Bahamas by diving to 96m in constant weight.

Sara Campbell
Photo: The Blue Mile Gallery

Get Start Freediving
While others may dive deeper and longer, a 45-second dive to 30 feet places you in the action. Since most of the ocean's color and animal life resides within 30 feet of the surface, there's little reason to go deeper. Forty-five seconds buys you enough time to gather game, take a photo or simply mingle as one with the fish.

Best of all, the average person can master these dives in just two weeks without spending valuable travel dollars on gear. Your essentials mask, snorkel, fins, wetsuit and weight belt-pack easily into a duffle bag. They're inexpensive yet eloquent enhancements to any aquatic vacation. You needn't be an athlete to enjoy freediving because the sport is more about mind-set, technique and correct weighting than strength.

Your goal is to join the water, rolling with the gentle sea surface, never fighting it. When you learn the basic surface dive, you'll find that it takes very little energy to slip below the surface. Relaxed and confident, you choose the depth and duration of each dive. How should you learn freediving? Not like the newlyweds I observed in Hawaii. Offering verbal support, the young man coaxed his lady into the water. Timidly she placed the unfamiliar snorkel into her mouth, flip-flopped to the reef's edge and jumped in.

Photo: e m m a

So, Freediving is about familiarity, ease, relaxation and energy conservation. To learn to freedive, find a competent, patient instructor who will guide you through the selection of your gear and who can introduce you to the basic elements of the sport in a step-wise, confidence-building fashion.

Just avoid advancing one step until you're competent with the last. Choose a comfortable mask and fins, sit by the pool's edge and become familiar with mouth-breathing through the snorkel. Step into the pool waist deep, dip your head underwater and continue breathing. Freedivers utilize two positions, horizontal and inverted, positions not usually associated with sporting activities. Advance to the horizontal by holding the pool's edge and floating face down. Breathe slowly and a little deeper to compensate for the useless "dead-space air" in your snorkel. Take a deep breath, completely submerge your head and let the snorkel fill with water. Still looking down, raise your head level with the surface and again clear the snorkel. Later, you'll learn to let a small amount of air escape into your snorkel as you ascend from a dive.

Now you're ready for the most important exercise in freediving: the "relaxed fetal position." The feelings and sensations you derive from this exercise provide your psychological base. It's the state of mind you need to recall and maintain throughout your freediving career. Breathing on the surface, simply float on your stomach, curl up into the fetal position and totally relax. Some divers come close to sleep.

Photo: mst7022

Freedivers use three fin strokes: the flutter, frog and dolphin. You'll use the flutter kick most of the time. Use the frog kick, the slower of the three, to relieve cramped and tired flutter-kick muscles. The dolphin kick is great for short bursts of speed. Make sure you use short kicks and not deep leg kicks that bend the blade more than 30 degrees. When your stroke bends the blade excessively, water spills off the side and wastes energy. Take a cue from the fish to pick up speed, use rapid small fin beats, not wide movements. The surface dive is a complex yet easily mastered maneuver. It's basic to the sport.

To get an idea of how the surface dive works, lie on your bed, belly down. Scoot over the edge until you're balanced at the waist. Now, lower one arm and raise the opposite leg. The weight shift sends you immediately down. In the water, initiate the dive by kicking forward to gain momentum. Fold your shoulders together to help you exhale deeply and spread them for a maximal inhalation.

To understand the importance of streamlining, try this test. Take a yard stick and plunge it into the water at an angle with the surface. Note the resistance. Now, place the ruler on its edge and feel how easily it slips into the water.


Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Dangerous Puffer Fish

Recently, I'd talk about underwater Mexico which has many puffer fishes. So, the puffers are so cute and beautiful, some people like to feed them in aquarium because they can scalable their body when scaring, it look funny in the fish tank. The Puffer fish are the second most poisonous vertebrate in the world, the first being a Golden Poison Frog. The skin and certain internal organs of many tetraodontidae are highly toxic to humans. There unique and distinctive natural defenses are a compensation for their particular form of locomotion. Puffers use a combination of pectoral, dorsal, anal, and caudal fins for propulsion that make them highly maneuverable but very slow, and therefore comparatively easy targets for predators.

Puffer Fish

As a defense mechanism, puffers have the ability to inflate rapidly, filling their extremely elastic stomachs with water or air when outside the water until they are almost spherical in shape. Thus, a hungry predator stalking the puffers may suddenly find itself facing what seems to be a much larger fish and pause, giving the puffers an opportunity to retreat to safety. When lifted out of water there is a risk that puffers inflate with air. This may result in problems deflating again afterwards.

When this happens with aquarium specimens the recommended course of action for fishkeepers is to hold the puffer underwater by the tail, head upwards, and shake the fish gently until the air escapes out of the mouth. Some puffers also produce a powerful neurotoxin called tetrodotoxin in their internal organs, making them an unpleasant, possibly lethal, meal for any predatory fish that eats one. This neurotoxin is found primarily in the ovaries and liver, although smaller amounts exist in the intestines and skin, as well as trace amounts in muscle tissue and in its blood.

The puffer's poison is made by bacteria of the genus vibrio and may actually enter the fish by consuming prey that does possess the poison already. Most puffers are drab, many have bright colors and distinctive markings and make no attempt to hide from predators. This is likely an example of aposematism. As a result, they have the smallest known genomes yet found amongst the vertebrate animals, while containing a genetic repertoire very similar to other fish and thus comparable to vertebrates generally. Puffers are able to move their eyes independently, and many species can change the color or intensity of their patterns in response to environmental changes. In these respects they are somewhat similar to the terrestrial chameleon. Since these genomes are relatively compact it is relatively fast and inexpensive to compile their complete sequences.


Puffer's toxin evolved as a response to aquatic predators such as larger fish, rather than for use against humans. Note also, not all puffers are poisonous; Takifugu oblongus, for example, is one of the fugu puffers that is not poisonous. However, it should be noted that puffer's neurotoxin is not necessarily as toxic to other animals as it is to humans, and puffers are eaten routinely by some species of fish, such as lizardfish and tiger sharks. Puffer poisoning usually results from consumption of incorrectly prepared puffer soup, chiri or occasionally from raw puffer meat, sashimi fugu. While chiri is much more likely to cause death, sashimi fugu often causes intoxication, light-headedness, and numbness of the lips, and is often eaten for this reason.

Puffer's poisoning will cause deadening of the tongue and lips, dizziness and vomiting. These are followed by numbness and prickling over the body, rapid heart rate, decreased blood pressure and muscle paralysis. Death results from suffocation as diaphragm muscles are paralyzed. Patients who live longer than 24 hours are expected to survive, although the poison can cause comas lasting several days. Many people report being fully conscious during the entirety of the coma and can often remember everything that was said while they were supposedly unconscious. So, if you diving to found them, just keep away from them.