|A medley of images from the story (l-r): Gran Cenote, the Channel Islands |
by Richard Salas of ASK Photography, and Grenada's Underwater Sculpture Garden.
Today somewhere between 1.2 and 2.1 million Americans regularly make a splash (the data is muddier than an estuary, but divers love to guess at their numbers, especially over mugs of local beer). From quarries to lakes and the open ocean, they face the marine wilderness and all of its untamed creatures. For Laura James, an underwater videographer and conservation advocate, nothing sums up that beauty like giant Pacific octopuses with their three hearts, copper-rich blood, ability to learn and wicked sense of humor. “They are a vivid reminder how alien the undersea world is and ultimately how little we know about it,” she says.
|Man-sized cod approach—and even |
Eskimo kiss— divers at this beautifully clear
spot on the Ribbon Reefs, Australia.
Squished fingers, burst eardrums and decompression sickness (“the bends”)—among other accidents–do take their toll, of course. But at roughly 1,300 injuries each year, the sport remains almost twice as safe as horseshoe pitching.
Ready to dive in? Try one of these world-class dive sites.
Read the full 16-page story in "Visa Black Card Magazine."