Many may only know her voice from hearing The Pogues' Fairytale of New York, but beyond that timeless tune, Kirsty MacColl's career as a singer and songwriter was as full and respected as you're bound to hear of. She was lost to us, at the age of 41, close to two decades ago, this week.
While on holiday in Mexico with her partner and children, MacColl was killed, and by some accounts murdered while on a diving excursion, off the coast of Cozumel. According to the Irish Post, a boat entered the warded-off area where MacColl was surfacing from a scuba dive, at high speed, striking her light out of this world. She'd still be with us if she hadn't, as a final act, pushed her 15-year old son out of the path of the speeding boat. The vessel belonged to a Mexican multimillionaire. When's there's money had, a coverup may be bought: It's rumored that the boat's owner was the one driving it when MacColl was killed. However, one of his employees was paid to take the fall for him.
Fortunately, her music lives on. In this documentary, the BBC explores MacColl's career with insights from Shane MacGowan, Billy Bragg, Johnny Marr, Bono, French & Saunders and Steve Lillywhite. Read the rest
An astonishing school of hammerhead sharks surprises divers at Darwin's Arch in the Galápagos Islands in this majestic video from the BBC's Mission Galápagos series. In an article at Wanderlust, Mission Galápagos host and animal biologist Liz Bonnin lists this adventure as one of her "most amazing wildlife experiences":
The hammerheads come from all different directions and gather, swim around each other in big circles in a wonderful sort of balletic association. At the very centre of this big mass of hammerheads are the oldest, most mature females. The younger sharks swim around them. When the males come in to mate, they’ve got to weave and wind their way through this mass of hammerheads, so only the strongest, fittest males will get to mate with the females in the centre.
We are only just beginning to understand the purpose of this mass congregation, so the more scientists dive down there, the more they’re understanding its importance. It’s a very special place, and a very important behaviour, that needs to be protected. The Galapagos is one of the last jewels of this blue planet of ours. It really needs extra protection of ours oceans to make sure that that doesn’t disappear for ever. It was extraordinary.
(via The Kid Should See This)
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Mesmerizing and anxiety-inducing at once, this short clip of Kimi Werner descending into a cave has an otherworldly feel thanks to the stabilized camera used by Justin David Baluch. Read the rest
Saturation divers are specialized workers doing construction or demolition hundreds of feet below the water's surface. This detailed report gives a sense of what it's like to have a grueling routine where a tiny mistake could mean a quick and painful death. Read the rest
Freediver Jake Koehler, better known as DALLMYD, ignored posted alligator warnings to explore what looked like a garden variety Florida swamp. Below the duckweed covering the surface, he found a crystal-clear freshwater spring. Read the rest
Searching for Mantas, the poster of this video instead found trash.
The ocean currents brought us in a lovely gift of a slick of jellyfish, plankton, leaves, brunches, fronds, sticks, etc.... Oh, and some plastic. Some plastic bags, plastic bottles, plastic cups, plastic sheets, plastic buckets, plastic sachets, plastic straws, plastic baskets, plastic bags, more plastic bags, plastic, plastic, so much plastic!
Here's a talk from guy working on a solar-powered autonomous vehicle that will head out to the high seas and pick up all the trash we put there.
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Arizona-based scuba diver Dallas, the guy behind the YouTube channel Man + River, has a fun hobby. He dives with his buddies at local creeks, rivers, and lakes looking for lost treasures, recording these underwater scavenger hunts on his GoPro. He's found all kinds of things, including sunglasses, pocket knives, coins, jewelry, cameras, lots of phones, and even a gun.
In this video from late last year, watch as Dallas unearths an iPhone 6 buried eight inches deep using an underwater metal detector and a metal sand scoop.
The phone was found dry inside an inexpensive waterproof case, so Dallas brought it home and started charging it.
Long story shorter: The phone works, he contacts its owner and returns it to him. Watch!
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I was kerplotzing around the internet today and upon seeing this video had the craziest thought: I’ve been in this place.
Now since it involves free diving in the world’s deepest pool, in Italy, there’s no way I’ve even seen the place. Also can’t hold my breath for squat. Tried that recently while watching my friend David Blaine hold his breath for almost 11 minutes in a tank of water. I was really glad that he was in the tank and not me, since I was gasping at the 90 second mark.
David Blaine Photographed by Asi Wind
Thinking about the imagery in the video (below), it occurred to me that I was remembering a dream I’ve had many times about swimming underwater in a pool almost identical to this. A creepy feeling. What is it about this pool that seems like a dream … or a nightmare?
On a single breath of air, Guillaume Néry explores the deepest pool in the world in Italy: Y40. The action is filmed on breath hold by his wife Julie Gautier.
Find all their productions on: www.lesfilmsengloutis.com
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Johanna Nordblad holds the world record for free diving under ice. This gorgeous film captures the beauty and danger. She can stay under for more than 6.5 minutes with no gear of any kind. Read the rest
Abalone diving in California is dangerous. Every year a few people die trying to pry these mollusks from the sea. This year's abalone season appears off to a rough start, as a number of divers needed rescue along the Sonoma Coast.
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The teeth of a giant shark known as Megalodon, the ancestor of sharks still found off the South Carolina coast, can be found throughout the Lowcountry.
Dude. When there's a shark hanging out, humans like you are supposed to go inside, not on top of, the cage. Read the rest
Thalassophobes and NSFW-phobes will want to skip this beautiful short about deepwater free diver Guillaume Néry and the kinds of hypoxia-induced hallucinations he experiences when free diving to depths beyond 100 meters. Thalassophiles who love beautiful underwater cinematography and trippy dream sequences will find the underwater footage hypnotic. Read the rest
Researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and independent shipwreck divers exploring the Golden Gate strait discovered two sunken ships from 1863 and 1910, with several hundreds more "forgotten ghost ships" likely still undiscovered in the area. Read the rest
Perhaps it is just local pride, but nowhere I've been diving, nowhere in the world, compares with California. The abundance and variety of sea life you can encounter underwater from Carmel to Catalina is without compare. The cold water, however, takes some getting used to.
My solution for the last five years or so: the Whites Fusion Drysuit.
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