The Antarctic Dive Guide

The Antarctic Dive Guide

Lisa Eareckson Kelley
Series: WILDGuides
Copyright Date: 2015
Edition: REV - Revised, 3
Pages: 144
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt13x0rjg
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  • Book Info
    The Antarctic Dive Guide
    Book Description:

    The Antarctic Dive Guideis the first and only dive guide to the seventh continent, until recently the exclusive realm of scientific and military divers. Today, however, the icy waters of Antarctica have become the extreme destination for recreational divers wishing to explore beyond the conventional and observe the strange marine life that abounds below the surface. This book is packed with information about the history of diving in Antarctica and its wildlife, and features stunning underwater photography.

    The Antarctic Dive Guidecovers 31 key dive sites on the Antarctic Peninsula and South Georgia and includes maps and detailed guidance on how best to explore each site. Essential information is also provided on how to choose and prepare for travel to this remote region, and diving techniques for subzero waters. This book is an indispensable resource for anyone considering diving in Antarctica, and an exciting read for anyone interested in this little-explored underwater world.

    This fully revised and updated third edition:

    Covers 4 new dive sitesFeatures revised and updated information for the other 27 sites coveredIncludes new sections on the Sea Leopard Project and natural product chemistry from Antarctic marine organisms

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-6599-4
    Subjects: Sociology, Environmental Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-2)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 3-4)
  3. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
    (pp. 5-5)
  4. A BRIEF HISTORY OF DIVING IN ANTARCTICA
    (pp. 6-8)

    The first dive in Antarctica was made in 1902 by Willy Heinrich, the carpenter on Drygalski’s 1901–03 expedition. He used a large brass Siebe diving helmet, stiff canvas suit, and heavy lead boots, while supplied with air from the surface. Utilizing this elementary diving gear, Heinrich was able to dive under Drygalski’s expedition vesselGausswhile she was frozen in the ice, carrying out ship repairs such as caulking of the hull. Heinrich was the pioneer of Antarctic diving, and one of the few divers to explore under the sea ice. Most of his diving peers chose the less...

  5. THE CONTINENT OF ANTARCTICA
    (pp. 9-11)

    Around 200 million years ago Antarctica was joined with Australia, Africa, South America, India, and New Zealand, as part of the supercontinent of Gondwana. As tectonic plates groaned and shifted across the globe, Gondwana began to break apart, its pieces creating the continents and islands we know today. Settling into its south polar position, Antarctica began to cool rapidly. The world’s fifth largest continent, Antarctica’s 13.9 million square kilometers feature massive mountain ranges, hills, valleys, and plains. The continent’s present shape has been best described as a ‘stingray,’ the tail pointing towards South America’s Tierra Del Fuego, and the head...

  6. DIVING IN ANTARCTICA
    (pp. 12-25)

    Recreational Scuba diving in Antarctica is a very specialized form of tourist travel, only becoming available in the last two decades. Before this, diving in the Antarctic was the exclusive realm of scientific programs and journalists. Of the 35,000 people who currently visit the continent each year, divers make up a very small percentage. However, Antarctica is fast becoming the world’s number one extreme dive destination, and each year the number of divers grows. Organized dive travel to Antarctica is currently limited to a few expedition companies and charter boats, but this is enough to give you several choices for...

  7. LEOPARD SEALS
    (pp. 26-34)

    As one of the top predators in the Antarctic, Leopard Seals (Hydrurga leptonyx) present a risk to humans Scuba diving (hereafter referred to simply as diving) and snorkeling in the Antarctic region. There is a lack of detailed information on the nature of interactions divers and snorkelers have with Leopard Seals. However as a direct result of the death of a snorkeler in Antarctica in July 2003, efforts have recently been made to attempt to quantify the likelihood of interactions and to provide information to enable more appropriate assessment of the hazards and risk associated with Leopard Seals.

    Human perceptions...

  8. UNDERWATER PHOTOGRAPHY AND VIDEOGRAPHY IN ANTARCTICA
    (pp. 35-41)
    Göran Ehlmé

    After taking both still and video images in Antarctica for many years, there are some things I would like to share with you …

    The waters surrounding Antarctica are some of the most incredible, yet difficult environments in the world in which to take video or photographs. Conditions of low light, high particulate matter and surge are often combined, creating a challenge for even the most experienced of underwater photographers. The common perception is that as Antarctic waters are so cold (between -1.9°C -0°C) they are absent of life. But nothing could be further from the truth. Antarctica has one...

  9. OTHER WAYS OF CAPTURING THE UNDERWATER REALM OF ANTARCTICA
    (pp. 42-43)

    In the sub-zero and relatively unexplored bottom of Antarctica waters, ROVs create a scenario whereby a person on the surface, can safely explore at depths of over 100m. It is often here that unidentified or uncategorized creatures of Antarctica are found.

    Remotely Operated Vehicles are just that – there is no operator actually sitting in the vehicle and, instead, a variation of a ‘remote control’ system is used to drive it. The pilot (they are called this because they ‘fly’ the ROV) stays dry at the water’s surface while the vehicle ventures into the sometimes dangerous underwater environment.

    The reason...

  10. COMMON BENTHIC LIFE OF THE ANTARCTIC PENINSULA AND SOUTH GEORGIA
    (pp. 44-52)

    The benthic life of Antarctica is surprisingly rich. Some of the marine life most likely to be encountered by a recreational diver is shown in this section.

    Sea stars are one of the most common and diverse invertebrates you will notice while diving in Antarctica and South Georgia. They inhabit a wide variety of environments and depths, regulated primarily by what they feed on. Some sea stars are grazers, eating detritus and algae, some utilize larger decaying bodies, and some only feed on sponges or other sea stars. The two most commonly seen species areOdonaster validusandDiplaserias brucei....

  11. NATURAL PRODUCT CHEMISTRY FROM ANTARCTIC MARINE ORGANISMS
    (pp. 53-57)
    Bill J. Baker

    The stark white landscape of terrestrial Antarctica and gentle blue-green hues of glacial ice contrasts sharply with the marine environment. Underwater, forests of red, green and brown seaweeds rival the kelp forests of the Pacific, colorful invertebrates carpet rocky substrates in a tapestry of delightful complexity, and the activity of fishes, seals and penguins belies the notion of Antarctica as a serene environment. Indeed, Antarctica has been encircled by the circumpolar current for millennia, establishing an endemic marine flora and fauna protected from encroachment by organisms from other continents by extreme cold and unusual patterns of day and night. These...

  12. THE DIVE SITES
    (pp. 58-58)

    The bulk of this book is devoted to providing information, descriptions, and guidance on the diving conditions at 24 dive sites on the Antarctic Peninsula and seven on South Georgia. The map opposite indicates the location of each of the Peninsula dive sites, numbered broadly from north to south, and the map onpage 109. shows the dive sites on South Georgia, numbered from east to west.

    Each dive site account is structured in a similar way and includes its coordinates and a map showing the approximate position of each dive location (indicated with a flag).

    Towards the top of...

  13. GUIDANCE FOR VISITORS TO THE ANTARCTIC
    (pp. 124-125)

    Activities in the Antarctic are governed by the Antarctic Treaty of 1959 and associated agreements, referred to collectively as the Antarctic Treaty System. The Treaty established Antarctica as a zone of peace and science.

    In 1991, the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Parties adopted the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, which designates the Antarctic as a natural reserve. The Protocol sets out environmental principles, procedures and obligations for the comprehensive protection of the Antarctic environment, and its dependent and associated ecosystems. The Consultative Parties have agreed that, pending its entry into force, as far as possible and in accordance...

  14. MARINE WILDLIFE WATCHING GUIDELINES
    (pp. 126-133)

    The International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators(IAATO) has developed the following Wildlife Watching Guidelines to provide guidance to vessel operators while viewing cetaceans, seals, and birds in their marine environment. In addition, these guidelines suggest additional ways to comply with Annex II (Conservation of Antarctic Fauna and Flora) of the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty. The guidelines do not replace any domestic governmental laws, but provide an additional code of conduct to help reduce potential disturbance to the marine environment. Some countries have guidelines or regulations stricter than these, and which may override these guidelines. Violations may...

  15. Glossary
    (pp. 134-140)
  16. PHOTO AND ART CREDITS
    (pp. 141-142)
  17. SUGGESTED FURTHER READING
    (pp. 143-143)
  18. ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    (pp. 143-143)
  19. ABOUT THE OTHER CONTRIBUTORS
    (pp. 144-144)