More than Forty Years

Ned has been writing for SCUBA magazines since the 70s, and because many articles were published in the pre-PDF days, we have more than forty years of magazines stuffed into bookshelves and closets around our house. We are not diving right now – thanks, Covid-19 – so this seemed like a good time to do a little spring cleaning, but it’s not working out so well. The goal was to review every old article, choose our favorites, and load them here. But for every article I scan, I spend two hours reading the rest of the magazine…and the ads – OMG the ads! Here’s what we’ve loaded so far – they’re added to the Publications page on this blog, where the goal is to keep scanning. Check back in once in a while to see what we’ve added.

What was diving like in Cozumel, Isla Mujeres and Akumal back in 1978? Rooms for as little as $6 a day, two tanks and lunch for $25 and there were only five dive operators on Cozumel! Take a step back in time in Ned’s article about the “intrepid land of adventure, history and serene beauty with its many mysteries and treasures waiting to be discovered anew by each of her welcomed explorers”. “Yucatan” was featured in the March 1978 issue of Sport Diver. Read “Yucatan”

Interview with Peter Benchley, Author of Jaws and The Deep – When Ned was preparing to interview Peter Benchley, Stan Waterman advised him not to ask Benchley about Jaws because he was sick of talking about it. Lucky for Ned that didn’t turn out to be the case. Originally published in the 1984 Winter issue of Ocean Realm. Read “Peter Benchley”

World-renowned marine archeologist Robert Marx discovered over 5000 shipwrecks in 60 countries, wrote over 31 books and 400 articles. He taught himself to read archaic Spanish then spent two and a half years in their archives. He was knighted by the Spanish government for re-enacting Columbus’ voyage to San Salvador in an exact replica of La Niña. Ned interviewed Marx for the Spring 1984 issue of Ocean Realm magazine. Read “Robert Marx”

The Ancient Caves of the Maya – Five years after he and Sheck Exley laid the first line in the cave at Xcaret, Ned accompanied another group of cave diving friends back to the Yucatan. They were sponsored by Pablo Bush Romero, founder of Akumal. Ned recounts their adventure, including meeting two other explorers, Mike Madden and Parker Turner, who introduced them to the now famous Fire Pit and Room of Tears. From the 1986 issue of Ocean Realm magazine. Read “The Ancient Caves of the Maya”

The Deepest Dive: A Study in Controlled Paranoia – In April, 1988, Ned accompanied his friend, Sheck Exley, to northern Mexico, where Sheck made his record setting dive to 780 feet in Nacimiento Del Rio Mante. This article, originally published in Ocean Realm magazine, has been reprinted a number of times in cave diving and adventure publications. Read “The Deepest Dive”

Spawning Hamlets – Our 1995 liveaboard trip aboard the Isla Mia, around Roatan, gave us the luxury of diving at dusk every day when hamlets pair up and spawn. We had just started working on the first edition of Reef Fish Behavior and the extended dive times with these fish gave us a jump start on spawning observations. Originally published in the Spring 1996 issue of Ocean Realm magazine. Read “Spawning Hamlets”

Ghosts of Indonesia – Anyone who has attended one of Ned’s talks about Indonesia has heard the tale of Alfred Russel Wallace, today considered one of the most renowned field biologists of all time and the father of biogeography. In 1858, after weathering a bout of malaria while on Ternate, he wrote, “On the Tendency of Varieties to Depart Indefinitely From the Original Type.” In this article, Wallace’s story and the chain of events set into place by his paper are juxtaposed with our new-found love affair with ghost pipefishes. Originally published in 2001, in Ocean Realm. Read “Ghosts of Indonesia”

Island Fever – Shortly after Ned was sent on assignment to cover Tom and Joan Moody’s dive resort on Pidertupo Island off Panama, he received word that the resort had been burned to the ground and all had been lost. Fast forward to 2000, when we were aboard Nai’a and heard they had rebuilt their lives in Fiji. We went ashore for a quick visit to their Namena resort then returned the next year to spend time interviewing them. Tom’s sister, Peggy, stayed with us in Florida to fill in more details about this amazing couple who lost everything and started over. Published in Fathoms Magazine Summer 2007. Read “Island Fever”

Born in the Wrong Sea – In early 2007, before the first lionfish was found in the Caribbean, the effort to study the invasive species centered around populations in the Bahamas, Bermuda and North Carolina. Collaborators from REEF; the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo; and the National Aquarium, with the support from dive operators in the Bahamas and Bermuda, collected and dissected specimens, tagged many fish, and led the charge to educate people about the spread. We were fortunate to participate in several of the early lionfish expeditions to the Bahamas and Bermuda and wrote this article for Scuba Diving magazine’s March 2008 issue. Read “Born in the Wrong Sea”

Spawning Frogfish – At my request, a friend led us over to the sailboat moorings where Striated Frogfish had been seen for the past week. As soon as we saw two together, we knew they were going to spawn. Our plan to night dive under the Blue Heron Bridge went out the window as we settled in to watch the pair. We were rewarded about 20 minutes later, when the female, nudged into rising by her attendant male, lifted off the bottom to release her cache of eggs. We were in the right place at the right time. Originally published in Alert Diver, Spring 2010. Read “Caught in the Act: Spawning Frogfish” Watch the video “Spawning Frogfish”