Learn the wonderful underwater universe with us!


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Read in the new issue:

Ice-diving tale

International Festival of Underwater Images in Antibes

Island Gozo

Maldives - country of “bounty”

Komandor islands - islands of a dream


Freezing and hypothermia

Neoprene and suits


MARES - 50 years!

Regulator, catching Your breath

International Festival of Cave Images

Diving festivals, conferences and shows of 2000

Kings of the Deep

Fishing tales of the world 



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Russian Diving Magazine is designed not only for divers of all federations and ratings, instructors and experts in diving gear, but also for the wide range of romantic people who love Ocean, adventure and underwater world. Almost all Russian dive schools, centers, instructors, stores of diving equipment, travel agencies and divers are our subscribers and readers.


SUBJECT OF THE ISSUE presents one or another diving specialty and direction in diving activity: ice-diving, cave-diving, solo diving etc. In a story all sapects of this type of diving is described in details including specific gear, methodics, conditions, history, most famous expeditions etc.

PORTOFOLIO presents outstanding underwater photographers and artists with their biographies and the best works.

TRAVEL is a subdivision on dive travelling, diving in various places all over the world, tropical voyages and northern expeditions. By the end of each article the magazine places dive and tour operators organising diving in the described place.

MEDICINE tells the stories about specific medical problems associated with SCUBA diving, as well as about obvious illnesses torturing mankind and making diving complicated.

EQUIPMENT. In this part the magazine describes the details of diving gear, material they are made from, makes comprehensive comparison of the gear produced by different firms, announces new models and materials.

MISCELLANEOUS is a mosaics part including the articles on various subjects associated with diving.

WATER EXTREME is a part about various water extremal sports like serfing, ice-kayaking, free diving etc.

  1. Professional net: diving schools and clubs, dive shops and stores in Russia and all countries of CIS; Russian offices of CMAS and NAUI.
  2. Retail net: book stores and supermarkets
  3. Special net: Russian offices and international airlines of Russian and Foreign air-companies; hotel systems of National, Intercontinental and Mariott.
  4. Sport, travel and diving exhibitions, shows, festivals, conferences and instructor meetings.

Editor’s Word

Greetings to the cold winter with snow, ice and frost embracing the beginning 2000 year. As usual, on the edge of the old and new years, all our thoughts go back to the past: how we spent the leaving year. The last was prominent and very important for us, due to the simple reason: we were born in 1999! We do everything for the first time now: meeting a New Year’s Yve, congratulating our readers with Christmas holidays, and in particular those, who dived and looked under the water curtains in the passed year for the first time. The first dive could turn the entire life upside down and start a new era for a person. It happens all the time!

Now about the future. We can not meet a new year without any good news: our magazine swithes from three- to be-monthly schedule since January 2000! Congratulations accepted. This issue is published two weeks in advance of the planned time because the editorial board could not miss a pleasure to wish all our dear readers a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! All our wishes as well as wishes of the prominent leaders of the dive-industry You may find on our Chrismas Tree.

See You in 2000!


M.Safonov. Ice-Tale

The story is a real and exiting Ice-Tale covering various aspects of ice-diving. All people understand the beauty of the coral reefs - till it becomes too obvious, but not so many have ever been on the grand and wild North. The gorgeous ice landscapes impress anybody, and so does ice-diving itself.

The most essential aspect of the proper and safe ice-diving is equipment. It should be designed for the low temperature and protected from freezing. The article explains the specific demands to dry suits, BCDs, regulators, masks etc. The separate chapter is dedicated to the methods of ice-diving - from planning, preparation and making a hole in ice to the ascent and proper use of the diving line. Particular attention is paid to the possible problems and methods of their prediction and elimination.

One of the most wonderful places for great ice-diving is the White Sea, Baikal Lake and, of course, the North Pole. But these programmes are for the really enthusiastic and adventurous divers.


International Festival of Underwater Images (Antibes, France)

In this issue the portfolio is something different - it’s not of a person but of an event. Every year on the Cote d’Azure in the small town Antibes near Nice many professional and amateur underwater artists, photographers, writers, film-makers and prominent leaders of the dive-industry join the annual International Festival of Underwater Images. It’s a great festivity of underwater arts - the biggest in the world. We publish a report about the 26th Festival in 1999 with the slides - winners of the competition. There is also a portrait gallery of the most popular underwater artists with their stories and interviews. The five days of the Fesival passed as a single moment filled with the grand beauty of our beloved underwater world.


D.Orlov. Island Gozo.

This is a story on the wonderful and famous diving place in the middle of the Mediterranean - island Gozo (Malta). Caverns and caves, steep walls, beautiful rocky landscapes, blue water and excellent visibility make diving here exciting and interesting. There are some outstanding sites, famous world wide - such as Blue Hole, Azure Window, Coral Cave and a deep cave Marsalform. With the assistance of StAndrews Divers Cove our team explored the deeps of Gozo and Comino caves.


D.Nomokonov. Komandor islands

The chain of islands is spread from Kamchatka to Alaska through the Pacific. American part of the chain is called Aleut islands, and Russian part - Komandor islands. The last consist of two big and two small islands. All of them and surrounding waters are inhabited by wonderful animals, that could hardly be seen in other places: endemic seals, sea otters, blue foxes, grey and white whales, killer whales, big octopuses and squids, giant crabs and alive-bearing sea stars. Komandor Isles is a place where the giant Steller’s Cow was last seen on Earth in the beginning of our century. Even now You may find its bones on the long sandy beaches of Bering’s island - along with the bones of whales and seals washed out the stormy Pacific Ocean.

Have You ever eaten red caviar by kilogramms dreaming of a piece of bread? In July red fish start going into the shallow rivers to attach red caviar to stones in fresh water. Fish stay so close to each other, that it looks like there is no water between their backs packed together. Locals come to the rivers and kick fish out the water, cut their bellies, take red caviar and leave the fish to gulls, blue foxes and wild dogs. When they fill in the backets they go back home and preserve it in big burrels for a long winter.

There is a village of 200 people on Bering’s island - the only one on the Komandors. Most of the residents work for the blue fox farm or just live on what Nature gives them. It’s a great luck to get wet on the Komandors, but it is not so easy.


G.Salkova. Octopuses.

This is an exiting story about funny and smart animals called “primates of the sea”. It covers all aspects of octopuses’ behaviour, biology, physiology and ecology. For a long time octopuses were a horrour model expressed in various thriller books and films. All this staff was finished when people started diving and saw these wonderful animals underwater by their own eyes. Octopuses turned out to be very kind abd funny creatures always trying to escape a danger, run from divers and protect their houses. Their wise and complicated behaviour is a legend among those working with them. Octopuses should be treated with respect and should never be desturbed and provoked to agression. The detailes of cephalopod life is supplied with unique photos made in shallow and deep waters in various seas.

The author is a famous scientist specialised in behaviour of octopuses, who explored them extensively in the Sea of Japan.


I.Aristov & A.Sonnov. Hypothermia.

During a long Russian winter and in particular in the process of ice-diving, there is always a danger of hypothermia. Avoiding and predicting this problem is a special skill which should be tought in the ice-diving course. But if a complicated situation or unproper training makes diver hypothermed, there is always a way to stay safe and sound. Any cold water diver should know how to avoid and treat hypothermia. This is a subject of this medical report, written by two professional doctors.


M.Semenov. Photoboxes. The extensive description of photoboxes made by various firms, available in the international market.

Experimental tests of the regulator Atomic under ice.

N. Balachova. Neoprene. Description of the various types of neoprene used for making wet, semi-dry and dry hydrosuits.

N. Bocharov. MARES - 50 years! The brief review of the famous and popular MARES - one of the best producers of diving equipment - in honour of its 50th Unniversary


International Festival of Cave and Cavern Images

V.Skvortsov. The Oceanographic Institurte and Museum in Monako.

Underwater festivals, exhibitions and conferences in 2000

Personal statements and requests


Gianni Risso. Kings of the Abyss. Reports about the new records in Free Diving by Gianluca Genoni and Umberto Pelizzari.


It is very easy: just E-mail us Your willing to publish an advert module in the next or another issue and we will discuss the rates and the size of Yur advertisement. The module could follow the article what is also a subject to discuss.

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It is very easy: just E-mail us that You have an interesting material - articles or photos - and we will discuss a possibility of their publication in our magazine.

Our E-mail is   and our fax is ( +7 - 095) - 939-1133


Publishing company: Underwater World

Publisher & Editor-in-Chief: Dr. Dmitri Orlov

Technical Editor: Igor Zainev

Deputy Editor: Mikhail Semenov

Head of advertising department: Oksana Nechaeva

Head of the distribution department: Vladimir Kuznetsov

Agency “Incom-Press”

Printed in “Diamond-Press”

Postal address:

Underwater World, a/ya # 63, Moscow 119285 Russia

tel/fax: +7 095 939-1133



March 09-12. 7th Moscow International Sport and Boat Show

April 14-16. 1st Moscow International Diving Salon.


DIVING CLUB ¹ 2 1999


D.Orlov. Woman in Diving

Decades ago, when simple diving equipment demanded good phisical fitness, SCUBA-diving was a tough sport or work for male professionals. The situation is different nowdays: it’s difficult to say who is more involved in diving activities - men or women. Female diving in Russia as in a country with strong asiatic and old-fashionable roots, is not so trivial and obvious...

The article covers all aspects of women’s diving including specific gear, limits, medicine, female psychology and phisiology related to diving and behaviour underwater.

Songs of the Wrecks (end)

Article covers various aspects of wreck diving: specific gear, methods of penetration, behaviour inside a wreck, beginning and advanced wreck diving.


Meeting Mikhail Semenov


A.Shlikov. Men, birds and pigs, or, In the depths of the New Guinea

A fascinating story by the professional photographer who lived with savage cannibal tribes in jungles of the New Guinea. It’s a story about ancient traditions, thrilling combats between the tribes and hunting for human sculls. The author describes how the tribes live in jungles and on the ocean shore, how they feed and exist in the end of the XXth century.

Safari on Oyster

In the midst of the Red Sea overcrowded with divers from all the world, there are two places - National Reserves, surprising visitors by its devine virgine nature. Both of them - small coral islands with the steep vertical walls densely covered with hard, gorgonian and soft corals. These walls - real oasises - attract big amount of pelagic fish, sharks, barracudas and huge turtles. These bizarre sites are Brother Islands in front of Safaga and Rocky Island on the border with Sudan. Only one famous five-star liveboard has a licence to visit those places - Oyster, or, as it was called in American market, Moon Dancer. This is a story about our exclusive safaris on Oyster to the Brother and Rocky Islands.

“Diving in Russia” - new programme of our magazine

In many minds world wide, SCUBA-diving is associated with coral reefs, colourful fish, wrecks and sharks. A reason is obvious: 90% of divers go to tropical areas on their vacations, and only 10% of experienced people who had enough of the “fish soup”, prefer some exotic adventurous places. Marine resorts in Mediterranean, Caribbean and the Red Sea, on Maldives and Seychells are saturated with dive-centers and shops, annually visited by thousands of people. But the very few divers had a chance to step and dive on the polar circle during the bright white polar nights or dive in really wild nature and stay close to marine environment with no other humans underwater hundreds km around!

Eco-Tourism becomes more and more popular world wide, what is natural, because people want to know underwater universe and its marvellous life. Russia is surely one of the best countries for this purpose, and in particular, northern and Far-Easten Coast with their remote islands. But the information on diving in Russia is close to nil even now, though ten years passed since the end of the so called “cold war”. Ask Youself what You know about it, and You will agree, that nothing. Well, no surprise!

Our magazine announces a new programme “Diving in Russia” dedicated to the best dive sites in Russia and their promotion. In the terms of this programme we organise diving expeditions to various exciting places and report our readers about their results. In the current issue there are three stories about the Lake Baikal, Barentsevo Sea and the Island Moneron.

Its Majesty BAIKAL

Lake Baikal is a widely known diamond of Nature situated on the South of Siberia. It was formed as a crack in the earthcrust filled then with the glacier water. Baikal is the deepest and the most transparent lake in the world, due to its origin. Its underwater life isolated from any seas, oceans or other lakes, is unique and bizarre. Transparent water up to 50 m visibility allow divers watch all the grand beauty of underwater canions and caves, vertical walls and reefs arising from the deep of 1.600 m. Smooth walls of the natural rocky castles are covered with the forests of green bushy spongie, making water brightly emerald. Summers at the lake are usually sunny and warm; rains and thunderstorms are more frequent in September and October, when the forests become dressed in fascinating golden colours. Lake coast is so beautiful that it seems coming from a fairy-tale. It is mainly of high abrupt rocks and mountains covered with the wild forests inhabited by deers, bears, foxes, wolves, clouds of birds and other wild life.

This is a romantic story about our two-week diving safari around the whole lake.

Cruises on the WHITE and BARETSEVO seas

History of Russian North has always been influenced by the White Sea, as by the epicenter of trading, cultural, religious and scientific life. Now the White Sea is widely known as a brilliant of the Northern Nature, still wild and pure as thousands years ago. We can easily meet elegant and funny seals basking in the sun; they are cute, curious and come close to boats and working divers. White whales are more careful, and we admire their snow-white backs from a distance. On depths exceeding 20 m, under the bleary layer of thermowedge, separating warm surface and cold deep waters, the sea is inhabited by bizarre arctic creatures: huge anemones of various species, giant soft corals, multirayed pink and orange sea stars, rare bryozoans and big hermit-crabs with shells fouled with anemones and hydrozoans.

The only civilised place there You can live and dive from, is a specialised safari boat of the Diving Club & School of Moscow State University named “Kartesh”.

Marine fauna of the Barentsevo and White Sea is not that impressive and picturesque as coral reefs in the Red Sea or Carribean, but everything here is so different from what You have seen before!

Island Moneron - a star of the Far East

Small and uninhabited island Moneron is situated near the southern point of Sakhalin Penninsula. Wild nature of the island surprises everyone who comes here to visit the seals sunbathing on the rocks, whales playing in the blue water, and giant sea stars walking on the bottom.


In the kingdom of mangroves

The eco-system of mangroves is one of the most strange in the world. It’s a place where sea meets with jungles, and they mix with the unimaginable explosion of life. Tropical areas of mangroves are famous for their endemic fauna and extremal diving.


A. Sonnov & I. Aristov. New aspects of the decompression sickness


A. Kashunin. Wet Suits


V.Skvortsov. In the banana-lemon Singapore

Letter from the Crimea


A.Zoubkov. Ice kayaks


D.Orlov. Tchao (end of the story)