Profiles & Interviews

Profile: Angelique Songco—“Mama Ranger” of Tubbataha

Angelique Songco (Source: TMO)
Angelique Songco (Source: TMO)

In a country that has so much to offer the travelling diver and underwater photographer, there are certain exceptional locations in the Philippines that really stand out and top of the list has to be the remote reefs and atolls of Tubbataha. Don Silcock interviewed a central figure in the story of the conservation of Tubbataha’s marine ecosystems: Angelique Songco.

Mark Derrick of Dive Gear Express

Mark Derrick of Dive Gear Express
Mark Derrick of Dive Gear Express

“Treat customers the way you want to be treated” is a tenet of client relations for which many businesses strive but, sadly, not all achieve. This concept of customer service was the primary building block with which Mark Derrick developed Dive Gear Express (DGX) since its infancy in 2002. In light of the five-star independent Google reviews from 97 percent of DGX patrons, I would say they are on the right track.

DecoStop Q&A: Simon Pridmore

Author Simon Pridmore at a book signing of his books
Author Simon Pridmore at a book signing of his books. Photo courtesy of Simon Pridmore

In this edition, we meet dive professional, technical diving expert, accomplished writer and X-Ray Mag columnist Simon Pridmore, to find out his motivations for writing his Scuba series of dive books, and how his books are different from other dive books on the market.

Edi Frommenwiler: A True Adventurer in Raja Ampat

Edi Frommenwilder. Photo courtesy of Edi Frommenwilder
Edi Frommenwilder. Photo courtesy of Edi Frommenwilder

Back in 1992, very little was known about Raja Ampat in the Indonesian province of what was then known as Irian Jaya. Edi Frommenwiler had heard rumours about how scenic it was, so he studied the area charts and suspected that with so many islands, there must be some great places to explore underwater.

Stefano Carletti: The Man Who Immortalized the Andrea Doria Wreck

Stefano Carletti, Andrea Doria wreck, 1968. Photo courtesy of Bruno Vailati
Stefano Carletti brushing silt off the letters on the Andrea Doria wreck, 1968. Photo courtesy of Bruno Vailati

Stefano Carletti—adventurer, scuba diver, aviator and fisherman. He is a teller of sea tales and a searcher of hidden treasures on the seabed. He is a man who is a mirror of Europe, the “blue continent”—sometimes tempestuous, other times, crystal-clear and peaceful. Carletti’s life has been an extraordinary tailor-made adventure sewn by a life at sea, narrated by books and articles, which still fascinate audiences even today, as in the past.

In Deep with Andrew Fox: Born to Great White Sharks

Andrew Fox and great white shark
Photo-illustration of Andrew Fox with great white shark. Photos courtesy of Andrew Fox

The great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) is undeniably the most well known of the ocean’s many predators. It has, one could say, “form” and is widely considered as a ruthless and terrifying man-eater, which has taken the lives of many innocent swimmers, surfers and divers.

Interview with Bret Gilliam: Trailblazer & Founder of TDI

Bret Gilliam, AUAS Diving Hall of Fame inductee 2012
Bret Gilliam being inducted into the AUAS Diving Hall of Fame in 2012

If you love scuba diving, deep dark waters, decompression procedures and mixed gas theory, you must have heard the name many times: Bret Gilliam, a revolutionary trailblazer in the dive world. Over the past few decades, he has changed the way scuba diving is practiced.

DecoStop Q&A: Dr Richard Smith

Denise’s pygmy seahorse
Denise’s pygmy seahorse. Photo by Dr Richard Smith

In the first of the DecoStop Q&A series, we meet British award-winning underwater photographer, author and marine conservationist Dr Richard Smith, who is the author and photographer of the bestselling new book, The World Beneath: The Life and Times of Unknown Sea Creatures and Coral Reefs.