Finding a way through

jarbru kopia

Click the image to play the movie. (accessible through July 17, 2013)

Ok, big thanks to Swedish public televison broadcaster (SVT) who spoiled us with diving films the last week. Here is a link to another cave diving documentary. This film is about an expedition aiming at finding a passage through the Jarbru cave in Norway.

Film: The invisible river

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Click the image to view the film. (accessible through July 10, 2013.)

Swedish television just aired a documentary about a cave diving project, “Bjurälven”, in the north of Sweden. Due to extremely high water flows, the cave is only accessible for divers in the winter time. Which in northern Sweden can be quite cold. As you can imagine, this makes exploration of the cave quite difficult. As an example, the team has developed special heaters just to keep the regulators from freezing up.

More information on Expedition Bjurälven can be found here.

Best dive of the year 2012: The seal encounter [video]

 

Recently I was asked to identify my best dive of 2012. This time it was easy. The seal encounter during my trip to Väderöarna on the Swedish west coast. It was amazing!

Towards the end of a dive at “Trolleskär” my buddies saw the seal of which I, the only one of us carrying a camera, only caught a glimpse of. Camera was off of course…

Hoping that the seal would return I turned on the camera and we lingered in the same spot for a few minutes. Finally we gave up and continued the dive.

However, at the safety stop, one of my buddies is deploying his SMB, with me filming for future reference and feed back, luck strikes for real!!

The very curious seal returned and circled us, nibbling at our fins. What an experience! Although only a couple of seconds on film, it felt much longer in real time. Definitely the best dive of 2012 and a great reminder of the adventures that can be found below the surface!

So, which was your best dive of 2012?

Learning by snorkeling: an underwater nature trail teaches about life in the Baltic

      

Last week end I decided to go snorkeling in order to try a brand new underwater nature trail provided by The Swedish Archipelago foundation. The snorkeling trail is located at Björnö nature reserve in the Stockholm archipelago (location on map).

So what is a “snorkeling trail”? Well it’s exactly what is sounds like. an underwater trail, with buoys marking spots where information tablets are located on the bottom. The information tablets are placed at depths between 1 to 3 m, and contains a short informative text about marine life that can be found along the trail. A line on the bottom connects the slabs so you don’t have to lift your head out of the water to find your way to the next buoy.

I found the underwater nature trail very appealing. Experiencing the snorkeling trail really is both a great way of getting some exercise and a fun way to learn about marine life! It was really cool trying to spot the fish I had just read about. The only drawback was the water temperature, I used a 7mm wet suit and still, brrr… But hey, its Sweden! Get used to it ! 😉

Overall it was a great experience and I will definitely come back. I hope someone will make a deeper “scuba trail” in a similar fashion.

Dive safe,

/K

[pics from Swedish Archipelago Foundation website]

Doing my part for conservation: Crayfish spotting in a quarry

noble crayfish    Signal crayfish

The other day I got the opportunity to join a friend who is a professional diver and marine biologist on one of his assignments. The task was to dive a local limestone quarry to assess the crayfish population. In Sweden there are two species of crayfish, the naturally occurring species Noble Crayfish (Astacus astacus, flodkräfta in Swedish, left image) and the signal crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus, right image) which has been imported.

Since the imported signal crayfish is a carrier of the crayfish plague to which the noble crayfish is highly  sensitive, efforts are made to eradicate the signal crayfish from private fishing waters, as in the case of the quarry in question. The purpose of our dive therefore was to assess the crayfish population to see how many of the unwanted signal crayfish remained in the quarry.

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