Yet another technical diver falls in love with the Paralenz Dive Camera. This time, it is a journalist that has been writing about diving since the terminology of “technical diving” was implemented. Here is a short introduction of the man behind the pen.
My name is Michael Menduno or “M2.” I am a journalist and have been writing about diving for thirty years. In particular, I started writing in the late 1980s, around the time of Dr. Bill Stone’s original 1987 Wakulla Springs Project, when what we now call ‘technical diving’ was just emerging.
Having come from the computer industry, I recognized it for what it was: a technological revolution akin to the “PC revolution” in the world of computing. In this case, the technological revolution in question was the use mixed gas technology, which had been first pioneered by the U.S. Navy in the 1930s, and later by offshore commercial divers in the 1960s, to improve diver’s performance and safety.
In the period of less than a decade, serious sports divers, aka “tekkies”, were able to double their operating depths from well-defined recreational diving limits no-stop dives to 40m/130 ft to full-on decompression dives to depths of 80m/262 ft and beyond. The mixed gas technology, of course, was also the necessary precursor to rebreathers which began emerging a decade later.
aquaCorps – The journal for divers
I was hungry for information regarding this new form of sports diving, which was unfortunately absent from diving publications of the day. At the time the D-Words: deep and decompression were strictly regarded as four-letter words by the recreational diving establishment and deemed unsuitable for publication.
The result? I launched aquaCORPS Journal in 1990 to help foment and report on the revolution. A year later, I coined the term “technical diving” (borrowed from ‘technical’ rock climbing) to distinguish it from its recreational diving counterpart, and the name stuck.
The magazine became “aquaCORPS: Journal for Technical Diving.” We later launched Tek, EUROTek and AsiaTek conferences, and Rebreather Forum 1 and 2, before running out of money and closing our doors in 1996. It was a painful year for me.
After a decade-long plus hiatus building a freelance career writing about science and technology, I returned to the business of writing about diving and diving technology, and have been doing it ever since.
Perhaps you have read some of my stories in publications like Alert Diver, DiveLog Australasia, DIVER magazine, QUEST, Outside, Scientific American, Undercurrent, Wired, X-Ray magazine and blogs for the Fourth Element, TDI and Shearwater. In addition to open and closed-circuit scuba diving, I am an avid U.S. Masters swimmer, and have recently gotten into freediving! Just add water!
A Camera For Divers by Divers
I was first introduced to Paralenz camera while covering an international freediving competition, Deja Blue last May in Grand Cayman. The cameras were used to record athletes’ dives, which were then reviewed with the coaches and judges. I was immediately impressed by the quality of images, form factor and the workmanship of the cameras themselves.
Oh, and the little touches: of course, divers would want a depth reading with their images. Thank you very much! It also automatically adjusts the color based on depth. Brilliant. It’s truly a camera for divers by divers, and I knew I had to have one. I am looking forward to incorporating it into my work reporting on our extraordinary tribe of underwater aficionados
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