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June 1997 Vol. 12, No. 6   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Flotsam & Jetsam

News on line and in letters

from the June, 1997 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

HUB HEAVEN. Bad connections and overnighting have been a drawback to diving the eastern Caribbean, but that may get easier (and, we hope, cheaper) when Air Jamaica opens its new hub in Montego Bay. Beginning June 15, flights from nine U.S. gateways will arrive in the Montego Bay airport by 10:30 a.m. to connect with Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua, Grand Cayman, Nassau, and the Turks and Caicos. The hub will also provide connections to St. Barts, Nevis, St. Kitts, Anguilla, Grenada, and Tobago. And here's the kicker: they're promising unlimited complimentary champagne, rum punch, and wine, and more than peanuts to eat. (Air Jamaica, 800-523-5585.)

ILL WINDS. Looking for summertime Caribbean travel bargains? Take into account this year's hurricane forecast, which is, in a word, busy. Since 1950 the average has been 9 tropical storms a year, with 5 or 6 growing to hurricane strength and 2 of those surpassing 110 mph intensity. This year, experts are predicting 11 tropical storms, 7 of which will grow to hurricane strength of 74 mph, during the hurricane season that runs from June 1 to Nov. 30. Of those, 3 will be major, with winds of at least 110 mph.

HEADS UP. World free-dive record holder Francisco "Pipin" Ferreras was airlifted to a Florida hospital after suffering a possible air embolism during a practice attempt to beat his own record of 439 feet on one breath. After making a 450-foot practice free dive and then a scuba dive to 200 feet, Pippin was back on the boat when he suddenly fell backwards and struck his head on the front of the cabin. He was rushed to a hospital, treated for a concussion, and placed in a decompression chamber for a possible air embolism.

PAPER CHASE. Chris Plaum and his wife have been to Cayman several times. His wife, with no passport, had always gotten into the country with her driver's license and a voter's registration card. Not this trip. The rules changed last July. Denied boarding on their international flight, they lost two days of their prepaid resort accommodation on Little Cayman and had to charter a flight to get there from Grand Cayman. While it may still be possible to still enter Cayman with proof of identity and citizenship, such as a birth certificate and voter registration card, the bottom line is don't take a chance -- get a passport.

UPDATE. In the March issue we wrote, "Peter Hughes was one of the first to jump into the market with his Underwater Curaao, but Peter pulled out and left the operation in the hands of the Seaquarium." A true statement, but Peter was upset that we did not mention that he returned to Curaao in 1993 with a new operation at the Princess Beach Resort. Peter was also quick to point out that not only was he back with a PADI Five Star Center, but that you can also get 32 and 36 percent Nitrox fills and certifications. Thanks, Peter.

Undercurrent or In Depth?

Undercurrent began in 1975, In Depth in 1986. I left Undercurrent in 1994, bought In Depth from John Q. Trigger in 1995, then repurchased Undercurrent in 1996.

After several schizophrenic months, John and I have decided to reclaim the name of Undercurrent and drop both In Depth and my name from the title.

Ben Davison

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