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The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
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source dares to publish" -- Forbes
August 2000 Vol. 26, No. 8   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Ms. Diver

a look at two new women's dive pubs

from the August, 2000 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Ms. Diver“I am frequently asked how I manage to do such long dives without having a wee in my suit. During my mission dives, I had to resort to adult nappies but was anxious to get rid of the heavy load as soon as I was safely inside our transfer capsule.

“During an early mission, I arrived inside the capsule after eight hours in the water. I looked around for my wee bucket and discovered to my horror that it was gone. I called through the comms system and asked my mates what had happened. They laughed and said, ‘we can’t help it if you are anatomically inadequate.’ They insisted that I share buckets with my male partner since there wasn’t enough room in the capsule for two buckets. Since he had a one galled juice jug with a one-inch opening, I decided this wasn’t going to do.

“I got my revenge by using the plastic container that stored our magazines in the chamber. The next day the magazine container was gone and my wee bucket never went missing again.”

That’s the kind of irreverent reporting that’s the hallmark of Dive Girl, a British magazine devoted to women sports divers. It’s a treat to read.

While there are serious articles about diving slanted directly toward women, Dive Girl is its best with its cheeky, not-sopolitically- correct attitude aimed at women only. Now in its sixth issue, it’s gained a following in England. Whether it will catch on in the U.S. is questionable, because most British magazines don’t. And its not-so-politicallycorrect attitude may not catch the fancy of American women, who are less willing to poke fun at themselves than their British counterparts.

Take the picture of a woman in a dry suit, mask off. It’s labeled “just murder on the mascara,” where Mandy, in a dry suit, “gives a nifty demonstration on how to avoid that ‘panda eyes’ look.” Or the lead of an article on wetsuits that begins: “If you’re fed up fighting your way into ill-fitting wetsuits that make you feel more like a mutant hippo than sex goddess....” Or a dive girl confession: “I surfaced from my dive feeling distinctly yuk. I just about managed to de-kit myself and pull myself over the tubes of the RIB. I slithered across the deck, grabbed hold of the opposite side of the boat and heaved my guts up into the sea ... and right on top of a diver who was waiting patiently to come on board.”

Nevertheless, Dive Girl is a serious publication with an attitude and covers dives of adventurous women, offers diving tips aimed just at women, and provides serious equipment analysis from a woman’s perspective (though the caption might read “when the going gets tough, the tough go shopping”). Thirty-two page issue number 4 had a piece on tekkie diving, North Florida cave diving, beating seasickness, and plenty of short pieces just for women. Sure, Girl pokes fun at feminism, but with the implicit message, “it’s ok if we girls do it, but guys, you go mind your own business, just as you always have.”

Women Underwater is America’s entry into the woman’s dive rag market. A more serious, less colorful magazine, has a relatively standardized editorial approach. “Hillary Viders Named Dan Rolex Diver of the Year,” “Bonnie Cardone Recognized for 25 years of service,” “Announcing Women Divers Hall of Fame,” and an interview with Cathy Church are representative stories. Issue 3, volume 2 carried pieces on a husband and wife team diving under the north pole, breast implants and diving, and a woman on a scholarship from Our World Underwater Scholarship Society researching in the Red Sea. The next issue discusses women at DAN and “Bikinis in Bikini, A Technical Wreck Diving Utopia,” and headlines Tanya Streeter’s new free diving record with the head “Tanya Beats the Boys Again.”

To subscribe to Dive Girl or Women Underwater:

Women Underwater is $18/year within the U.S., $28 elsewhere: P.O. Box
2338, Flemington, NJ 08822. Phone 908-788-9974; fax 908-788-9582; e-mail; website

Dive Girl: 64 Essex Road, London N1 8LR. Phone 0171 226 9925;
fax 0171 354 2442; e-mail; website

An informative magazine, it’s not nearly so fun to read as Dive Girl, but rather emphasizes female pride in diving accomplishments as well as a distinctly feminist approach to the sport. As the editors say, “Women Underwater isn’t just for women. It’s all about them!” Just the sort of publication for a woman serious about diving.

— Ben Davison

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