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April 2003 Vol. 18, No. 4   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Flotsam & Jetsam

from the April, 2003 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Transitions: The Antares Dancer is no longer operating. Sue Hamilton, Peter Hughes VP, told Undercurrent that "the perceived danger in Venezuela created massive cancellations. This, coupled with the travel warnings and our inability to get certain food and labor due to the labor strike left us with no option but to cancel. ... The vessel is up for sale. We are very disappointed because the diving in the Los Roques Archipelago is some of the best in the Caribbean." ... Art Pickering has sold Provo Turtle Divers; when we asked Art what he is going to do with his time, he said he was "going fishing." ... South Caicos has great Caribbean diving, but the owners of South Caicos Ocean Haven, Bob and Diane Musselwhite, have sold the 22- room hotel and dive business to a new owner who will operate it as a combined fishing/diving resort. The Musslewhites plan to operate a diving, fishing, and boat tour operation near the Costa Rican Pacific coastal town of Garza.

BCs and Belts: In reviewing 123 diving deaths in New Zealand, researchers found that only seven divers ditched their weight belts. Only 10 inflated their BCs. Seven divers weren't wearing BCs. Faulty equipment played a role in 14: five regulators failed, eight BCs failed, two air gauges failed, one tank valve failed, and bad air caused one death. (F. Michael Davis, M.D., Medical Director, Christchurch Hospital, N.Z. From the South Pacific Medical Journal.)

Tow it to Orlando: Australian environmental groups are fighting plans to build an artificial island with water slides, a wedding chapel, and an underground cafe on the Great Barrier Reef, a world heritage. Sunlover Cruises wants to anchor a giant fish-shaped concrete pontoon at Moore Reef, about 50 km east of Cairns. The four-story island, the size of a football field, would boast palms, luxury accommodations, and a health spa. It would be visible from 10 miles away. Environmentalists said it would be an eyesore and would cast a huge shadow over the sea floor, depriving many marine creatures of sunlight and generating sewage. Sunlover has said the island would have no discernible impact on the ecology and would blend into the scenery.

Economize in Grand Cayman. A Washington Post undercover writer loved the Turtle Nest Inn, a Spanish-style, two-story hotel. "A red-tiled breezeway leads to a small pool, a sandy beach, then the sea. The rooms and one-bedroom apartments are furnished with wicker, filled with light, have tile floors and a patio or balcony. With rooms starting at $89 a night, it's perhaps the best buy on the island." The snorkeling out front is OK, says Undercurrent reader Jim Woodward (Cincinnati), who checked out an apartment and said "the place is a steal." Tel: 345 947 8665 or visit www.turtlenestinn.com.

Don't Dive These Tables: PADI has discovered errors in their air and Nitrox Recreational Dive Planners (RDPs), which may be included in Open Water and Enriched Air Crew Paks, book and table combinations, CD-ROM combinations and individual tables shipped between October 1, 2002 and January 31, 2003. If you recently procured a PADI table, contact PADI, at 1-866-698- 0974 for further information or visit their website at www.padi.com.

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