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March 2017    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 32, No. 3   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Toilet Paper, Dirty Money, Tiny Cockroaches

Undercurrent subscribers tell it like it is

from the March, 2017 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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Undercurrent's Reader's Reports have become something of an institution, simply because they provide both an up-to-date insight into the actual impressions people came away with after their trip and a long-term perspective on how things might have improved or otherwise. When it comes to dive resorts and liveaboards, this sort of reliable information, found conveniently in one place, is almost impossible to come by elsewhere, but Undercurrent subscribers are well-served in this regard, with more than 9000 travel reports filed to date.

Of course, everyone wants to have a great time on a trip-of-a-lifetime -- and most people do. Mainstream diving media is rich with the wonderful experiences to be had, and Undercurrent reader reports are no exception. However, often some small detail can spoil things for you, and to be forewarned is to be forearmed. Well-informed travelers can cope with the inevitable imperfections of life.

Jennifer Bowers (Bellville, TX) offers a simple example, the absence of toilet paper during her trip to Cuba, a trip on the Aggressor I. A toilet roll packed in your bag can make the difference between an unfortunate drama and a sublime experience. Jeanne Reeder (Columbia, MO) didn't like the idea of raw sewage being dumped into the calm lagoon waters of the Gardens of the Queen either.

The travel agent or destination should explain things like this shortage of toiletries in Cuba to a diver at the time of booking, along with straightforward things like diving certifications and medical certificates that may be required. When they don't, divers can miss dives.

Medicals and Certifications

Richard Bruch (Durham, NC) was disappointed to find that three out of four in his group "failed the South Pacific Underwater Medical Society (SPUMS) dive medical clearance utilized in Queensland, Australia." They eventually sorted things out, but it required hurried emails. Bruch says that DAN advised him that SPUMS has the world's strictest fitness-to-dive criteria.

While checking in with Ocean Encounters in Curacao, Sterling Levie (Holmdel, NJ) learned that "My daughter and I both had problems involving PADI's medical forms. She had had sinus surgery years before, and I have a stent in a coronary artery. PADI requires a doctor's approval for diving in both instances. Although it satisfied the PADI requirement, my daughter's approval was challenged for not being on a doctor's letterhead," but she eventually still got to dive....


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