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Current Online Updates*
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Updated August 17, 2015
These brief news articles below were sent out via email to all divers who signed up for our free email list.
You can sign up here to receive future Undercurrent Online Updates and get news alerts and special offers like these every month.

How About $2,299 Business Class to the South Pacific?
How Divers Can Get the Most from their GoPros
Bonaire Court Rules in Marine Park's Favor
Why an Undercurrent Subscription Will Make Your Next Dive Trip Better
Stop a Controversial Cruise Ship Dock in the Caymans
What You're Missing in Undercurrent
Windsurfers and Divers Don't Mix
Undercurrent Reader Loses Dive Knife; Another Reader Returns It 30 Years Later
Want to Help This Woman Diver Beat a World Record?
Aqua Lung Facing a Class Action Lawsuit
Florida Lawyer Caught with 28 Lobsters
Undercurrent Receives an Award for Our Stories
Coming Up in Undercurrent

How About $2,299 Business Class to the South Pacific?  August 17, 2015

You won't find world-class diving in the Cook Islands, but for $2,299 round-trip in business class between October 10 and February 6, you can beat the winter blues. There are caveats: Air New Zealand's LAX-Rarotonga flights still use the cradle seat in business class, not flat beds. There's only one flight a week in each direction, departing Sundays from LAX and just before midnight on Saturdays from Rarotonga. So, for mediocre diving and but better snorkeling, that's a good deal for the South Pacific, and you'll even earn frequent flyer miles. Purchase tickets by August 18. P.S.: Stay two weeks and make a hop to New Zealand or Fiji.

How Divers Can Get the Most from their GoPros  August 17, 2015

In this month's issue, John Bantin writes, "I've watched divers who have made the trip of their lifetimes to remote locations like Truk Lagoon use their GoPro cameras after opening them straight out of the box. I fear they will inevitably be disappointed with the results. Here's my advice on how you can get professional-looking results when taking your GoPro underwater." Read his tips for free - the GoPro story is available to read on the top of our homepage.

Bonaire Court Rules in Marine Park's Favor  August 17, 2015

Bonaire's government was recently trying to open the national marine park to commercial development by rezoning protected locations next to Karel's Beach Bar and the former Green Parrot restaurant. Protestors led by Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire sued, and the court ruled in their favor on July 21, stating that authorities are "significantly breaching decades-old protection policy" of the marine park. It's not over yet: Bonaire's court of appeals will review the ruling, but plaintiffs believe it will stand. For more details, go to http://www.savebonairemarinepark.org

Why an Undercurrent Subscription Will Make Your Next Dive Trip Better  August 17, 2015

Subscriber Vann S. Johnson (Raleigh, NC) wrote us to say he couldn't have had such wonderful dive trips without Undercurrent. "We have thoroughly enjoyed and gained immense value from Undercurrent for many years while visiting multiple locations in the South Pacific, many with Peter Hughes liveaboards as well as the Adelaar out of Bali. Our final trip across the Pacific was a two-week trip to Atlantis resorts in Puerta Gallera and Dumaguete in the Philippines last summer. I want to say a heartfelt thank you for all you do for the diving industry." Make your own dive trips better by subscribing to Undercurrent. In particular, you'll benefit from our Reader Reports, thousands of reviews and ratings for dive resorts, liveaboards and dive destinations worldwide. Along with our monthly newsletters, special subscriber-only updates, and travel deals, you'll know the latest, the greatest, the best, and the worst of goings-on in the dive industry so you'll know what gear to buy, what dive resorts to avoid, etc. Your satisfaction guaranteed or your money back. For our best deal ever, and a free copy of our 244-page book, There's a Cockroach in my Regulator, subscribe here.

Stop a Controversial Cruise Ship Dock in the Caymans  August 17, 2015

The Cayman government is reviewing plans to build a cruise ship dock that would require extensive dredging and reef damage in the George Town Harbor. Several dive sites, including Devil's Grotto, Soto's Reef and the Balboa wreck, would be destroyed. The Diving Equipment & Marketing Association is taking a strong stance against the construction, asking divers to sign this online petition. The petition needs at least 30,000 signatures before it goes to the Cayman's Department of the Environment.

What You're Missing in Undercurrent  August 17, 2015

Arenui, Indonesia: unique critter haven, but a notch below luxury . . . a major recall of 2,600 masks due to shattering glass . . . Fantasy Island Resort, Roatan: saying goodbye to an old friend . . . what's going on with the Aggressor Fleet? . . . the latest shark research: shields are effective, bubble curtain are not . . . Aqua Lung facing a class-action lawsuit . . . how divers can get the most from their GoPros underwater . . .Florida fugitive dive operators found in St. Maarten, then charged with manslaughter . . . lessons learned from two dead divers . . . is the Scubapro's new Mantis dive computer worth buying? . . .and much more.

Windsurfers and Divers Don't Mix  August 17, 2015

We're usually talking about how divers should watch out for boat propellers when ascending, but beware of windsurfers, too. A Russian diver died on July 20 after being hit in the neck by a windsurfing board when surfacing from a dive in the Canary Islands. The 31-year-old woman was diving for shellfish in Gran Canaria's Forma Bay and wasn't using a surface marker to signal her position; she bled to death from the deep cut on her neck. Spain's Civil Guard said it wouldn't press charges because initial investigations suggested the diver accidentally strayed into the area set aside for windsurfers. The windsurfer was taken to the hospital due to an anxiety attack he suffered immediately after the diver was found.

Undercurrent Reader Loses Dive Knife; Another Reader Returns It 30 Years Later  August 17, 2015

Mona Cousens (Goleta, CA) lost her engraved dive knife in Baja California 30 years ago. In the early 90s, Jim Levi (Oro Valley, AZ) was diving off Seal Island, near La Paz, when he found the knife on the sea bottom. "I could see Mona's name engraved, but the knife had started to corrode," Levi told us. "I took it home as a souvenir and it sat in my shop since, until I found it again while cleaning. I realized that when I'm dead and gone, nobody would care about the knife, so I thought it was time to look for its owner." He Googled Cousens and found the posts she made to Undercurrent, then contacted us to see if we could contact Cousens. She and Levi exchanged e-mails, and Cousens got her long-thought-lost knife back at the end of July.

Want to Help This Woman Diver Beat a World Record?  August 17, 2015

The Guinness World Record for the longest scuba dive is being challenged regularly, by both men and by women. Last month, American diver Kristi Quill stayed underwater for 51 hours, 25 minutes. In October, Kuwaiti diver Reem Abdullah Al Edan will attempt to break that record in the Red Sea, near Hurghada, Egypt. The event is being organized by the same team that helped run Egyptian male diver Walaa Hafez's record-breaking dive (51 hours, 24 minutes) last June. Al Edan is completing her SSI Instructor qualification; she wants to raise awareness of women in Arab countries who face daily challenges and inspire them to succeed in a male-dominated atmosphere. Thus, organizers want her support team to consist mainly of women, and are seeking applications from female divers interested in helping out - send resumes to reem.longestscubadive@gmail.com

Aqua Lung Facing a Class Action Lawsuit  August 17, 2015

Ralph Huntzinger, a diver from San Diego, filed a lawsuit in May against Aqua Lung America, alleging the software on some dive computers it distributes in the U.S. can malfunction, giving inaccurate information and thus making them life-threatening. According to the complaint he filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, Huntzinger is seeking class-action status, and wants more than $5 million in damages, plus court costs, for all affected buyers. Aqua Lung filed a motion to dismiss the case; the hearing on that is scheduled for next month. We wrote about the lawsuit in this month's issue; subscribe now to get the details and see what dive computers are in question.

Florida Lawyer Caught with 28 Lobsters  August 17, 2015

With all the lawyer jokes out there, Fort Myers attorney Steven Koeppel didn't do his profession any favors when he was arrested July 29 near Islamorada with 28 illegal lobsters hidden on his boat. In a random vessel check, officers stopped Koeppel's 25-foot boat during the first day of the two-day lobster sport season last month. Koeppel, 55, there with his two sons, showed officers 18 legal lobsters (the bag limit is six lobsters per person in those waters), but the officers found 28 additional lobsters hidden in a compartment under the deck. "If it had been, 'Oh, we didn't know the regulations,' it might have just been a citation," Officer Bobby Dube told the News- Press. "But the fact that the lobsters were hidden shows outright intent to circumvent the law; any first-year law student could tell you that . . . There's no way he didn't know what he was doing. And he's teaching his two kids to break the law."

Undercurrent Receives an Award for Our Stories  August 17, 2015

We're delighted to report that Jon Scott of the Singing Field Foundation in Plainfield, NH, has awarded us a $1,000 grant for our "coverage of environmental issues, advocacy, and fund raising [for causes important to divers]." It's because of our advocacy that the dive industry itself has never bestowed an award on Undercurrent and, in fact, has conveniently ignored us for 40 years. But that's why our loyal subscribers keep us going -- we advocate for divers, not for the industry. It's especially pleasing that Jon, a diver himself, has recognized our contribution. A big thanks to Jon and to all our readers for supporting our work.

Coming Up in Undercurrent  August 17, 2015

How dive operators are at keeping track of their divers while in the water, and which ones need to do a better job . . . a liveaboard fleet we wouldn't recommend any diver to book with . . . who's behind the idea to send a drone underwater to accompany lone divers . . . a subscriber's tale of what a lionfish bite really cost her, physically and financially . . . and much more.

Ben Davison, editor/publisher
Contact Ben

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Note: Undercurrent is a registered 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization donating funds to help preserve coral reefs. Our travel writers never announce their purpose, are unknown to the destination, and receive no complimentary services or compensation from the dive operators or resort.

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