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Current Upwellings

Last updated January 11, 2001

The Latest Dive News

A Real Page Turner
Coral Reefs in Danger
Galapagos Dive Only Trip
Dangerous Masks
Cheaper Flights to Turks and Caicos
Temptation on Ambergris
Some Notable Diving Fatalities

A Real Page Turner January 11 , 2001

I may be jaded. I don't recall any diving book so enthralling that I simply couldn't put it down. That is, not until I read The Last Dive, A Father and Son's Fatal Descent in the Ocean's Depths. For a serious diver, it's a "must read." Bernie Chowdhury, the founder of immersed; The International Technical Diving Magazine, has written a suspenseful and haunting tale. It's the story of Chris Rouse and his son, Chrissy, only 18 years apart in age and locked in a sophomoric relationship that played itself out every day and in every dive. Their maniacal devotion to diving leads them into more and more complex dives, progressing from Pennsylvania quarries to Caribbean reefs, to Florida caverns and caves, to Atlantic wrecks. All in four years. But there is more to the story than a father and son. Chowdhury's research to chronicle the life and death of father and son, his friends, leads him on his own voyage of self discovery, as he learns painful lessons about what diving, in the context of his life, means to him. His gripping account of a dive gone wrong, his own terror, and a bends hit that takes him near death is a cautionary tale for all of us. Along the way, he tells how sport diving metamorphosed into technical diving as adventurers unsatisfied with look/see dives to 130 feet, push into extreme conditions of deep caves and wrecks. As diving becomes more extreme, as equipment becomes more technical and complex, the psychological and physical demands on divers too become more extreme. Who are the people that the turn sport diving into an adventure as extreme as a moon walk? After all, it seems that the best, inevitably, one day don't return. The Last Dive, which Harper Collins published in October, is a grand adventure, a remarkable book, a page turner. You can order it by going to www.Undercurrent.org, clicking on Editor's Book Picks, then clicking on the photo. That way you'll get the best price of Amazon.com ($20 plus shipping) and a percentage of the sale will go to support the CORAL: The Coral Reef Alliance (http://www.coral.org).

 

Coral Reefs in Danger January 11 , 2001

More than a quarter of the world's coral reefs have been destroyed by pollution and global warming scientists attending a symposium in Indonesia reported. In the worst hit areas, such as the Maldives and Seychelles islands in the Indian Ocean, up to 90 percent of coral reefs have been killed over the past two years by an increase in water temperature. The El Nino weather pattern two years ago, which led to a rise in water temperatures by up to 3 degrees C (6 degrees F), did enormous damage. Unless drastic measures are taken, in another 20 years, water temperatures are likely to have risen to the point where corals will be sitting in a "hot soup" and unable to survive.

Galapagos Dive Only Trip January 11 , 2001

But, that's not a problem in Ecuador's Galapagos Islands, so you might want to take advantage of a special upcoming trip aboard the Reina Silvia. Marc Bernardi called to tell us he has permission to run his FIRST EVER diving only trip in the Galapagos. You can dive your fool heads off - and take no land excursions. From May 16-27, 2001, his group will spend the usual three days at Darwin and Wolf Island, and a day at Roca Redonda, with many new sites to dive because of the added time. This is a great trip for divers returning to Galapagos who want to focus on diving, diving, diving. The fee is $3355. Information and reservations: 303/494-8384. Website: www.AquaticEncounters.com or email: info@AquaticEncounters.com. Refer to the Chapbook 2001 for good reports.

Dangerous Masks January 11 , 2001

While you surely wouldn't buy a cheap mask for a kid, perhaps your neighbor picked up on of the $3 specials from KMart last year. 86,000 have been recalled because the glass lenses can shatter. The "Splash Club" Aquatic Child's' Swim Mask has clear glass lenses with a purple, aqua or lime-green plastic skirt and adjustable head strap. "Tempered Splash Club Glass" is imprinted on the mask. The packaging is clear plastic with a cardboard insert; and the UPC 072000 72970 0. For more information call (800) 635-6278.

Cheaper Flights to Turks and Caicos January 11 , 2001

Good news for divers traveling to Turks and Caicos. Delta has announced nonstop flights between Atlanta and Providenciales, which will hopefully drive down American Airlines high prices. It's also added flights from New York to Aruba and New York to Grand Cayman.

Temptation on Ambergris January 11 , 2001

While I know you refused to watch last night's first episode Temptation Island, you might care to know that they filmed it last summer on Ambergris Caye, in Belize, at Captain Morgan's and Journey's End. Part of the crew was trapped on the island when Hurricane Keith hit Ambergris. Surely an Act of God.

Some Notable Diving Fatalities January 11 , 2001

December was a horrible month for traveling divers. British pop singer Kirsty MacColl was killed by a speeding boat after she surfaced from a dive in Cozumel's Chancanab Park. Kimo Cua, president of the MetroWest Dive Club in Framingham, NY, failed to return to the Truk Odyssey after he donned double 80's and made a solo dive on one wreck. His body was found the next morning. Off the beach of Bonaire's Harbour Beach hotel, a diver flat out disappeared. Diving alone, he surfaced just offshore, pointing downward, then resumed his dive. After three days, they called off the search.

-- Ben Davison, publisher

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