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Current Upwellings

Last updated April 9, 2001

The Latest Dive News

Still Diving at 70?
Targeting Pelicans in Miami
Head Down Under
Cozumel, Bali, and Bonaire Travel Tips
A Good Use for CD's
Tipping: Inside Scoop?
Dump Valve Danger in AERIS, Sherwood, and Genesis BCD's
Caribbean Air Specials
Join New England Aquarium Experts in the Bahamas
Divers and Earth Day

Still Diving at 70? April 9, 2001

Harvard University wants to hear from you. Ronald P. Gary, Md., with the Harvard Division on Aging, is looking at how the aging process affects one's ability to dive. They also want to characterize your attitudes as well as other divers' attitudes toward you. To get a questionnaire, contact Dr. Garry at 28 Evergreen Ave., Waltham MA 02453, fax him at 419 791 4571 or email him at Rgarry1@mediaone.net All responses will be kept confidential and the results will be published in Undercurrent.

Targeting Pelicans in Miami April 9 , 2001

Pelican hard cases have become a favorite target of baggage handling thieves at Miami's International Airport, in Miami. In the last week of March, we learned of three separate incidents in which Pelican cases were opened and cameras stolen as they wove their way through the innards of the Miami baggage handling system. If you're traveling with a Pelican, hand carry it. Or, put it inside another case -- the best an old suitcase or duffel, that won't attract attention.

Head Down Under April 9, 2001

We reported a few months back that a human head was found in the gullet of a Potato Cod in Australia. Not true, says Bob Halstead, former Telita owner. "The cod that swallowed a human head in Queensland was not a Potato Cod but a Malabar Grouper, a different fish species altogether. By the way feeding of unnatural food to fish -- such as human heads -- is illegal on the Great Barrier Reef. I hope they catch the rest of whoever did it and prosecute."

Cozumel, Bali and Bonaire Travel Tips April 9, 2001

Stay at what is arguably the best hotel in Cozumel, on the cheap . . . if you are 55 or older. The Presidente has a $55/night program for those over age 55 (based on double occupancy). The rate -- valid until December 21 -- is good in Cancun and all-inclusive resorts in Puerto Vallarta, Los Cabos and Ixtapa, as well as Mexico City, Monterrey and Guadalajara. Two children under 18 can stay free at the Cancun or Cozumel resorts. To take advantage of the offer you need to show a passport or photo ID with your birth date at check-in. For reservations, call (800) 327-0200; or visit http://www.interconti.com.

Reader Bob Herrick tells us that the best way to get to Bali is on EVA airlines, since you can fly Business Class for the price of coach (only $948 round trip)! We haven't checked it out, but you can.

Beginning June 2, you can fly all the way to Bonaire on American if you hook up with American Eagle in Puerto Rico. While American Eagle doesn't use the speediest planes, you've got a better chance of making connections "or even getting off the ground" than if you fly ALM.

A Good Use for CD's April 9, 2001

Ever wonder what to do with the dozens of CD ROMs you get in the mail asking you to subscribe to an Internet provider? A reader suggests sticking a couple in your BC pocket. The shiny surface can make an emergency signal mirror. They are small, light, and relatively strong and might come in handy if your dive boat heads north and you head south in a stiff current.

Tipping: Inside Scoop? March 27 , 2001

We're doing a story on tipping and wonder how tip money, when put into a community pot, gets divided? Do you have any information to help us out? Have you ever known tips not doled out as you expected? Let me hear from you at BenDavison@Undercurrent.org

Dump Valve Danger in AERIS, Sherwood and Genesis BCD's March 27 , 2001

Sheico, the San Diego company that manufactures BCDs for several scuba equipment lines, has uncovered a potential problem that could cause overpressure valves (OPVs) to stick open in specific models shipped since July. If the problem were to occur in a shoulder dump valve, it would make the BCD impossible to inflate. In a lower dump valve, the BCD would retain some buoyancy even with the OPV stuck open. AERIS, which only recently began offering the BCDs, has issued a safety notice to dealers requiring that all OPVs be updated with new assemblies. Sherwood and Genesis have initiated a full recall for specific models: Sherwood Silhouette, Magnum, Avid, Luna, Outback and Freedom models purchased after September 1, 2000 with a serial number between 21280001 and 22010740.Genesis Cayman, Cobra, Athena and Phantom models purchased after September 1, 2000 with a serial number between 21280001 and 22010740. Talon and ReCon models purchased after July 15, 2000 with a serial number between 20520001 and 22010740. Take the faulty BCD's to your Authorized Dealer for a free OPV replacement. For further information, check the companies' websites: http://www.diveaeris.com, http://www.sherwoodscuba.com, http://www.genesisscuba.com

Caribbean Air Specials March 27 , 2001

For the month of May, there are excellent American Airlines deals for the Caribbean, but the tickets must be purchased by midnight March 30. Minimum three day advance purchase, minimum three day stay and does not require a Saturday night stay. Sample prices are all round trip. Examples: Dallas to Tortola, BVI, $536; Curacao $404; St. Kitts $550. Los Angeles to Grenada, $541; St. Kitts $647; Curacao $437. From Miami: Curacao, $223; Grand Cayman $229; Provo $224. This is a web only sale. See: http://www.aa.com and select Web Fare Specials followed by "Come to the Caribbean SAAle" for details. Thanks to Undercurrent reader Jos Kirchner for the tip.

Join New England Aquarium Dive Experts in the Bahamas March 27 , 2001

Divers 18 and older are invited to join the staff from Boston's New England Aquarium on a fish collecting expedition to Cay Sal Banks, from April 18-April 29, 2001. This working dive vacation is open to both beginners and experienced divers. It's a great opportunity to dive with and learn from Aquarium professionals. After arrival in Miami, hop aboard the R/V Coral Reef II for the 11-day adventure featuring dive sites throughout the Bahamas in the Great Isaac Bank area, Andros Island and Cay Sal Banks. The last day is spent in Miami preparing fishes for shipment to the Aquarium. Then, see your hard work displayed at the Aquarium, which receives more than 1.4 million visitors each year. Fees are $3,440. and include airfare from Boston and a rare opportunity to dive in the Aquarium's 200,000-gallon Giant Ocean Tank. Call Holly Martel Bourbon, Senior Aquarist at 617-973-5248 (Tuesdays through Saturdays) or email Holly at hbourbon@neaq.org.

Divers and Earth Day March 27 , 2001

From a press release by The Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL, http://www.coral.org) comes an event of special interest to concerned divers everywhere:

Divers Gear-Up to Celebrate Earth Day! (Berkeley, CA)

Thousands of divers all over the world will be teaming up again, to celebrate Earth Day by taking a dive. The second annual Dive In To Earth Day is an international Earth Day celebration, offering activities at dive sites and beaches during the week of April 15-22, 2001. Dive In To Earth Day gives participants an opportunity to have fun while taking action to protect our coral reefs, oceans, lakes, rivers and beaches. "More than 70% of our planet is covered by water, but almost all Earth Day activities are about land. Dive In is a great opportunity for divers to use their skills and draw attention to the value of our coral reefs and other underwater resources," says Stephen Colwell, Executive Director of The Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL). Dive In also demonstrates that divers and the dive industry make important contributions to underwater habitat protection.

Interested divers, snorkelers, and marine enthusiasts can find activities in their area or organize their own Dive In event. Last year, Dive In engaged more than 4,600 participants in over 30 countries. Highlighted activities included Reef Check surveys in Palau and the Philippines, a lakeshore and underwater garbage removal in Michigan, an underwater Easter egg hunt/cleanup in Hawaii, an educational fair in Boston, and a snorkeling trip for orphans in Kenya. Dive In To Earth Day was launched last year to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Earth Day (held annually on April 22). Dive In 2000 was so successful, CORAL has decided to once again coordinate the event and will work in partnership with divers, organizations, scientists, educators and other marine enthusiasts all over the world to get as many people back into the water during the Earth Day event. To help spread the word, celebrities William Shatner, James Cameron and Peter Benchley have expressed their support for the Dive In To Earth Day event. This year, there will be raffle prizes for event organizers (one entry per event) and Dive In 2001 activities will include Dive n' Tidys (underwater cleanups), Reef Check-Ups (fish and coral surveys), Reef Refittings (artificial reef installations), and Scan n' Tans (beach cleanups).

The Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL) is coordinating Dive In To Earth Day, which is co-sponsored by Rodale's Scuba Diving Magazine, the Center for Marine Conservation, the Dive Equipment and Marketing Association (DEMA), Padi AWARE Foundation, Reef Check, Reef Ball Foundation, Oceanwatch, the Hammerheads and Earth Day Network. Corporate sponsors include Seaview Hotel and Dive Resort and Bob Soto's Diving, Dive Experience, Ultralight Control Systems, Exotic Key Beach Resort and Dive Gear, Inc. Information for organizers and participants can be found on the web at http://divein.coralreefalliance.org.

-- Ben Davison, publisher

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