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The Latest Dive News

Last updated October 19, 2001

2002 Chapbook
Deals on the Pelagian
World Atlas of Coral Reefs
New Print Subscribers Service
Wave Dancer
Help for Belize
Dengue Fever in Hawaii
Updated Travel Safety Tips
Unraveling Dive Industry

2002 Chapbook October 19, 2001

The 2002 Travelin' Diver's Chapbook is on the way to the printer and it looks again that it will run about 500 pages of in-depth comments about every worthwhile dive operation on this planet. We will mail it to all print subscribers in early December. If you're not a subscriber and want to get it, sign up here.

Deals on the Pelagian October 19, 2001

In the September issue of Undercurrent, we wrote about the best live-aboard trip of 2002 -- a continuing journey aboard the Pelagian, which will sail off to several unusual dive destinations in the South Pacific. The Pelagian, a favorite live-aboard of serious divers, also operates out of Bali (which most knowledgeable sources say is not at all an Indonesia trouble spot). To get a boost in business they're offering two spaces for the price of one on their November 15th departure. Normal cabin prices range from $2,750 - $3,750 per person for this 11-night cruise, so, in effect, your buddy and you each go at half price. The itinerary is planned far from troubled waters, into the heart of legendary Indonesia diving. Contact Dive Asia Pacific directly at info@dive-asiapacific.com to get the deal. Tell 'em Undercurrent told you about it.

World Atlas of Coral Reefs October 19, 2001

If one book belongs in every traveling diver's library, this is it. The superb World Atlas of Coral Reefs has everything you want to know about the reefs from Costa Rica and Cuba to the Coral Sea and Cayman. The information is specific and up to date. The photos, maps and layout are superb. And the price, for this 424 page, full-color, hard bound volume, is a steal at $45. You can also get it through us for $31.50. Written with divers in mind, it's an invaluable resource for global travelers. Here's what you'll find:

  • 94 maps, including global maps of biodiversity and reef stresses.
  • 280 color photographs, showing reefs, wildlife, people and places, including 84 photographs taken from space by Shuttle astronauts.
  • Text explaining the formation, structure and ecology of coral reefs; their various uses and abuses at the hands of humans.
  • The distribution and status of coral reefs in every country.
  • Data tables on coral reef area, biodiversity, fish consumption, and threats.

For example, you can learn about pollution damage to the reefs at Providenciales and the lack of human impact, as well. Or, where extensive bleaching took place in Honduras 1998. You'll read that Milne Bay in Papua New Guineas has the most extensive reef system in that country and where, in Fiji, the bumphead parrotfish and Tridacna clams will not be found, thanks to overfishing.

Purchase the remarkable book through the Undercurrent website and our profits will go directly to preserve coral reefs, a diver-based organization working hard to save the reefs.

Print Subscribers October 19, 2001

We will soon be offering a new e-mail service to our print subscribers, containing much more information, travel updates, etc. For example, we will alert our readers to ripoffs, which seems to be what divers are finding at Bayman Bay Club on Guanaja, in Honduras. The reports we have received for the Chapbook advise me to avoid this place.

To sign up for this new servcie you will need your subscriber number off of your mailing label along with the name and address used there and then just go here.

Wave Dancer Novermber 5, 2001

The tragic sinking and death of 17 Richmond, VA divers and 3 Belizean crew members have led to a number of questions and second guessing, especially since everyone in nearby Placencia and other towns that sought shelter on higher ground survived Hurricane Iris. (The latest thinking is that a tornado spun off from the hurricane capsized the boat.) One Belizean crew member, who left the Dancer although she was told she would be fired if she did, survived. Others, apparently fearful for their jobs, stayed. Apparently, the divers had the opportunity to leave the boat, but decided to stay. Should the captain have ordered them ashore? One can only speculate at this point, but many Belizeans are unhappy about how the crew was treated, lawyers representing the deceased will have their day, and the story will unfold. I imagine that the entire Peter Hughes operation is under great emotional and financial pressure. Should you have reservations on any of his boats I would suggest that you cover yourself with the appropriate travel insurance. For the latest article on the incident go to http://www.washtimes.com and search their archives for Wave Dancer, especially the Oct. 17 article.

Help for Belize October 19, 2001

In the meantime, thousands of people are homeless in Southern Belize and the wonderful little town of Placencia, where many a diver has visited, has been virtually destroyed. With so much money going to help the Sept 11 victims, help for Belize is falling short. You can contribute to an on the ground effort to help Belizeans -- I have -- at https://secure.nameservers.com/ambergriscaye.com/placencia. You can also contribute to the Red Cross, earmarking your money for the Belize Hurricane Fund.

Dengue Fever in Hawaii October 19, 2001

The island of Maui has its first dengue fever outbreak since World War II. So far, 48 cases have been diagnosed 250 other people have illnesses being investigated as dengue. Most were exposed in Hana and on the East Side. The virus is typically spread by day-biting mosquitoes, which breed wherever water collects, such as in flower pots and discarded tires, Symptoms include fever, headache and rashes on the palms and feet. The more serious dengue hemorrhagic fever has a fatality rate of 5 percent. There is no vaccine or specific treatment, but you can prevent mosquito bites by lathering in DEET. For info: www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/dengue

Updated Travel Safety Tips October 19, 2001

If you're planning a dive trip, you need first-hand safety information. The U.S. State Department has travel warnings and advisories for countries worldwide: Phone 202?647?5225, www.travel.state.gov. For an alternative look at safety issues, check the British government website www.fco.gov.uk and click on Traveling Overseas ... The U.S. Department of Transportation has recorded information for special travel advisories concerning security threats at various destinations: 800 221?0673 ... The Federal Aviation Administration gives basic advice to travelers on ticketing, overbooking, safety issues and airport security at www.faa.gov -- click on Traveler Info ... Pinkerton, the corporate security firm provides some information on terrorism and crime as it affects business, but can be of interest to travelers, http://pgis.pinkertons.com ... Kroll Associates, another business?security firm, sometimes posts comments and analysis of travel security issues. Go to www.krollassociates.com and click on Kroll Forum or What's New ... Smarter Living, www.smarterliving.com may have advice on airlines' unwritten policies on getting refunds or making changes to supposedly non-refundable tickets.

Unraveling Dive Industry October 19, 2001

In our last e-mail we mentioned that one can expect many resorts and businesses to shut their doors. The most luxurious hotel in Bonaire, Harbour Village, has closed, saying that "the terrorist attacks on September 11th in America, and the resulting disruptions in international travel, were a significant factor in the group's inability to obtain refinancing to continue the hotel operation." Several large operations like Red Sail Sports are laying off people in droves. Small operations in Indonesia and elsewhere are reeling.

-- Ben Davison, publisher

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