On July 27 a 50-year-old employee of Cave Excursions in Luravile, FL, was killed when a tank she was filling exploded. Sara Francis Slaughter died of massive abdominal injuries and three customers suffered minor injuries. More details in the September issue of Undercurrent.
Dive Discovery owner Cindi LaRaia has organized a charter aboard this beautiful craft with dive guide extraordinaire, Larry Smith. Larry says the Kupang/Sorong itinerary is "my all-time favourite in all of Indonesia! It takes us through remote, distant, and pristine regions of Indonesia. From spectacular swim-throughs, unusual aggregations of sea snakes, and high-voltage current dives to 'world-class' muck diving." March 11-25, 2005. $4,200/person (boat only). 800-886-7321, 415-444-5100, or www.divediscovery.com. Mention Undercurrent and you'll get $100 off and other savings.
Opening August 6, this film is a winner. Based on a true story of two divers left behind in Australia who were never found, the characters drift aimlessly -- though it's a gut-wrenching, emotional rollercoaster -- while they wait to be rescued. Sharks abound, and not phony sharks, since it was filmed in the Bahamas without gimmicks, and the spooky sharks are silently menacing. Tension builds with every scene, and the conclusion is logical and powerful. The dive industry doesn't like it, because they think it will scare people away from diving. Maybe so, but divers will leave the theater buzzing, asking each other, "what would you do?" Don't miss this one. (Sure, you can nitpick a few things, but just sit back and enjoy it, if "enjoy" is the right word.) www.openwatermovie.com
Open Water filmmakers Chris Kentis and Laura Lau wrote: "We're certified divers and avid readers of Undercurrent. When we read the account of a couple who were left at sea by their dive boat in one of Ben's newsletters, we were horrified. Several years later, when we decided to make a digital feature, we remembered the story and it inspired us to do further research on other accounts of people left at sea and to write our script for Open Water." You can read the original true story of the Americans left behind on our website.
On Monday nights at 9 p.m., John Chatterton, the primary diver in The New York Times bestseller Shadow Divers, plays host to Deep Sea Detectives on History Channel. Next week, August 8, it's a search for the USS Mississiinewa off Ulithi atoll, sunk in WWII. And, if you haven't read Shadow Divers, see our review and order it through us. A percentage of the profits from your purchase will support preserve coral reefs.
In April a cyclone slammed Yap hard. Manta Ray Bay and Pathways sustained damage, but all are now up and running. But Bill Acker, owner of Manta Ray Bay and Yap Divers, told Undercurrent that just a few weeks ago, "the island looked like it had been in a war but now the jungle is back and it is beautiful and green again. Some heavy damage to shallow hard coral reefs on the Northeast exposure, but little to no damage at the Southern Tip (Yap Caverns, Lion Fish Wall, Gilman Wall, etc.) and all along the Western Walls as well as Mil Channel and the mantas."
-- Ben Davison, editor/publisher
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