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Current Online Updates*
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Updated August 23, 2011
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.

Florida Keys
Cabo Pulmo
Why You Should Subscribe
Trip Insurance?
Don't Make the Same Mistake
Put a Hold on that Caribbean Plane Ticket
Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food
Next Time, Check Your Bags
Raja Ampat Explained
Dive Accident Symptoms Delayed Six Months?
Make the Coral Kickers Pay
What You're Missing in This Month's Issue

Florida Keys:  August 23, 2011

If you don't want to leave the lower 48 this fall, then visit the Keys and dive the Vandenberg, and you'll be treated to an underwater art exhibit -- 12 oversized photographs of the wreck by Austrian artist and diver Andreas Franke attached to the ship's weather deck, on the starboard side, at 93 feet. ( www.the-vandenberg.com ). At Key Largo, sign up for a reef-restoration trip led by Ken Nedimeyer of Coral Restoration Foundation on October 11-13 at Amy Slate's Amoray Dive Center to restore endangered staghorn and elkhorn corals (why are they dying? A not-so-pretty reason we'll cover in our next issue). The cost is $456.50 per person and includes three nights' lodging ( visit www.amoray.com ). On November 5, REEF holds its last lionfish derby of the year, at Hurricane Hole in Key West and $1,000 goes to the team that catches the most lionfish. Register at www.reef.org/lionfish/derbies/keysderbies

Cabo Pulmo:  August 23, 2011

An hour-plus drive north of Cabo San Lucas takes you to what is billed as "the most robust marine preserve in the world." (We reviewed its diving in our March 2008 issue). Scientists from the Scripps Institute of Oceanography have released a study stating that the marine ecosystem at Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park is uniquely healthy and a shining example of successful conservation worldwide. Between 1999 and 2009, the biomass in Cabo Pulmo's waters increased 463 percent. Top predators, a key indicator of a reef's health, increased 11 times, and researchers say no other marine reserve in the world has shown such a fish recovery. That's due to the size of the protected "no-take" area and the local community's commitment to enforcing the strict measures. Unfortunately, Cabo Pulmo is the target of a proposed mega-tourism complex called Cabo Cortes, which could devastate the marine life. Join groups campaigning against the development by going to www.savebiogems.org/baja

Why You Should Subscribe:  August 23, 2011

Business Week calls us the "Consumer Reports of diving. Forbes has us on its "Best of the Web" list because we offer "scuba tips no other source dares to publish." Our sources of information, like veteran dive pros Stan Waterman and Bret Gilliam, are also subscribers. Join them and besides a new issue in your e-mail every month, you'll get full access to all of our issues online, the new 800-page 2011 Travelin' Divers Chapbook and all past Chapbooks available online, and 10,000 travel reviews by serious divers covering 342 destinations and liveaboards. Benefit from all of our money-saving and life-saving articles by subscribing for an 11-month membership for $39.60, or try us out with a one-month membership for $4.95. My personal guarantee: all your money back, no questions asked, if you're not satisfied. Subscribe at: www.undercurrent.org/UCnow/join.shtml

Trip Insurance?:  August 23, 2011

Have you purchased trip insurance and found that you couldn't get reimbursed for travel problems? Then tell us your story. Have you gone to a dive resort or liveaboard and for unseen reasons not gotten to dive or had to leave early and you couldn't get a reimbursement? Or, if your trip insurance saved your bacon, or a dive operator was exceptionally generous, let us know. Email me at PublisherBenD@undercurrent.org so we can research and write about real divers' experiences.

Don't Make the Same Mistake:  August 23, 2011

Calvin Adkins of Harrington, DE and his 11-year-old son, Calvin, had to be airlifted to Miami hospitals in serious condition after being run over by their dive boat's propellers while diving near Key Largo on August 9. The Adkins were going to make a drift dive near Conch Reef on the 46-foot Big Dipper, run by the Florida Keys Dive Center. According to an initial incident report by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the two were standing on the stern dive platform and jumped into the water while the boat was still in reverse gear, apparently not waiting for the crew to give them the okay. At press time, Adkins, 39, had been released from the hospital but his son remained hospitalized in critical condition.

Put a Hold on that Caribbean Plane Ticket:  August 23, 2011

If you're wondering if that big hurricane is headed toward your dive destination, Undercurrent contributor Doc Vikingo tells us that if you're flying American Airlines, you can now put a fare on hold for seven days. For a non-refundable $5, you can lock in your fare and sit on it for the week. Select the "Hold" button when booking at www.aa.com. NOTE: the week-long hold option is only available during your initial booking, so you can't put a fare on the free 24-hour hold and then decide to pay $5 for the extra hold.

Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food:  August 23, 2011

This book ought to be on every diver's reading list. Author Paul Greenberg details the decline in salmon, cod, tuna and sea bass, the dangers of wholesale fish farming, and just what might be done to ensure a sustainable supply. "Four Fish" helped me get a much greater sense of the demise of our food fish and the impact of fish farming, but it also showed me a twinkle of hope. This thoughtful and fascinating book will help you understand what's happening to the oceans and what you, in your own way, may do to help. Order the book at our website www.undercurrent.org/UCnow/bookpicks.shtml

Next Time, Check Your Bags:  August 23, 2011

Darrell Lapp and his son had just finished a Boy Scout diving trip and were headed home to Liberty, MO, when Bahamas airport screeners found an old bullet in a fanny pack, and immediately put him in a Freeport slammer. "There are bare walls with a bench," he reported, "no restroom, nothing." Lapp says the bullet was left over from a hunting trip. He was told he could face up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine, but a lawyer and the U.S. Embassy got him back home with all charges dismissed. Now how did that bullet get past TSA screeners on his outbound flight? A spokesman told Fox News that loose ammunition is prohibited, but a single bullet is unlikely to cause catastrophic damage.

Raja Ampat Explained:  August 23, 2011

Dreaming of going to this Indonesian "Four Kingdoms" dive site, with the richest reefs in the world? Read this month's article for free, displayed at the top of our home page at Undercurrent. Our undercover writer, a veteran diver, explains what you should know before you go, such as which sites have the most ripping currents, and what camera settings to use for photos that best show off Raja's marine wonders.

Dive Accident Symptoms Delayed Six Months?:  August 23, 2011

A reader wrote to Undercurrent contributor Doc Vikingo with this question: "Is it possible to suffer any problems from diving six months AFTER the dive? I was in Fiji and dove to a max of 100 feet. I flew home to New Zealand two days later. Five months later, I started noticing severe shortness of breath. Medical tests confirmed I am only using 56 percent of my lung capacity. Any chance it could be dive related?" Read Doc's response at our Undercurrent Divers Blogs ( www.undercurrent.org/blog ), where you can also read posts by John Bantin, Bret Gilliam, and other pros.

Make the Coral Kickers Pay:  August 23, 2011

The Australian government is increasing its "reef tax" on Great Barrier Reef tourists. While the increase is insignificant - tax on a one-day trip to the reef will go up 50 cents to $6 - some struggling dive operators say the increase comes when the industry is having its worst period in 25 years. The tax hike doesn't go into effect until April, but companies are already building the increase into their prices. The revenue goes to the Marine Park Authority, which protects and manages the reef. Since the customers on these one-day dive and snorkeling boats are usually the inexperienced ones who kick the coral, we think they ought to be paying for the damage they do. Complaining over half a buck they pass on seems frivolous.

What You're Missing in This Month's Issue:  August 23, 2011

Sea Saba and Juliana's Hotel, Saba: unexpected gems on King Kong's island . . . the trials and tribulations of dive travel . . . why curbing lionfish in the Caribbean is a futile fight . . . a thin-skinned wetsuit that will keep you warm and stave off jellyfish . . . DEPP defends itself against reader complaints about its dive gear insurance . . . why coral spawns simultaneously . . . a dive expert explains why he believes the infamous Gabe Watson didn't kill his wife . . . a recall of DUI weight systems . . . 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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