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Updated September 20, 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.

Support Turtles: Book a Cocos Dive Trip
Can You Really See That Shark Right in Front of You?
Your Photo Might Win You 10 Nights in Indonesia
Stan Waterman Subscribes, So Why Not You?
Snorkeling after Hurricanes
Join a Lionfish Safari in Cozumel
California Scores; Now the Pressure is on Hong Kong
Glow Diving in Grand Cayman
Bit by a Critter? Clean That Wound
The S**t Hits the Keys
What You're Missing in This Month's Issue

Support Turtles: Book a Cocos Dive Trip:  September 20, 2011

Support the Sea Turtle Restoration Project, which does a good job for little money in standing up to protect these animals worldwide. You can do that now by buying berths on one of its two turtle and shark research expeditions to Cocos Island on the Argo, Undersea Hunter's newest liveaboard, scheduled for April 17-27 and September 24-October 6, 2012. The costs for these trips are $5,940 and $7,040 respectively but they may be tax-deductible, as they help finance the research expedition. Your diving skills will also help out: You'll have the opportunity to help tag sea turtles and sharks with transmitters to track their migration patterns. Trip information is at www.seaturtles.org/expeditions

Can You Really See That Shark Right in Front of You?:  September 20, 2011

When it comes to diving, the only one of the five senses that really matters much is sight. So why is it that aging divers too often deny their deteriorating vision and go about their dive seeing blurs and unable to read their gauges? Undercurrent readers offered up advice about the best choices, from cheap to costly, for seeing clearly underwater. Read their advice in this month's article for free, displayed at the top of our home page at Undercurrent

Your Photo Might Win You 10 Nights in Indonesia:  September 20, 2011

The Underwater Photography Guide is taking entries for its second annual Ocean Art Photo Competition. There's more than $80,000 in prizes up for grabs, including 35-plus liveaboard and dive resort packages. Grand prizes include an all-inclusive 10-night stay at Kungkungan Bay Resort in Indonesia, an 18-night stay in Papua New Guinea including a trip on the M/V Febrina, an 11-night cruise with Kararu Dive Voyages, a week-long charter on the Nai'a in Fiji, a five-night stay at Wananavu Beach Resort in Fiji, and a week-long stay for two with Maluku Divers in Ambon. The competition has 12 categories, and winners will be able to rank the prizes they would like to receive, making it more likely for you to receive the prize you want. Judges include Martin Edge, Marty Snyderman, Tony Wu, and Bonnie Pelnar. Photos must be submitted before November 20, 2011. Contest information is here

Stan Waterman Subscribes, So Why Not You?:  September 20, 2011

Here's what the great dive veteran Stan Waterman wrote us: "I have just recently subscribed, and your current issue confirms my satisfaction in doing so. It is most informative and interesting." Follow his lead, and that of other experienced divers, and start or renew your subscription. 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 a 10-month membership for $36, 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

Snorkeling after Hurricanes:  September 20, 2011

Undercurrent reader Helaine Lerner of New York City had this question for us: "How long after a hurricane does it usually take for the water to completely clear for snorkeling? A month? Several months?" Well, Helaine, it depends on runoff from the island, but in some cases, it takes as little as a week to get somewhat back to normal. The flatter the island, the better off you are. And of course, the weaker the hit, the better off you are. Unfortunately, there are no longer many places left where the water will ever be completely clear, thanks to overreaching development everywhere.

Join a Lionfish Safari in Cozumel:  September 20, 2011

Cozumel's city council, tourism board and marine park are joining forces to organize a Lionfish Hunting Safari on October 19-22. It seems like Living Underwater will be organizing the dives, three two-tank days complete with lionfish-hunting training and tools. The price of the safari is $195 and also includes five tickets for a "Gastronomic Show" to promote lionfish as a delicious delicacy. We've been told safari divers can get special rates at Cozumel hotels, restaurants and airlines flying there, but the website with information only lists hotel rates to date. For more information not listed there, contact Living Underwater's Jeremy Anschel at jeremy@living-underwater.com

California Scores; Now the Pressure is on Hong Kong:  September 20, 2011

We've kept you up to date on countries and U.S. states that have banned the possession, sale and distribution of shark fins. The latest milestone is that California's Senate just voted for a ban. If Jerry Brown signs it, California will become the world's largest economy to take a stand against the shark fin trade. And now that Hawaii, Washington and Oregon have also banned imports of shark fins, this measure could officially close down shark-fin traffic in all West Coast ports. Now the pressure is on Hong Kong, considered the world's shark fin capital because it handles at least half of the global trade. As the New York Times' "Green" blog reports, not much is happening there on the legislative front, and "authorities seem out of step." Currently, there's no online petition to get them into step, but we know shark-protection nonprofits are on the case. We list notable ones in our May article "Sharks Under Siege". Check out their websites to follow their efforts, and give some funding to help them succeed.

Glow Diving in Grand Cayman:  September 20, 2011

Here's a new twist in diving we can support: Ocean Frontiers' "Glow Dives," held every Thursday night in the East End lagoon. Divers use specialized ultraviolet lights to see how coral reefs and marine lights fluoresce. After being inspired by a National Geographic article and searching for a reliable underwater UV light for two years, Ocean Frontiers owner Stephen Broadbelt finally found it from a company called Glow Dive, started by former Cayman divemaster Carlos Villoch (the website [www.glowdive.com] is up but it's still being translated from Spanish and lacks purchasing info). Broadbelt says the East End lagoon, with sea anemones blanketing its reefs, is the primo UV spot. "It's the closest thing to the movie Avatar you will see in real life," he says. The Thursday night dive is a whopping $75 but it apparently sells out weekly. For details, go here

Bit by a Critter? Clean That Wound:  September 20, 2011

Climate change is warming ocean waters, causing more people to be exposed to a strain of bacteria that can contaminate seafood and cause marine diseases. European scientists released a paper on September 13 stating that warmer ocean water is causing a proliferation of Vibrio, among the most dangerous of all bacterial pathogens, which can cause gastroenteritis, septicemia and cholera. Vibrio has been connected with an "unprecedented increase" in bathing infections in northwest Europe, but there is a "globally-increasing trend in their associated diseases." According to Undercurrent contributor Doc Vikingo, Vibrio vulnificus infections are contracted from underwater wounds as well as by eating contaminated seafood and can be very nasty business. "If you get an underwater lesion from a coral scrape or punctures from a critter spine or tooth, clean and treat it properly after the dive, and monitor for infection."

The S**t Hits the Keys:  September 20, 2011

Researchers from Rollins College and the University of Georgia have identified human sewage as the source of the coral-killing pathogen causing white pox disease in Caribbean elkhorn coral around the Florida Keys. Once the most common coral in the Caribbean, elkhorn is now on the U.S.'s list of endangered species. The research team collected human samples from a Key West wastewater treatment plant, and samples from other animals, like deer and seagulls. While white pox-causing bacterium was found in all animals, only the strain from human sewage matched that of diseased corals. Says lead researcher Kathryn Sutherland, "It's definitive evidence that humans are the source of pathogens causing this devastating disease of corals." The good news is the Florida Keys is in the process of upgrading all of its wastewater treatment plants, and scientists believe that action will eliminate the source of the killer bacterium.

What You're Missing in This Month's Issue:  September 20, 2011

A Caribbean island where divers and their non-diving family members can be happy together . . . do you have "diver's mouth?" . . . good customer service in Galapagos, Bonaire, Fiji -- and one resort to avoid . . . clear winners in underwater-vision options for blurry-eyed divers . . . good and bad news about sea turtles, and how you can help them . . . a great way to lower baggage fees on your next overseas dive trip . . . why we're charging Wakatobi with fraud, and giving a thumbs up to the Aggressor Fleet . . . what's the best term for a group of divers? . . . 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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November, 2010

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