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Updated February 17, 2012
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.

Some of the best liveaboard diving in Indonesia -- at up to 30% off
A Good Reason Why You Should Subscribe
An App That Tracks Great White Sharks
Gabe Watson on Trial Again
Cocos Island Diving
How Do You Help the Oceans?
Dive Stores in the Internet Age
New Rights for Airline Passengers
"Beneath Cold Seas."
Raja Ampat Liveaboard Goes Down in Flames
What You're Missing This Month

Some of the best liveaboard diving in Indonesia -- at up to 30% off:  February 17, 2012

See baitballs, exceptional hard coral, muck diving and great fish on Damai's April 28 to May 9 journey that will take an uncommon itinerary from Bitung to Ternate, diving the south of Halmahera. You'll be joining Dr. Mark Erdmann, a source of endless information and insight into the behavior of the incredible species you'll encounter, and he'll describe projects of Conservation International, perhaps the leading organization protecting Indonesia reefs. Undercurrent readers sing high praise for the Damai; discounted price of cabins for this trip only start at $370 per night, double occupancy (a single is $480). For more information, prices or to sign up, go to their website or contact them here

A Good Reason Why You Should Subscribe:  February 17, 2012

It comes from reader Francine Whittington (Phoenix, AZ), who writes us, "I am the Summit Chair for the National Association of Black Scuba Divers, and I am researching where to take 200 members on a diving trip. I always refer to your site to get honest appraisals of diving in different countries. I love that you don't allow vendors to pay for advertising, it makes your opinions unbiased. Please keep this magazine going!" Help us do so by subscribing for a one-year membership for $39.95, 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 within your first year. And remember. We are a nonprofit organization. Subscribe here.

An App That Tracks Great White Sharks:  February 17, 2012

Want to swim with the great whites, but you're just too busy? There's an app for that. With an iPhone or an iPad and $3.99, you can follow a dozen of them with Expedition White Shark . It was created by marine biologist Michael Domeier, president of the Marine Conservation Science Institute, to raise awareness of white shark conservation. He has outfitted adult great whites with satellite-tracking tags, which plot the sharks' locations in a map. Follow Bruce, who loves to swim around cage divers, or Junior, an injured shark that recently appeared in Mendocino, CA. Some sharks check in just 10 times a year, others ping the satellite on a weekly basis. The app also offers information on the iconic sharks, including videos, photos and a game that lets users to play as a newborn great white shark trying to survive the dangers of the oceans. App proceeds will buy more high-tech satellite tags and add younger sharks to the batch.

Gabe Watson on Trial Again:  February 17, 2012

We've written many articles about Gabe Watson, a diver from Alabama who was charged with murder in Australia after a month-long inquest concluded that while diving from one of Mike Ball's boats on the Great Barrier Reef, he turned off the air of his wife, Tina, and left her to drown. After pleading guilty to manslaughter, Watson, now re-married, served 18 months in an Australian prison. But authorities in his home state think he is guilty of murder and now he's fighting those charges in a new trial that started February 13. Prosecutors dropped the charge of murder by kidnapping, but Watson still is charged with carrying out a murder to cash in on Tina's $165,000 life insurance policy. The trial is expected to last two weeks, and we'll give trial updates in upcoming issues.

Cocos Island Diving:  February 17, 2012

Join a Cocos Island Expedition this April as a volunteer researcher. Working with renowned marine conservationists, you will help tag sea turtles and hammerhead sharks. Sponsored by SeaTurtles.org, this trip offers first-class divemasters, plenty of dives on the great Cocos dive sites and luxury live-aboard accommodations aboard Undersea Hunters' newest yacht, the Argo - - with the rewarding opportunity to engage in real research on endangered species. Evening lectures on marine species, conservation and advocacy round out a fantastic experience. As a participant with a non-profit organization, the costs of your trip may be tax-deductible. Only a few spots left for the April 17-27 trip. For more information, visit here , or contact Todd Steiner at TSteiner@SeaTurtles.org

How Do You Help the Oceans?:  February 17, 2012

In this month's issue of Undercurrent, we ran the story "How Divers Can Give Back," listing possibly tax-deductible liveaboard trips offered by nonprofits that divers can take to help with their research and conservation efforts. In next month's issue, we want to include information about how our fellow divers are helping out with their time and/or money. So tell us, do you do anything to give back to the protection of our reefs, oceans and the people who live there who sustain themselves by your travels? If so, email me your story at PublisherBenD@undercurrent.org.

Dive Stores in the Internet Age:  February 17, 2012

The recent announcement that Scubapro has joined with LeisurePro to allow some of its gear to be sold online reveals a break in the last wall of resistance that the dive industry has put up against Internet equipment sales. Undercurrent contributor Larry Clinton explains how that will affect you. Read the article for free, currently at the top of the page at Undercurrent.

New Rights for Airline Passengers:  February 17, 2012

If you're planning this year's dive trips, know that you gained new rights when booking your flight, thanks to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Now you have the ability to hold a reservation without payment - or cancel one with a full refund - within 24 hours of making the reservation. Airlines must promptly notify passengers of cancellations, diversions and delays longer than 30 minutes, and they can no longer increase the price of a ticket after it is bought. Airlines and travel agents also must disclose baggage fees to consumers when they book a flight online. The first screen containing a fare quotation for a specific itinerary must show if there are baggage fees. Information on baggage fees also must be included on all e-ticket confirmations. Airlines and ticket agents must now include all mandatory taxes and fees in published airfares. The new rules apply to all airlines, foreign and domestic, operating in the U.S.

"Beneath Cold Seas.":  February 17, 2012

It's hard enough to take a first-rate photo of reef life in the best of conditions. Try doing it in murky, bone-numbingly cold water while wearing a dry suit with 40-plus pounds of weights around your waist, and thick, insulating gloves that make it hard to use the camera controls. That's what David Hall had to endure while photographing in Canadian waters, but those physical disadvantages make "Beneath Cold Seas: The Underwater Wilderness of the Pacific Northwest" all the more amazing. Hall's book successfully disputes the belief that cold-water reefs are drab and dismal. He has regularly photographed the world's most beautiful dive spots for major magazines from National Geographic to Time. While Hall's shots are taken entirely at Browning Passage in British Columbia, the reef life he shoots resides along the Pacific Coast, from Northern California up to Alaska, and they are as diverse and spectacular as any creature in Raja Ampat or Fiji. Go here to buy that or any of our dive books at Amazon, and our profits go to save the reefs.

Raja Ampat Liveaboard Goes Down in Flames:  February 17, 2012

On the morning of December 29, the five passengers aboard the Mandarin Siren went for a dive in northern Raja Ampat. Undercurrent subscriber Thatcher Hayward was the first to surface and see thick black smoke coming from the boat. Read his story about what happened, and how the Siren's owners treated the divers afterwards. It's available to read for free at Undercurrent.

What You're Missing This Month:  February 17, 2012

Three great dive trips in the Red Sea at three different price ranges . . . why travelling in Egypt is safe for Westerners . . .a laid-back idyll for cold-water divers on British Columbia's Vancouver Island . . . how dive shops are gearing up for selling more online, and how that will affect you . . . did a Tacoma divemaster commit suicide, or was she silenced? . . . an Undercurrent subscriber gives his firsthand story of the Mandarin Siren liveaboard going down in flames in Raja Ampat . . . a great computer for non-techie divers . . . another marine species that is being hunted to near extinction . . . 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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December, 2011

November, 2011

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