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Updated August 16, 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.

Diving after Major Medical Procedures
Subscribe to the "Consumer Reports of Diving
What You're Missing this Month
Coming up in Undercurrent
How good is the Dive Boat Captain?
September Special: Sea Turtle- and Shark-Tagging Expedition
Turn your iPhone into a Dive Computer
An Insider's Tips to Bonaire
First the Book, Now the Video
Diving Isn't That Therapeutic
Boycott the Solomon Islands?
Better Sniff Your Dive Certificate to Be Sure

Diving after Major Medical Procedures:  August 16, 2012

I had shoulder surgery recently and will be out of the water for awhile -- and perhaps a bit hesitant to get back in. What about you? Have you had surgery - joint replacement, back or shoulder surgery, heart surgery, etc.? How long did you wait to dive after the procedure? Where did you choose to dive for the first time afterwards? How did it feel? What kind of service did you get from the dive operator to ensure all went well? What advice would you give to divers who may be facing what you've already gone through? E-mail me at PublisherBenD@undercurrent.org

Subscribe to the "Consumer Reports of Diving:  August 16, 2012

" That's what Business Week called us recently. Forbes had 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, and the upcoming 2013 Travelin' Divers Chapbook, out later this year, plus 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 12-month 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. Subscribe here

What You're Missing this Month:  August 16, 2012

Mayan Princess, Roatan, Honduras: Disney-like digs and aquarium-like diving . . . an insider's tips to Bonaire . . . improving rebreather safety, part I: why rebreather diving is up to 10 times more dangerous than open-circuit diving . . . widow of a National Geographic filmmaker blames dive gear maker for his death . . . art as artificial reefs: a good idea or a distraction from the real problem? . . . parents of drowned boy sue PADI and Boy Scouts . . . what type of mask to buy based on your face shape, vision, even color preference . . . and much more.

Coming up in Undercurrent:  August 16, 2012

Improving rebreather safety, part 2: the problem with oxygen analyzers. . . rules for divers to live by, from handling yourself on group dive trips to when to wear tank tops (or not) . . . what goes into your wetsuit, and why it costs what it does . . . can dive shops turn you away if you don't buy gear from them? . . . how a worldwide shortage of helium could affect your diving . . . and much more.

How good is the Dive Boat Captain?  August 16, 2012

One diver who visited Cozumel earlier this summer shares his version of an "Open Water" experience. "The captain of the boat couldn't find our group after we surfaced. We could see the boat off in the distance appearing to look for us. He would circle, then turn back and go the other direction. The divemasters with us inflated two large inflatable buoys, holding them up high -- nothing. We were starting to get worried, watching the boat turn south and disappear from view. Finally, one divemaster suggested we swim for shore. The newest diver in our group had a leak in her BCD, so it wouldn't inflate; we had to hold on to her tank and she had to hang on to one part of the buoys. After an hour, the captain found us and began to head our way, but by the time the boat reached us, we had made it to shore." For an upcoming story, we're looking for stories from Undercurrent readers who've had similar scary experiences with the dive boat they've been on. Has a dive boat moved on you while you were in the water? Were propellers engaged while divers were in the water? Were divers not picked up promptly and left stranded for minutes, hours or worse? And how were those incidents resolved by the diver, the boat captain, and even the dive operator? Share your stories - e-mail them to me at PublisherBenD@undercurrent.org

September Special: Sea Turtle- and Shark-Tagging Expedition:  August 16, 2012

Dive all of Cocos Island's famous sites while helping science research to protect marine wildlife. On the expedition, you can tag sea turtles and possibly hammerheads. Two spots are left aboard Undersea Hunter's MV Argo for Sea Turtle Restoration Project's September 24-October 6 trip. The 130-foot research yacht offers spacious staterooms, fantastic divemasters and crew, and great food. The all-inclusive cost once you're in Costa Rica is $7,110 (and may be tax-deductible). Get more details at http://seaturtles.org/expedition , or e-mail Michele Manso at michele@tirn.net.

Turn your iPhone into a Dive Computer:  August 16, 2012

Amphibian Labs in South Carolina wants to replace pricey dive computers with its new product, iGills, a waterproof case that lets your iPhone descend down to 130 feet and operate as a dive computer, underwater still and video camera, and digital dive log. An accompanying iPhone app offers depth and temperature sensors, flashlight and digital compass. The case and app support multiple diving modes, including air, nitrox and gauge, as well as ascent rate indication, nitrogen loading tracking over multiple dives and a depth alarm. The iGills case is priced at $330 and available to order at www.igills.com.

An Insider's Tips to Bonaire:  August 16, 2012

This island is a favorite Caribbean destination of our readers, especially those who like to rent houses or apartments. One of our longtime correspondents returned to Bonaire for an extended vacation, and sends this update, with tips and advice. Read her article for free, available on our home page at Undercurrent.

First the Book, Now the Video:  August 16, 2012

Earlier this year, we reviewed the stellar book Beneath Cold Seas, a coffee-table photography book of British Columbia's marine life by top-notch photographer David Hall. Now he has come out with a video, combining images from the book with images by Matthew Mayer. You can watch it at here, and then buy the book through our website.

Diving Isn't That Therapeutic:  August 16, 2012

A British court threw a divorced couple in jail after they fraudulently received more than US$200,000 in disability claims, then used the money to take multiple dive vacations abroad. Rose Jones from Ramsgate, England, told the Department for Work and Pensions last year that her back was so bad, she couldn't even open a bottle of wine. But then Jones and her former husband, Reginald, were photographed on holiday, wearing their dive gear, in the Maldives, Indonesia and the Red Sea. Jones later left Reginald., 54, for her German dive instructor. Both tried to blame the other in court for the scam, but Reginald got the bigger share of the blame, receiving a jail sentence of 18 months, while Rose got 15 months.

Boycott the Solomon Islands?  August 16, 2012

This favorite venue for divers is being threatened with a severe sanction by delegates to the CITES convention, a treaty overseen by the U.N. Environment Program. One reason: Between 2000 and 2010, more than 54,000 birds, mainly parrots and cockatoos, were imported from the Solomons and declared as captive bred. Yet the Solomon Islands is not known to have substantial bird-breeding facilities; registered bird breeders there primarily use their facilities as holding sites for wild-caught birds bound for export ( see www.traffic.org ). The Solomons are also a major exporter of live dolphins to dolphinariums around the world. A major New Zealand conservationist has asked New Zealanders to boycott travel to the Solomons.

Better Sniff Your Dive Certificate to Be Sure:  August 16, 2012

Who would have thought dive course certificates could be such a good drug-smuggling tool? Authorities say a lost-luggage handler ran an Ecuador-to-New York City smuggling ring that disguised drugs in cocaine-soaked scuba diving certificates. Jorge Guerrero, 39, allegedly arranged to ship the innocent-looking but packages on cargo planes from Guayaquil, Ecuador, to JFK. Besides sugar and oatmeal cookies packed atop a pound of cocaine, and chocolate candies laced with half a pound of heroin, the seized shipments included a stack of diving course diplomas that had been drenched in more than three pounds of cocaine, which was apparently to be extracted later.

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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