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Updated April 19, 2013
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.

April May Precious
Planning an Asia Dive Trip?
"Thanks for Bringing Me Back to Diving."
What You're Missing This Month
Buddy Reef's New Coral Reefs
Catching Housing Leaks Before They Happen
A 55-Cent Stamp Worth the Price
How Humans Have Changed Stingrays' Ways
Canon's Camera Housing Floats for Six Years
Wave a White Cap
College Divers Break a World Record
Coming Up in Undercurrent

April May Precious:  April 19, 2013

No doubt, you received our review of Precious Island on the first day of this month. We received scores of responses to our review, and we've put a few online for you to read. Click here.

Planning an Asia Dive Trip?:  April 19, 2013

Consider Cathay Pacific's Premium Economy Class. Techsperts blogger and frequent flyer Phil Baker explains why. "An LAX-to-Hong Kong flight costs about $1,600 round trip, $700 more than economy. The seats looked just like what you'd find on first class on many domestic airlines. Foot room was plentiful, and the well-cushioned seats reclined to almost 45 degrees. The seat was comfortable enough that I was able to sleep for seven hours, and had no backache at the end of the flight Food service was similar to business class. One of the benefits of this ticket was that it could be cancelled or changed for a $50 right up to flight time. Premium economy class is available on many of Cathay's long routes to Australia, Asia and Europe."

"Thanks for Bringing Me Back to Diving.":  April 19, 2013

Randall Rothenberg was a former head honcho at Time Warner, and now CEO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, says "I subscribed to Undercurrent for almost two decades and absorbed every issue. But then diving dwindled for me, and I let my subscription lapse. Last summer, I started feeling the loss, and the hankering to go diving. The first thing I did was search online to see whether Undercurrent had gone digital. I was pleased beyond measure that you not only had gone digital, but you'd done it in a way that was entirely consistent with your classic design, voice, and values. Thanks to you, I broke my 11-year dive celibacy at Bruce Bowker's Carib Inn in Bonaire, which was exactly as you described. And your piece on Saba - the island from which I did my first openwater dive 27 years ago - gave me the impetus to return there for the first time in almost 20 years. It, too, was exactly as described (and wonderfully so). I owe you great thanks for bringing me back to diving - and for staying true." Join Rothenberg by signing up for a subscription.

What You're Missing This Month:  April 19, 2013

A good land-based way to experience Chuuk wreck diving . . . and the best liveaboard option for it . . . why you should avoid United when flying to Micronesia . . . old-style Caribbean living at Belize's Caye Caulker . . . more bad mistakes that dead divers made . . . why the infamous Costa Concordia should be made a diver's paradise . . . why DEPP is off our recommended list for dive gear insurance . . . five websites that make dive travel easier . . . the reason for "another" Aqua Lung recall of weight pockets . . . and much more.

Buddy Reef's New Coral Reefs:  April 19, 2013

The ones they're growing, that is. To help repair Bonaire's damaged reefs, the dive resort is in charge of the Bonaire Coral Restoration Project, launched last summer, in partnership with the Coral Restoration Foundation. So far, it has put in two underwater coral nurseries, primarily staghorn and elkhorn coral, one near Klein Bonaire, and another just off the resort dock. Buddy Dive's dive operations manager Martin Cicilia told the Carib Journal that they're growing fast. "Every four months we take pictures, and we see a big difference." He says Buddy Dive guests and other interested divers can "adopt" a coral, with a specific number for each section in the nursery. "You can see something you donate to, and how it grows during the year. It won't be back as it used to be a long time ago. But we can make an effort to make it work again."

Catching Housing Leaks Before They Happen:  April 19, 2013

Often, we jump into the water with as much as $10,000 worth of gear, so a flood is disastrous. While videographers have a range of air-tight housings with vacuum leak-test systems, those using humbler still cameras were out of luck . . . until now. John Bantin explains in this month's issue - the article is free to read at www.undercurrent.org

A 55-Cent Stamp Worth the Price:  April 19, 2013

By paying extra for these cool US postage stamps, you make a contribution to save marine turtles and protect their habitat. Featuring the graphic of an Amur tiger cub, the "Save Vanishing Species" first-class stamp benefits five specific animal conservation funds. Net proceeds go to the US Fish and Wildlife Service to support the Multinational Species Conservation Funds (besides turtles, other animals being protected are elephants, great apes, rhinoceroses and tigers). So far, $1.74 million has been raised. Help out by buying these stamps.

How Humans Have Changed Stingrays' Ways:  April 19, 2013

The Cayman Islands' Stingray City is one of the world's most famous and heavily-visited ecotourism sites, but humans mixing with stingrays in the water for "interactive ecotourism" may be having a disastrous impact. Read our article, available from our homepage at www.undercurrent.org

Canon's Camera Housing Floats for Six Years:  April 19, 2013

When Lindsay Scallan of Newnan, GA, lost her Canon PowerShot during a 2007 scuba dive in Maui, she thought her vacation photos were gone forever. But the camera, still in its underwater case, was found 6,200 miles away and six years later on the shores of Taiwan by a China Airlines employee walking the beach. The case (Eric Hanlon, sharp-eyed editor of the underwater photo blog Wetpixel, identified it as also made by Canon, from its WP series of polycarbonate housings) was covered in barnacles but the memory card was still intact. Thanks to the power of social media, Scallon found out about her camera, and China Airlines offered to fly her to Taiwan for free to pick it up. She just started a new job but plans to collect it in June.

Wave a White Cap:  April 19, 2013

After reading last month's article "Lost at Sea," about a group of divers stranded 10 miles off the Baja California coast, subscriber Keith Anderson (Champery, Switzerland) wrote in with a suggestion. "In almost all stories of divers being lost or having a long wait for the boat to find them, there is always the danger of overexposure (sunburn), particularly in the tropics and for follically-challenged men. I suggest that divers take the simple precaution of bringing a light baseball cap, or perhaps a tie scarf, which can significantly reduce this risk. It takes up almost no space in a BC pocket, and it may even aid recovery."

College Divers Break a World Record:  April 19, 2013

The University of Toledo student scuba diving club broke the world record last week for longest continual time underwater between a group of divers in an enclosed environment. Twenty-five 25 divers spent nine days taking turns underwater in a 330-gallon tote housed on UT's campus in the student union. The session started April 1, around 6:20 p.m., and lasted until April 9 at 3:30 a.m. The previous world record was six days and 21 hours, which this group surpassed by three hours. Zech Hites, a sophomore mechanical engineering major logged over 24 hours under the water. "I didn't mind the sensory deprivation," he told the Independent Collegiate. "It was the lack of sleep that was really hard to deal with." But did they pee in their wetsuits?

Coming Up in Undercurrent:  April 19, 2013

Our undercover travel writers visit New Caledonia, Indonesia's Komodo Island and Belize's Turneffe Reef . . . the when, why and how much to tip on your dive trip . . . can scuba diving really burn 400 calories per hour? . . a researcher takes 47 dive computers underwater and finds that the numbers shown on the screen can vary widely . . . 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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Highlights of Previous Online Updates*

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December, 2013

November, 2013

October, 2013

September, 2013

July, 2013

June, 2013

May, 2013

April, 2013

March, 2013

February, 2013

January, 2013

December, 2012

November, 2012

October, 2012

September, 2012

August, 2012

July, 2012

June, 2012

May, 2012

April, 2012

March, 2012

February, 2012

January, 2012

Online Updates* Archive, 2000-2011

* Sometimes referred to as Upwellings



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