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Updated October 16, 2015
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.

Help Nautilus Explorer Raise $36,000 for European Refugees
Subscribe to the "Best Dive Publication Ever"
Death by Box Jellyfish
What You’re Missing in Undercurrent
If You’re Tired of Fiddling with Your GoPro . . .
Barracuda Slaughter at McCauley Reef
California Stops SeaWorld from Stealing Wild Orcas from the Oceans
Rest in Peace, Gladys Howard
Dive Instructor Killed by Dynamite Fishing
Shark Bytes
Paving Paradise in Grand Cayman
Coming Up in Undercurrent
The "Shocking" Way to Cure Seasickness

Help Nautilus Explorer Raise $36,000 for European Refugees  October 16, 2015

Mike Lever, owner of the Nautilus Explorer and Belle Amie, was recently listening to an NPR broadcast about Syrian refugees and the fear, hunger and exhaustion they face as they struggle to find a new, better life in Europe, and he decided to help. “I know how lucky I am,” he says. “I've thought long and hard . . . and have decided that a good starting point is to donate money to a group experienced and committed to providing immediate relief with a bare minimum in management fees.” So he is doing his best to raise $18,000 in individual donations to Doctors without Borders, with Nautilus Explorer then matching donations dollar for dollar, for a total of $36,000. Undercurrent is donating $250. You too can help Mike meet his goal – and help the refugees put their lives back together. Go to Nautilus Explorer’s crowdfunding page for more info.

Subscribe to the "Best Dive Publication Ever"  October 16, 2015

That’s what subscriber David Turner (Kailua Kona, HI) called it when he wrote to us just to say keep up the good work. “Your publication is, hands down, the best dive publication ever. We do not subscribe to any other publication anymore. Please keep up your excellent work for those of us who love to dive.” Help us keep up the good work – the detailed travel reviews, the hard-hitting investigations of the dive industry, the in-depth equipment reviews, the different angles of diving that no other publication covers, and more. We couldn’t do it without our subscribers (literally, because we don’t accept advertising). Your satisfaction guaranteed or your money back. Subscribe now here.

Death by Box Jellyfish  October 16, 2015

Box jellyfish, the scourge of swimmers, snorkelers and even divers in northern Australia and the Indo-Pacific, are now more common in Thailand; three people in 14 months have died from their stings. The most recent fatality happened October 6, when 20-year-old Saskia Thies from Germany was stung during an evening swim off the island of Koh Samui (there have been four jellyfish box stings there this year, but this was the first death). The other two deaths occurred at Koh Phangan, another tourist hotspot – one was a five-year-old boy. Thon Thamrongnawasawat, a marine biologist at Bangkok's Kasetsart University, told the newspaper Phuket Wan that in the past seven years, the numbers of box jellyfish in Thailand have increased due to global warming, waste from shore that attracts food-seeking jellyfish into shallow waters, and a decline in sea turtles that eat jellyfish. Unlike other jellyfish species, box jellyfish don’t float on the sea surface but swim deeper, making them harder to see, and thus making it advisable not to swim at night.

What You’re Missing in Undercurrent  October 16, 2015

Kosrae and Yap: two magical stopovers in Micronesia . . . great diving in Mozambique and Mexico, and another warning about Bonaire . . . how divers are affecting reef fish behavior . . . why there's still no foolproof way to get divers back on the boat . . . Shark Bytes, John Bantin's new book . . . is your camera hurting marine life? . . . and much more.

If You’re Tired of Fiddling with Your GoPro . . .  October 16, 2015

Top free diver Guillaume Nery is working with developers on the iBubble, an autonomous underwater vehicle that self-selects the best camera shots. With a depth rating of 230 feet, the iBubble, with a GoPro Hero system plugged into it, will move alongside a diver via a connected bracelet, and choose, on its own, the best camera angle. Once it reaches its one-hour battery life, the iBubble automatically resurfaces. Its developers are offering the first 3,000 people who sign up sneak peeks, exclusive updates and offers – go to http://ibubble.camera.

Barracuda Slaughter at McCauley Reef  October 16, 2015

“The underwater scooters known as diver propulsion vehicles (DPVs) have been touted as great products for giving divers more mobility and bottom time, greater range, and reducing air consumption. I never considered them for shooting fish. However, I discovered while on a dive in Palm Beach earlier this year that some divers indeed use DPVs to help them hunt fish, and do it flagrantly at sites popular with divers. And the State of Florida, where it happens most often, isn't doing much to stop it” . . . Read more of our writer’s encounter with a scary fisherman and what happens next in this story, free to view here.

California Stops SeaWorld from Stealing Wild Orcas from the Oceans  October 16, 2015

Animal rights activists celebrated victory on October 8 when the California Coastal Commission voted to ban SeaWorld's orca breeding program, restrict the movement of animals between its parks, and expand the size of its tanks. The halt of the breeding program would mean that the 11 orcas currently at the San Diego facility would be the park's last captive whales. While the ruling is limited to the California park at this stage, it marks another step toward the end of capturing wild cetaceans. SeaWorld officials said they will review the decision and consider options.

Rest in Peace, Gladys Howard  October 16, 2015

One of the world's unique individuals and a true diving pioneer has passed away. Gladys Howard, founder and proprietor of Little Cayman's superb Pirates Point Resort, diver, cordon-bleu chef who studied with Julia Child, and advocate for Cayman Islands conservation, died on October 3 at age 83 after a long battle with cancer. Undercurrent subscriber David Reubush (Toana, VA) wrote a lovely tribute to Howard. Whether you met her or not, it’s worth reading the tribute to Howard on our website.

Dive Instructor Killed by Dynamite Fishing  October 16, 2015

The Philippine island of Malapascua is famous as a dive site for thresher sharks, but it’s also infamous for dynamite fishing. That’s what caused the death of Al Bernard Coyoca, 33 on September 30, near the town of Daanbantayan. The dive instructor was there to visit his dad, Enrico, and when he didn’t return after a morning dive, Enrico found him floating lifeless near Barangay Paypay. Officials determined that the cause of death was “traumatic injuries to the head and trunk compatible with blast incidence.” Witnesses saw two men throw dynamite nearby, and these fishermen will be charged with illegal fishing and reckless imprudence resulting in homicide. Enrico says he will seek justice for his son by urging national and local government officials to intensify the campaign against illegal dynamite fishing.

Shark Bytes  October 16, 2015

John Bantin, who writes often, wittily and thoroughly about diving for Undercurrent, just had his second book published -- Shark Bytes, his personal stories and first-hand descriptions and anecdotes of over 30 years of diving with and photographing sharks. "I don't offer myself as an expert regarding sharks," Bantin says. "I simply offer myself as a shark witness, and in Shark Bytes, I delve into the way my own attitude to and understanding of sharks has developed during the intervening years. It's about how I grew to love diving with sharks." Order it through Undercurrent and you’ll get Amazon’s best price -- and our profits will go to save coral reefs.

Paving Paradise in Grand Cayman  October 16, 2015

The Caymanian government has confirmed plans to build a massive cruise ship dock in Grand Cayman's Georgetown harbor, which environmentalists claim will have a devastating impact on the island's reefs. The reason for the dock, besides getting more ships, is so passengers don't have to deal with the five-minute tender transfer across the harbor. But environmental impact report found that the dredging process would destroy 15 acres of coral reef and likely harm another 20 acres, home to some critically endangered coral species. "It is a sad day for the country," Keith Sahm, a leader of the Save Cayman anti-port campaign told Yahoo News. "Once they do this, there is no turning back." To see how you can help their efforts, go to www.facebook.com/SaveCayman?fref=ts

Coming Up in Undercurrent  October 16, 2015

Part II of No Diver Left Behind: We ask dive operators what tracking and counting systems work best, which ones don’t, and what divers themselves can do to ensure they’re not left behind. . . . the world’s most dangerous dives . . . safety questions to ask yourself before going off to a remote dive destination . . .what gets you a better dive package deal: the Internet or the travel agent? . . . what rats can tell us about diving, drinking and DCS . . . and much more.

The "Shocking" Way to Cure Seasickness  October 16, 2015

Scientists at Imperial College in London believe that being given a mild electric shock to the scalp before you get on a boat will prevent nausea. They're developing a gadget that will plug into a smartphone and deliver a short shock to the head via electrodes. The mild electrical current dampens activity in the part of the brain that processes motion signals, reducing the impact of confusing inputs received, and preventing symptoms of motion sickness. Study leader Qadeer Arshad told the Daily Mail, "We are confident that within five to 10 years, people will be able to walk into a drugstore and buy an anti-seasickness device."

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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