Dear Fellow Diver,
In the May issue, we ran an unusual story on a unique place, St. Helena, 1,200 miles off the west coast of Africa, with diving unlike you’ll find anywhere. Our writer arrived home on March 2, the last Undercurrent writer to produce a story.
You see, in the middle of March, we had two travel writers on the road. One got hung up in the Philippines and had to pack up quickly and skip diving to catch one of the last planes out. The other was trapped aboard a cruise ship in the Pacific, steaming aimlessly until Hawaii relented and let the ship enter port, but even had it docked on time, he still wouldn’t have made it to the Galapagos Islands. Two other writers canceled their trips, and three others stopped planning.
It doesn’t seem to make much sense to publish Undercurrent each month when we have no traveling writers or traveling readers, especially since we base many of our articles on significant reader experiences that help us develop and produce essential stories on health, safety, equipment, and travel.
So, we’re going to take a break in publishing our issues and go on leave until better times. We’ll continue to produce periodic emails with vital information about the virus’s impact on diving along with other unique diving items. You may continue to access our website to read past issues, reader reports, and the Chapbook. And, we encourage you to submit reports on your previous trips.
We have frozen your subscription term, which means however many months you have left in your subscription will be the same number when we resume*. If you have five months left and we return in September, you will still have five months left. We won’t be accepting new subscriptions or renewals until we restart, which I suspect will be longer than we all hope. Unlike other dive publications, which are closing because their advertising revenue has dried up, we survive financially on subscription income from divers like you. So, by keeping our expenses down in the interim, we should be able to get going a couple months after our first brave travel writer packs his or her bags and heads for the airport.
We have published continuously since 1975, with 99 percent of our income coming from reader subscriptions. That’s why we have been able to produce unvarnished stories about every aspect of diving and dive travel, unlike any other diving publication anywhere. When the time comes, we hope to be right back at it.
For now, stay home and stay well. We’ll be in touch whenever there is news you need to hear. And anything you think we should know about, please contact me via our contact page. And, similarly for subscription questions.
Ben Davison, Sausalito, CA
John Bantin, London, UK
Dave Eagleray, Bali, Indonesia