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The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
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April 2008    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 23, No. 4   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Flotsam & Jetsam

from the April, 2008 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

A Batch of Corrections. We need a better map - - some astute readers caught two geographic errors we made in the March issue. In “Why Divers Die,” we incorrectly stated that a female diver died while diving in Yakima, WA. Actually, she was from Yakima, a land-locked town, and drowned in Puget Sound. In Flotsam & Jetsam, the Northern Marianas’ successful spearfishing ban is in Saipan, not Sipadan, the Malaysian island. And in “Backup Lights for Divers,” reviewer John Bantin found out after the issue went to press that the sample Aquastar 3 lamp he was given for testing has only one O-ring while retail models actually have two. “That is probably why it leaked slightly during my test dives.”

When Is a Passport Full? Make sure you have plenty of empty passport pages before your next international dive trip. While en route to an Indonesian liveaboard last fall, Undercurrent reader Eldon Okazaki (Sunnyvale, CA) was stopped at the Manado airport because he was told his passport was full, even though the last two pages were empty. “The customs officer said when you get to the last four pages, it is considered full. I had to pay a ‘fee’ to get through.” After his trip, Okazaki’s local passport agency confirmed it was true. The State Department says it’s prepared to fulfill passport requests within four weeks but if you need it earlier, it will do overnight delivery for an additional $60. Get the details online at

Even Royals Lose Rings Underwater. Princess Mary of Denmark is probably not amused - - her husband, Crown Prince Frederik, lost his wedding ring, designed from the first gold nugget mined in Greenland, while diving near Key West in January. While the average Joe Diver would have given up by his flight departure time, Prince Frederik merited a team of divers searching the reef for his ring even though he couldn’t remember where he lost it. Dive instructor Steve Tropp, who accompanied Prince Frederik on the dive, says it’s hopeless. “We have a lot of barracudas that fancy shiny objects so I think the ring likely ended up in one’s belly. Perhaps it will end up on a dinner table one day.”

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