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For Divers since 1975
The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
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May 2009    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 24, No. 5   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Flotsam & Jetsam

from the May, 2009 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Join a Treasure Hunt in the Keys. Wreck-diving firm Mel Fisher’s Treasures is offering the “Atocha Dive Adventure.” The week-long package includes training in commercial treasure salvage techniques and two days of diving the Spanish galleon Atocha, lying in 55 feet of water and 35 miles from Key West, to help Fisher divers find its remaining gold and silver (they’ve already found $400 million in loot). Any diver who discovers treasures will get a previously conserved Atocha piece of equal value, up to $2,500. The first treasure hunt is June 8-14, and the $2,500 cost also includes private room and bath in a Key West vacation rental and a sunset sail with wine, but no meals. Trips will be offered all summer. Contact Shawn Cowles at or call (305) 294-5441.

One Breath, No Fins, 288 Feet. At April’s Vertical Blue competition, held at Dean’s Blue Hole in the Bahamas, elite free-divers set five new world records and 30 national records. For unassisted freediving, William Trubridge, 28, of New Zealand descended 288 feet with no fins and returned to the surface in three minutes, 30 seconds. Using fins, Austrian Herbert Nitsch, 39, went to 395 feet, and he also broke the free-immersion record (using a rope to go down and up) with a 360-foot depth. For women, Brit Jill Campbell, 39, set a fins-wearing record at 315 feet.

Let’s Not Get Wet. We divers like to get wet, as they say, but there are limitations. On March 21, diver Dorothy Reynolds, 66, was watching the movie on a Continental flight to Hawaii when, for apparently no reason, another passenger stood up next to her aisle seat and began urinating on her. She pushed him back, but he continued to spray. The drunken whizzer, Jerome Kenneth King-zio of Saipan, was sentenced to three weeks in jail. A U.S. Attorney said Reynolds reported that not only was her vacation ruined, she continues to suffer emotionally from the incident.

Didn’t See the Show? Buy the Book. If you missed the great documentary Oceans on cable last fall, content yourself with the book. Good color photos show the explorers’ voyages in seven oceans, from the Arctic to the Indian. Each chapter gives a briefing of archeology, geology and marine biology for that ocean; highlights for the Sea of Cortez include hammerheads, sperm whales, and the Humboldt, “the Terminator of squids.” Hardcover, 240 pages, $35 list price, but buy Oceans at Undercurrent to get Amazon’s best price, and proceeds will go to saving the oceans’ coral reefs.

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