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December 2014    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 29, No. 12   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
What's this?

The 2015 Traveliní Diverís Chapbook

Contents of this Issue:
All Available to Online Members;
Available to the Public = publicly available

The 2015 Traveliní Diverís Chapbook

Editorial Office:

Ben Davison

Publisher and Editor


3020 Bridgeway, Suite 102

Sausalito, CA 94965

Contact Ben

what caught my eye

from the December, 2014 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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Dear Fellow Diver:

I've never sent you an issue in December -- you see, it's Chapbook time and yours should have just arrived via email. However, I've read several reports during the last few months that I want to call to your attention. So, I've prepared this short missive to alert you to a few you might otherwise miss.

But first, I must thank you for being a subscriber and for your loyalty to Undercurrent. We're in our 39th year of publication, thanks entirely to divers like you whose modest subscription fees support us.

You may not know the story, but in 1975 I was horribly disappointed on my first dive trip, which I took to Jamaica; Skin Diver magazine had pictured a beach 30 miles from the hotel and swarms of fish that just didn't exist. I got the message and decided to create Undercurrent, a publication for serious divers, uninfluenced by anyone other than the divers who subscribed -- divers like you. That we've been in business so long seems to mean that our little nonprofit publication is doing its job. But there is always room for improvement, so by all means, email me any thoughts, ideas or complaints you may have.

And a note: If you wish to purchase a paperback copy of The 2015 Travelin' Diver's Chapbook, you can do so by going to

Now, a few highlights from our Reader Reports, the longer versions of which you'll find in the 2015 Travelin' Diver's Chapbook.


Ben Davison,

Editor and Publisher

I did nine drift dives on the very healthy Boynton Beach reef seeing about a dozen bull sharks, numerous loggerhead and hawksbill turtles, green and spotted morays, lobster . . . .and about a hundred Goliath grouper on and around the wreck.

Stay Close to Home: For more years than I can remember, the HMS Minnow six-pack in Key Largo, Florida, owned and operated by Jeff Jarvis, was among the best operations anywhere in the Keys. Not long ago he sold out to John Garvey. Howard Kaiser (Liberty, MO), who dived with him in August, reports that the "appeal of using the HMS Minnow continues. John, like Jeff, leaves the dock around a half-hour earlier than the larger operations. I've been underwater on dives like the Benwood and surrounded by fish, rays, etc., only to hear the arrival of the bigger cattle boats and watch the fish scatter . . . I've maintained to anyone willing to listen that the Florida Keys are among the fishiest places in this hemisphere, having been designated a protected park for the last sixty years or so. There are clouds of grunt and yellowtail, and we saw several packs of twenty to thirty midnight blue parrot fish. On Molasses Reef, we saw several large snook, some permit and several nurse sharks. We've also seen reef sharks, eagle rays, spotted eels and cubera snapper . . . This trip I noticed significant coral bleaching that severely impacted Pickles Reef and around the Benwood wreck. I'd suggest that new moorings be set to relieve dive pressure from sites like French and parts of Molasses Reefs. There was also some significant fin damage, especially to the beautiful purple sea fans we'd seen in the past."

Craig Wood (Radnor, PA) has another Florida six-pack recommendation: Underwater Explorers. In August, "I spent six days doing 15 dives with Kevin Metz and Underwater Explorers out of Boynton Beach Harbor Marina. This turned out to be one of the best dive trips I've had. I did nine drift dives on the healthy Boynton Beach reef, seeing about a dozen bull sharks, numerous loggerhead and hawksbill turtles, green and spotted morays, lobster, and nearly all the Caribbean reef fish. I also did six dives on the wreck of the Castor. Even though it was a little early for the peak of the Goliath grouper aggregation, there were about a hundred Goliath grouper on and around the wreck. There were also large bait balls and hunters looking to make a meal of them; very exciting. Underwater Explorers' boat has plenty of room for all equipment and a partially enclosed deck for wind, rain, or to get out of the Florida sun. The boat has a warm-water shower, and there is a "primitive" but functional head, scheduled to be upgraded."...

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