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The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
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February 2016    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 31, No. 2   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Bahamas, French Polynesia, St. Vincent

and two great places for underwater photo classes

from the February, 2016 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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Headed to Phuket? Looks like you will have to present a certificate from your doctor verifying that you are fit to dive; operators will lose their license if they don’t enforce the rule. It’s a new safety measure rolled out after the November death of a Chinese tourist diving with Phuket William Diving aboard the MV Peterpan. She got separated from her group and was found six hours later by divers from another boat; she was face down at 40 feet, her regulator was out of her mouth, and she had facial abrasions. The Peterpan had moved away from the dive site without her.

Bahamas Pros and Cons. The best thing about the Bahamas for a diver? It’s close, easy to get to, and while the sites have deteriorated over the years, good diving can be found, usually.

In the early ‘80s, we first reviewed Blackbeard’s Cruises, calling their liveaboards “camping at sea.” They’re still operating, and nothing has changed. Seems to be about the most inexpensive way for the young at heart, not just the young, to make a bunch of dives and have a good party. Aboard Blackbeard’s Morning Star last May, Gary Brown (Bloomberg, TX) said, “Everyone begins to bond after about a day at sea. Some divers put their photos and videos on the television at night, as everyone told their stories of intrigue about the day’s diving encounters. Tropical fish were plentiful as we moved from site to site, and the shark feed was a lot of fun. The Washing Machine was something you will not forget! Octopuses on every night dive! The camaraderie is a large part of the trip, especially at night when all gather on the top deck with cold draft beer and drinks to mix and mingle. A great trip for beginners and good for experienced too.” (

And just as long ago, we reviewed Freeport’s Sun Odyssey Divers, which did a fine job then and is still proving a great diving experience for visitors to Grand Bahama Island. After a January trip, Louis Sparks (Tulare, CA) wrote, “Nick and Karen were the best of proprietors and hosts. While winter conditions were a bit problematic at times, we had four wonderful days of diving. Wrecks, sharks, turtles and incredible coral were the highlights. Nick and Karen made it that much more enjoyable with their professional and personable care of us. Nick never risked our safety when conditions were questionable, and Karen was great for laughs and insights. Over 33 years in the area -- it sure shows.” (

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