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October 2017    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 32, No. 10   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Flotsam & Jetsam

from the October, 2017 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Apple Passes: A Cozumel icon, Rene Applegate, passed away August 13. The owner of Dive Paradise, she was a gracious host to every visiting diver. Remembrances may be directed to, in honor of her great love for the abandoned animals of Cozumel.

Errors and Omissions. Well done, those who spotted that we'd used the wrong picture in the Little Cayman Beach Resort story in early versions of September's Undercurrent. Similarly, the Scubapro regulator recall (Undercurrent Oct 2006) was for the Mk20 first-stage, rather than the Mk X (also known as the Mk10, a much older model), although the over-torqueing problem that might occur during servicing is correct information for both.

Ballooning DCS. It may be photoshopped and fake news, but a story about a Peruvian diver purports to show Alejandro Martinez some years after he suffered decompression sickness and was left with bizarre bloating side-effects. You see, the creators of this fable claim that the nitrogen came out of solution and formed great sacs inside his body, like balloons. A doctor at the San Juan de Dios hospital says these nitrogen bags have added 30kg (66 pounds) to his body weight. We never knew nitrogen weighed so much!

Love Sharks But Not In Your House! Authorities have discovered seven live sandbar sharks, two dead leopard sharks, and a dead hammerhead in a basement swimming pool in a home in New York's Hudson Valley. However much you love sharks, don't try to keep them as pets. It will only end in tears.

A Small Triumph for Conservationists in Hawaii. Undercurrent has always opposed fish collecting on reefs, and we're happy to hear that the Hawaii Supreme Court has ordered a stop to commercial collection of aquarium fish in Hawaii pending an environmental review. The state currently has no limit to the number of aquarium fish permits issued, which was considered a fundamental flaw by the Humane Society. Around 35 percent of West Hawaii reefs have been closed to aquarium fish collection since 2000, but the catch elsewhere has steadily increased so that more than a million animals were collected in 2010. Undercurrent subscriber and contributor Rene Umberger is a leader in the fight.

Chucking Money at the Problem? A section of the Mesoamerican coral reef off the coast of Puerto Morelos in Mexico is set to make history. Thanks to the newly founded Reef and Beach Resilience and Insurance Fund (RRIF), local businesses will contribute to an insurance policy that will protect the 40-mile length of the colorful reef. In the event of damage, pay-outs will ensure the reef is restored to its former glory. Good luck with that!

Travel Advisory for Mexico. The U.S. State Department issued a new travel advisory warning Americans about the risks of traveling to Baja California Sur, Cancun, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya and Tulum in Mexico, due to an upsurge of shootings between rival criminal gangs. When you compare the figures for violent killings during the first six months of the year in Mexico with homicide rates in major U.S. cities, they look small and would not stop us from traveling to Mexico to dive.

Where To Go in the Caribbean? Looking for a spot to dive not totally hurricane-torn? There are plenty. Bonaire, Aruba, Curacao, Tobago, Belize, Honduras, Cozumel, the Cayman Islands, Grenada & Carriacou, Tobago, Barbados, Providencia (Nicaragua), St. Lucia and the Caribbean coast of Cuba are among the destinations unaffected and ready for your visit.

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