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The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
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May 2019    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 34, No. 5   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Cozumel, Raja Ampat, Cuba, Grand Turk . . .

plus advice on wetsuits and resort options for older divers

from the May, 2019 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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From time to time, we publish select reader reports to bring unique possibilities, old problems, or generally good diving to your attention. Here's a fresh batch.

A Reader Speaks Up Aboard the Komodo Aggressor -- and They Listen. Rene Cote (Richmond, VA) headed off for great diving aboard the Komodo Aggressor. However, she encountered one serious problem and wisely took it upon herself to solve it. "The guides would not allow divers to dive on their own. Aggressor markets itself as providing 'ultimate service' by giving divers the freedom to pick a buddy and dive within proper limits, but this crew required everyone to follow the guides. When I pointed out to the lead guide that Aggressor usually allows divers to dive their own plan, he said, 'That's not in the Standard Operating Procedure.' However, the next morning, Diego (the cruise director) approached me to say he had reviewed the SOP, and I was correct. Here is the language: 'While in the water, you and your buddy are in charge. Every dive starts with a dive briefing from the yacht staff. However, as a certified diver, you and your buddy are responsible for planning and conducting your own dives within the limitations set forth by the briefing . . . (or follow the guide).' Despite acknowledging this was in the SOP, Diego said something about how the conditions here were much harder,and that we needed to follow the guides." Cote also produced a compelling two-minute film on plastic waste that has despoiled once-pristine Komodo Island, home of the unique Komodo dragons. It's a must-see -- watch it at

Aging Divers and Wetsuits. Ed Noga (Akron, OH) who has made more than 1,000 dives, had a great trip to the Red Sea aboard the Emperor Superior, but raises a point that aging divers must keep in mind. "My only complaint was about myself. I rented most gear and everything worked well, but I ordered a full 5-mm wetsuit. Back in the day, I'd dive comfortably in water down to 55 degrees in a 5-mil. Not anymore. In 72-degree water, I froze my butt off on most dives. Everyone else wore at least 7-mm suits. Live and learn." Yes indeed, and keep in mind that many destinations we think are "warm-water destinations," aren't always so. Some Indonesia destinations have upwellings in the low 70s, or even lower. Water temperatures in the Bahamas, and Turks and Caicos get into the low 70s in the winter, and the Sea of Cortez doesn't really warm up until late September. Multiple dives a day aren't fun when your teeth are chattering....

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