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November 2022    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 37, No. 11   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Raja Ampat, St. Lucia, Rangiroa, Vancouver Island

some great diving, some questionable characters

from the November, 2022 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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While divers are getting back in the water, most land-based operations have plenty of openings, as do many liveaboards. As expected, we've received fewer reader reports than years back, but of our subscribers, many have unusual stories to tell. Below, you'll find some of those stories, as well as reports on a few not-so-popular destinations that may be just your cup of tea.

The Disappearing Captain

While our lead article this month covers three excellent weeks on the Roatan Aggressor, in the past, we have often noted management problems with Aggressor boats, the latest reported by Craig Howe (Deerfield, FL).

After arriving in September for his one-way Raja Ampat Aggressor voyage from Sulawesi to Raja Ampat, he spent the first night on board, awakening to find they were still in port. Turns out, the night before, the cruise director and captain had a disagreement, so the captain left the boat, taking six crew members with him. The cruise director rallied quickly, and the next day the Aggressor flew the divers to Sorong, where five taxis and then two speedboats took them an hour's trip to stay at Meridian Adventure Dive.

After three days of diving, the Raja Ampat Aggressor appeared with another captain at the helm, and the divers all went aboard for four more days of diving. Howe says, "I can't congratulate them enough for how they handled things." Furthermore, all the displaced passengers were given a complimentary future trip on the Raja Ampat Aggressor, a move genuinely recognizing the value of their customers. Kudos. (

The cruise director and captain had a disagreement, so the captain left the boat.

But No Free Voucher Here

The cold waters off Vancouver Island, British Columbia, provide unique and fascinating diving, which is why Brent Woods (Deep River, ON) made an October trip to Browning Pass Hideaway, on which Undercurrent reported favorably in 2009. While it was a bit funky then, today, says Woods, it's a disaster.

"After I finished unloading my gear from my car at the Port Hardy dock, a rusty vehicle pulled up, and a man who looked like he came from Skid Row got out. It was John de Boeck, legendary proprietor of the Browning Pass Hideaway. A water taxi took us to the resort, six floating buildings covered with decades of junk. Two are usable; the others are sinking. There was no potable water or electricity. A couple of hours later, the managers showed up with provisions and turned the generator on....

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