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Updated September 17, 2019
These brief news articles below were sent out via email to all divers who signed up for our free email list.
You can sign up here to receive future Undercurrent Online Updates and get news alerts and special offers like these every month.

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Subscribe Now, and Get My New 36-page Seven Super Dive Resorts (and one meh)
Next Month in Undercurrent
Liveaboard Safety
Atomic Regulator Hose Recall
Smoking Aboard?
Hurricane Relief in the Bahamas
Oldies Battle it Out
Check That Your Tank Valve is Fully Open
This Month in Undercurrent
Improving Shooter Skills in the Muck
Tipping During a Dive Trip. How Much and to Whom?

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms  September 17, 2019

In the light of the recent tragic fire on board the Conception, we thought we’d point out that battery-operated smoke and CO alarms are small, cheap to buy and weigh very little. Although most liveaboards should be fitted with smoke alarms throughout, there is no reason why you should not travel with your own. Use a self-adhesive pad to fit it up high in your cabin.

Subscribe Now, and Get My New 36-page Seven Super Dive Resorts (and one meh)  September 17, 2019

Subscribe Now, and Get My New 36-page Seven Super Dive Resorts (and one meh) mailed directly to you. My offer? Just $17.95 for a six-month trial subscription. Call it what you will -- a cut-rate subscription price with a free book, or maybe a two-for-one offer -- but it's a great offer and for $17.95, you can't go wrong. Because if for any reason you don't like or need your Undercurrent subscription, I'll return your $17.95 and you can keep our Seven Super Dive Resorts, with my thanks for giving us a go.

On top of that you gain immediate access to 15 years of back issues and more than 10,000 honest resort and liveaboard reviews submitted by our experienced readers. And, I’ll send you full reviews by our anonymous writers of a great Fiji escape, a Cozumel dive operator catering for serious divers, a two-resort budget combo of Indonesia, undiscovered diving off Grenada, and much, much more. If during your trial subscription you are dissatisfied for any reason, I’ll return your $17.95, no questions asked. To subscribe at this special rate of $17.95 for six months, simply click here.

Next Month in Undercurrent  September 17, 2019

The Conception Story. Undercurrent reports on what really happened.

Liveaboard Safety  September 17, 2019

After the Conception tragedy, we are led to think about the safety of liveaboards on which we all have traveled worldwide. Have you ever been concerned about a boat’s layout? About the crews’ competence in time of a problem; about your sleeping quarters; the battery chargers; the night watch? We’d like to hear your views and concerns and whether you have taken any special precautions. Write to not forgetting to add your town and state.

Atomic Regulator Hose Recall  September 17, 2019

Huish Outdoors is recalling some Atomic regulator hoses with a low-pressure hose swivel next to the second stage. Affected hoses have a hose crimp that bears a date stamp D0717. If you have any doubts, call repair guru Robert Stark at 310/947-8523, or you can e-mail him a picture of the crimp; or take your regulator to an Atomic dealer. Atomic Aquatics has sent repair kits to some affected customers, but the free repair should still be done by a trained technician. Contact service at (888) 270-8595 ext. 4, or at for instructions. The defective hoses should be returned to Huish Outdoor.

Smoking Aboard?  September 17, 2019

Firefighters tell us most house fires start in the kitchen or are attributed to careless use of cigarettes. Recent events have made us more aware of this potential hazard. Smoking is commonly banned in places of work and public areas for health reasons, but fire affects everyone, especially on a boat. It would be relatively easy to ban smoking on American liveaboards, but less so in foreign countries where smoking is de rigueur. Do you think smoking should be banned aboard? Write to and tell us, not forgetting to add your town and state.

Hurricane Relief in the Bahamas  September 17, 2019

Grand Bahama Island and the Abacos have been destroyed by Hurricane Dorian. Many of us have enjoyed diving in that region. Now the people need your help. The US coast guard, USAID relief agency and UN relief agencies joined efforts led by the Royal Bahamas Defense Force and the National Emergency Management Agency (Nema) of the Bahamas. You can donate funds by going here:

Oldies Battle it Out  September 17, 2019

Bill Lambert celebrated his 99th birthday in September with short dive in the chilly waters of Pearl Lake with friends, divers and media on-hand for the special occasion. The Rockford, IL resident wants to become the world's oldest scuba diver. Meanwhile, 96-year-old British WWII veteran, Ray Woolly, claims to have broken his own world record as the oldest scuba diver, by going diving at the popular Zenobia wreck off Cyprus’ southern coast. He went to 138-feet with a total dive time of 48 minutes. His goal: to keep diving until he reaches 100.

Check That Your Tank Valve is Fully Open  September 17, 2019

Undercurrent received a letter from a reader who did not, and his air supply failed at depth. Before diving, take a couple of breaths from your regulator while checking the pressure-gauge needle stays steady. Sucking strongly on most regulators first with the tank valve shut assures you there are no leaks. (This doesn’t work if you have an Atomic regulator both as primary and alternate air source because of its unique design.)

This Month in Undercurrent  September 17, 2019

Your letters to the Editor . . . Don’t free-dive during the surface interval . . . The seahorses off Long Beach, CA . . . Diving with NDS in Mediterranean Malta . . . Recent deaths highlight risks to older divers . . . Stupid or what? Computer transmitters on hoses . . . Listen to the dawn chorus underwater . . . Island scuba diving destinations at risk from rising sea-level . . . Are there too many divers in Raja Ampat? . . . It’s the tiny fish that are important . . . Is PADI diver and instructor training adequate? . . . What about the marine head in reader’s reports? . . . and much, much more.

Improving Shooter Skills in the Muck  September 17, 2019

Taking macro photos of critters can produce startling results if you know what you’re doing. That’s the secret. Undercurrent’s contributor goes to Anilao Photo Academy in Balayan Bay, the Philippines where skills are honed to perfection. You can read-it-for-free here …

Tipping During a Dive Trip. How Much and to Whom?  September 17, 2019

Is there an etiquette? It’s the great conundrum, which none of us really know the answer to. There’s little doubt that in many dive businesses where employees are tipped, the owner has a strong incentive to maintain low wages and expect the additional tips to make up the difference. Undercurrent readers reveal what they think is right. You can read-it-for-free here …

Ben Davison, editor/publisher
Contact Ben


Note: Undercurrent is a registered 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization donating funds to help preserve coral reefs. Our travel writers never announce their purpose, are unknown to the destination, and receive no complimentary services or compensation from the dive operators or resort.

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Highlights of Previous Online Updates*

Here are past Online Update emails sent out . You can sign-up for free to receive these in the future here.


September, 2019

August, 2019

July, 2019

June, 2019

May, 2019

April, 2019

March, 2019

February, 2019

January, 2019

Online Updates* Archive, 2000-2018

* Sometimes referred to as Upwellings

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