The Latest Dive News
528 Page 2001
Travelin' Diver's Chapbook Coming Soon November
20 , 2000
For our print subscribers, I want to note that the
2001 Travelin' Diver's Chapbook is at the printer and will be
mailed to all Undercurrent mail subscribers in mid December.
We'll also be putting that up on our website for access by Undercurrent
Online Members a bit later. This year's edition, which serves as the
November/December issue, is a whopping 528 pages of resort and live-aboard
reviews. If you're not a subscriber or Online Member and want to get
the Chapbook, you can start your subscription
or membership right here.
November 20, 2000
Seems that just about yearly someone in Hawaii gets
chomped on by a shark, and this year it was a California tourist snorkeling
a half mile off Maui, near the town of Olowalu. Henrietta Musselwhite,
56, was bitten in the back and leg, then rescued by her daughter and
a friend who were kayaking nearby. Officials believe she was attacked
by a tiger shark 6 to 8 feet long.
Air Aruba Shuts Down
If you're planning to travel to Aruba, Bonaire and
Curacao, you may face new obstacles. Air Aruba, financially strapped,
shut down in late October, leaving 1,200 tourists stranded. The U.S.
subsequently suspended its license to fly to America. That leaves the
highly unreliable ALM in the driver's seat.
Cayman Banking Records
No Longer So Private November 20, 2000
One way Americans take advantage of offshore banking
secrecy laws is to open a bank account with cash, then use the local
BankCard for transactions against that account. The cash is laundered
and the expenditure is untraceable. No more. In a sweeping tax evasion
probe, the IRS was granted access to thousands of MasterCard and American
Express credit card accounts held by U.S. taxpayers in the Cayman Islands,
the Bahamas, and Antigua and Barbuda. Investigators want to look at
such things as car, boat and airline ticket purchases and hotel and
car rentals. I trust you're not one of the folks with such an account.
Don't Let the Flu Ruin Your
Diving November 20, 2000
I've made it a practice for years to get a flu shot
because the last thing I want to have happen is to get infected on a
jammed overseas flight and spend my dive vacation in a live-aboard bunk.
I witnessed three of my fellow travelers blow half a week in Fiji in
bed and I've sworn it won't happen to me. Nor, should it happen to you.
Solomon Troubles Continue
November 20, 2000
The Solomon Islands may be getting back to normal.
A peace agreement has been reached between rival militias, leading to
October celebrations in the streets. The Bilikiki live-aboard boats
are operating again and American divers are returning. The U.S. State
Department said it "applauds the signing...of a peace agreement between
warring ethnic militias," but on November 3 issued a travel advisory
urging U.S. citizens to defer travel to the Solomons "due to continued
ethnic violence between rival militant groups and a general breakdown
in law and order in the capital, Honiara." The possibility of continued
violence remains high. There is no effective police force in Honiara,
which has contributed to a serious breakdown in law and order. At present,
unrest on Guadalcanal has not spread to other provinces in the Solomon
Islands. American citizens who choose to remain in the area should exercise
extreme caution and are urged to register with the U.S. Consular Agent
in Honiara -- c/o BJS Agencies on Mendana Avenue in Honiara, telephone
(677) 27429, fax (677)23426, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don't Wait Too Long
to Visit Indonesia's Coral Reefs November
That's a good reason to consider Indonesia as a destination,
especially since half the once vast coral reefs that surrounded the
world's largest archipelago have been lost and may all be dead in another
generation. Indonesia's Maritime Affairs Minister told hundreds of scientists
at an international coral reef symposium that many reefs had been devastated
by poor fishing practices, including the use of explosives and poisons.
However, he went on to say that industrialized countries must also accept
responsibility for damage caused by global warming. Unless drastic steps
are taken to reverse the warming trend and curb pollution, all reefs
will be dead within 20 years, scientists said.
Special Offer to Undercurrent
Readers from Ocean Realm November 20,
One thing I've always noted about Ocean Realm
magazine is that every photograph is in fact art. They present remarkable
images. One of their sidelines, however, is a fine gift collection now
offered online. It's a good place to shop for that favorite diver of
yours. The publishers asked if we'd give their collection a mention,
but I said only if I could give our readers a special deal. Good enough,
they said, so they told me that if your purchases from their online
catalog total $200 or more, they'll give you a snazzy pewter Hammerhead
key chain -- a $14.95 value -- in addition to a FREE one year subscription
to Ocean Realm (or extend four issues to you if you already
subscribe). The only hitch is that you must mention that you're an Undercurrent
reader -- just put the word "Undercurrent" in the comments section of
your order. Spending that much isn't difficult if you go for some of
their fine art and jewelry, but there are also books, jewelry, videos,
and other gift items. Visit http://store.yahoo.com/ocean-realm
for the shopping. If you are unfamiliar with Ocean Realm,
which has a focus unlike any other dive magazine, visit http://www.oceanrealm.net
for a preview.
Holiday Gifts from Undercurrent
November 20, 2000
Speaking of gifts, note that you can easily give your
favorite dive buddy a subscription to the
Undercurrent newsletter or an Undercurrent
Online Membership this holiday season. Or perhaps some of our
favorite diving related books -- you'll brighten their holiday season
with any of these.