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For Divers since 1975
The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
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Current Upwellings

Last updated March 27, 2001

The Latest Dive News

Tipping: Inside Scoop?
Dump Valve Danger in AERIS, Sherwood, and Genesis BCD's
Caribbean Air Specials
Join New England Aquarium Experts in the Bahamas
Divers and Earth Day
Thirty Days of Fame
Galapagos Trip
Atomic Recall
Wakatobi Made Easy
Cozumel on the Cheap
Going abroad?
Information, Please
The Funnies

Tipping: Inside Scoop? March 27 , 2001

We're doing a story on tipping and wonder how tip money, when put into a community pot, gets divided? Do you have any information to help us out? Have you ever known tips not doled out as you expected? Let me hear from you at

Dump Valve Danger in AERIS, Sherwood and Genesis BCD's March 27 , 2001

Sheico, the San Diego company that manufactures BCDs for several scuba equipment lines, has uncovered a potential problem that could cause overpressure valves (OPVs) to stick open in specific models shipped since July. If the problem were to occur in a shoulder dump valve, it would make the BCD impossible to inflate. In a lower dump valve, the BCD would retain some buoyancy even with the OPV stuck open. AERIS, which only recently began offering the BCDs, has issued a safety notice to dealers requiring that all OPVs be updated with new assemblies. Sherwood and Genesis have initiated a full recall for specific models: Sherwood Silhouette, Magnum, Avid, Luna, Outback and Freedom models purchased after September 1, 2000 with a serial number between 21280001 and 22010740.Genesis Cayman, Cobra, Athena and Phantom models purchased after September 1, 2000 with a serial number between 21280001 and 22010740. Talon and ReCon models purchased after July 15, 2000 with a serial number between 20520001 and 22010740. Take the faulty BCD's to your Authorized Dealer for a free OPV replacement. For further information, check the companies' websites:,,

Caribbean Air Specials March 27 , 2001

For the month of May, there are excellent American Airlines deals for the Caribbean, but the tickets must be purchased by midnight March 30. Minimum three day advance purchase, minimum three day stay and does not require a Saturday night stay. Sample prices are all round trip. Examples: Dallas to Tortola, BVI, $536; Curacao $404; St. Kitts $550. Los Angeles to Grenada, $541; St. Kitts $647; Curacao $437. From Miami: Curacao, $223; Grand Cayman $229; Provo $224. This is a web only sale. See: and select Web Fare Specials followed by "Come to the Caribbean SAAle" for details. Thanks to Undercurrent reader Josť Kirchner for the tip.

Join New England Aquarium Dive Experts in the Bahamas March 27 , 2001

Divers 18 and older are invited to join the staff from Boston's New England Aquarium on a fish collecting expedition to Cay Sal Banks, from April 18-April 29, 2001. This working dive vacation is open to both beginners and experienced divers. It's a great opportunity to dive with and learn from Aquarium professionals. After arrival in Miami, hop aboard the R/V Coral Reef II for the 11-day adventure featuring dive sites throughout the Bahamas in the Great Isaac Bank area, Andros Island and Cay Sal Banks. The last day is spent in Miami preparing fishes for shipment to the Aquarium. Then, see your hard work displayed at the Aquarium, which receives more than 1.4 million visitors each year. Fees are $3,440.and include airfare from Boston and a rare opportunity to dive in the Aquarium's 200,000-gallon Giant Ocean Tank. Call Holly Martel Bourbon, Senior Aquarist at 617-973-5248 (Tuesdays through Saturdays) or email Holly at

Divers and Earth Day March 27 , 2001

From a press release by The Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL, comes an event of special interest to concerned divers everywhere:

Divers Gear-Up to Celebrate Earth Day! (Berkeley, CA)

Thousands of divers all over the world will be teaming up again, to celebrate Earth Day by taking a dive. The second annual Dive In To Earth Day is an international Earth Day celebration, offering activities at dive sites and beaches during the week of April 15-22, 2001. Dive In To Earth Day gives participants an opportunity to have fun while taking action to protect our coral reefs, oceans, lakes, rivers and beaches. "More than 70% of our planet is covered by water, but almost all Earth Day activities are about land. Dive In is a great opportunity for divers to use their skills and draw attention to the value of our coral reefs and other underwater resources," says Stephen Colwell, Executive Director of The Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL). Dive In also demonstrates that divers and the dive industry make important contributions to underwater habitat protection.

Interested divers, snorkelers, and marine enthusiasts can find activities in their area or organize their own Dive In event. Last year, Dive In engaged more than 4,600 participants in over 30 countries. Highlighted activities included Reef Check surveys in Palau and the Philippines, a lakeshore and underwater garbage removal in Michigan, an underwater Easter egg hunt/cleanup in Hawaii, an educational fair in Boston, and a snorkeling trip for orphans in Kenya. Dive In To Earth Day was launched last year to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Earth Day (held annually on April 22). Dive In 2000 was so successful, CORAL has decided to once again coordinate the event and will work in partnership with divers, organizations, scientists, educators and other marine enthusiasts all over the world to get as many people back into the water during the Earth Day event. To help spread the word, celebrities William Shatner, James Cameron and Peter Benchley have expressed their support for the Dive In To Earth Day event. This year, there will be raffle prizes for event organizers (one entry per event) and Dive In 2001 activities will include Dive n' Tidys (underwater cleanups), Reef Check-Ups (fish and coral surveys), Reef Refittings (artificial reef installations), and Scan n' Tans (beach cleanups).

The Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL) is coordinating Dive In To Earth Day, which is co-sponsored by Rodale's Scuba Diving Magazine, the Center for Marine Conservation, the Dive Equipment and Marketing Association (DEMA), Padi AWARE Foundation, Reef Check, Reef Ball Foundation, Oceanwatch, the Hammerheads and Earth Day Network. Corporate sponsors include Seaview Hotel and Dive Resort and Bob Soto's Diving, Dive Experience, Ultralight Control Systems, Exotic Key Beach Resort and Dive Gear, Inc. Information for organizers and participants can be found on the web at

Thirty Days of Fame March 12 , 2001

The Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL) is once again soliciting photos from amateur photographers for their 2002 calendar. You need to get your shot from a marine park or other protected coral reefs where people are taking action to protect reefs. If your photo is selected to represent a month, you'll get 25 copies of what is arguably the most widely circulated underwater calendar anywhere. For more information visit or contact CORAL at 510 848-0110.

Galapagos Trip March 12 , 2001

Undercurrent subscriber David Leonard puts together great trips with all profit going to child abuse organizations. He reports that his Star Dive Foundation has contributed $60,000 to help kids in trouble. Right now he's got two spots left on his Galapagos trip, May 13-26. Details at

Atomic Recall March 12 , 2001

The possibility of a failing first stage spring has prompted regulator manufacturer Atomic Aquatics to announce a voluntary recall of all models. Atomic President Dean Garraffa, told Undercurrent that although there had been no reported incidents of in water failure or diver injury, three regulators undergoing routine servicing were discovered to have cracked springs. The company contacted the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission for advice in launching the recall, which covers about 3,500 T1, B1 & Z1 regulators manufactured between May 11, 1999 and October 27, 1999 and 10-27-99, and carrying serial numbers A07751-A11276. Owners may determine the serial number of their regulator by removing the mouthpiece. The number is prominently displayed on the top of the second stage body where the piece attaches. Regulators falling within the recall range may be returned to the nearest dealer for free replacement of the spring. Alternatively, the owner may call Atomic at 1-888-270-8595 to arrange for factory servicing. Jeff Allen, a senior technician at Atomic, told Undercurrent that the company will cover shipping charges in both directions. He additionally indicated that they are currently running turn-around times of 1-3 days.

Wakatobi Made Easy March 12 , 2001

Indonesia's Wakatobi Resort has some of the most incredible diving on this planet. Problem is, it takes a day and a half to get there from Bali -- all this, after a day in the air from the U.S. However, the little island is opening an airstrip in June, cutting the journey to only a few hours on a charter flight from Bali. Wakatobi is an eleven-room dive resort with a world class house reef.

Cozumel on the Cheap March 12 , 2001

Here's a good deal. Six nights in Cozumel's Days Inn Villa and airfare from Atlanta for $549, until April 15. Call Aeromexico Vacations 800 245-8585 or

Going abroad? March 12 , 2001

This translator has about every diving term you need in several languages:

Information, Please March 12 , 2001

A writer, Roy Decker, needs your help. " I have run across the mention of the finding of a Carthaginian shipwreck, on the coast (or off) of Honduras, about 1972. The wreck was found by divers, who found amphorae that are ancient Carthaginian (the country of Hannibal fame). It is not the wreck off Rio de Janeiro, which is 3rd century Mauritanian (Roman period). I am working on a book on ancient Carthaginian explorers, and would very much appreciate any help. I would be happy to credit the source (or to keep anonymous) and would be very much in your debt for any information. Reply to:

The Funnies March 12 , 2001

And, from writer Michael Menduno comes this bit of humor:

Reaching the end of a job interview, the manager of a dive store asked a young newly certified scuba instructor what kind of a salary he was looking for.

"In the neighborhood of $140,000 a year, depending on the benefits package, he said."

"Well, what would you say to a package of 5-weeks vacation, 14 paid holidays, full medical and dental, company matching retirement fund to 50% of salary, and a company car leased every 2 years...say, a red Corvette?"

"Wow! Are you kidding?"

"Yeah, but you started it."

-- Ben Davison, publisher

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