The Latest Dive
Still Diving at 70? April
Harvard University wants to hear from you. Ronald
P. Gary, Md., with the Harvard Division on Aging, is looking at how
the aging process affects one's ability to dive. They also want to characterize
your attitudes as well as other divers' attitudes toward you. To get
a questionnaire, contact Dr. Garry at 28 Evergreen Ave., Waltham MA
02453, fax him at 419 791 4571 or email him at Rgarry1@mediaone.net
All responses will be kept confidential and the results will be published
Targeting Pelicans in
Miami April 9 , 2001
Pelican hard cases have become a favorite target of
baggage handling thieves at Miami's International Airport, in Miami.
In the last week of March, we learned of three separate incidents in
which Pelican cases were opened and cameras stolen as they wove their
way through the innards of the Miami baggage handling system. If you're
traveling with a Pelican, hand carry it. Or, put it inside another case
-- the best an old suitcase or duffel, that won't attract attention.
Head Down Under
April 9, 2001
We reported a few months back that a human head was
found in the gullet of a Potato Cod in Australia. Not true, says Bob
Halstead, former Telita owner. "The cod that swallowed a human
head in Queensland was not a Potato Cod but a Malabar Grouper, a different
fish species altogether. By the way feeding of unnatural food to fish
-- such as human heads -- is illegal on the Great Barrier Reef. I hope
they catch the rest of whoever did it and prosecute."
Cozumel, Bali and Bonaire
Travel Tips April 9, 2001
Stay at what is arguably the best hotel in Cozumel,
on the cheap . . . if you are 55 or older. The Presidente has a $55/night
program for those over age 55 (based on double occupancy). The rate
-- valid until December 21 -- is good in Cancun and all-inclusive resorts
in Puerto Vallarta, Los Cabos and Ixtapa, as well as Mexico City, Monterrey
and Guadalajara. Two children under 18 can stay free at the Cancun or
Cozumel resorts. To take advantage of the offer you need to show a passport
or photo ID with your birth date at check-in. For reservations, call
(800) 327-0200; or visit http://www.interconti.com.
Reader Bob Herrick tells us that the best way to get
to Bali is on EVA airlines, since you can fly Business Class
for the price of coach (only $948 round trip)! We haven't checked it
out, but you can.
Beginning June 2, you can fly all the way to Bonaire
on American if you hook up with American Eagle in Puerto Rico. While
American Eagle doesn't use the speediest planes, you've got a better
chance of making connections "or even getting off the ground"
than if you fly ALM.
A Good Use for CD's
April 9, 2001
Ever wonder what to do with the dozens of CD ROMs you
get in the mail asking you to subscribe to an Internet provider? A reader
suggests sticking a couple in your BC pocket. The shiny surface can
make an emergency signal mirror. They are small, light, and relatively
strong and might come in handy if your dive boat heads north and you
head south in a stiff current.
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 BenDavison@Undercurrent.org
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: http://www.diveaeris.com,
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: http://www.aa.com
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 http://divein.coralreefalliance.org.