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Last updated December 19, 2001

Regulator Recall
Ocean Rover Discounts in Thailand
Are the Oceanic Vortex Fins Fast?
The Best of the Galapagos
Exercise During Decompression?
Irian Jaya and Elsewhere, with a Discount
Small Hope Update
560 Pages of Honest Reviews
about 375 Dive Resorts and Liveaboards

Regulator Recall December 19, 2001

If you have a new Apeks ATX regulator you may have a serious problem. It's been recalled and you should not use it until you return it to your dealer for repair. The problem is related to the 2nd stage front cover of the ATX 100, ATX 200 and all ATX flourescent yellow octopus regulators. The serial numbers of the affected regulators fall between 109 0001 and 110 2580.

Ocean Rover Discounts in Thailand December 19, 2001

The new 100 ft. luxury liveaboard is operated by the venerable Fantasea Divers in Thailand and is offering a special 10% discount to Undercurrent readers on any of their Andaman Sea cruises in the 2002 season. The cruises depart from Phuket and visit the famous Similan islands, Richelieu Rock, the Burma Banks and the Mergui Archipelago in Myanmar (Burma). The boat has eight double cabins with private bathrooms and individually controlled air-conditioning. Readers report the layout provides optimum ease of diving and serious photographers are well taken care of. 12 experienced crew members, who helped design and build the boat, look after a maximum of 16 divers. Discounted prices for 7-day cruises would be $1860 and for 9 day cruises $2390. Thailand is safe for American tourists and with good airfares these days, there's time to jump on it. The discounts are valid only for Undercurrent readers that book directly at OR and mention that you are an Undercurrent reader. For more details visit and/or and check out the new Chapbook.

Are the Oceanic Vortex Fins Fast? December 19, 2001

Ten members of an Australian underwater hockey club ran speed tests, measuring their own fins against the Vortex. Five swam faster with the Vortex, five didn't. When you eyeball the results, the Vortex seemed to help the slower swimmers slightly, (say an average of 2-3%) and slightly slow the faster swimmers. While the Vortex might not get you anywhere fast, nearly all the swimmers said it made their kicking seem easier and they could maintain the kick longer. (Dive Log Austrailasia, July 2001).

The Best of the Galapagos December 19, 2001

Marc Bernardi tells us he has space on some upcoming trips and since our experienced readers sing the praises of Galapagos diving and land touring with his Aquatic Encounters and the Reina Silvia, here’s a chance for the trip of a life time. Marc specializes in Galapagos diving, featuring three days at the Northern Islands of Darwin and Wolf, aboard the Reina Silvia. Divers typically swim with hundreds (some say thousands) of hammerheads), massive pods of bottlenosed dolphins, and about half the trips divers get in the water with Mr. Big (the Whale Shark). For comments on what your fellow readers think about Aquatic Encounters and the very comfortable Reina Silvia go to our "Online Members Area" or check out the 2002 Chapbook, which was mailed to print subscribers last week [available online to Online Members next month]. For complete info visit His trips are a perfect balance of diving and land excursions, essential to the complete Galapagos experience. DEC. 26, 2001 to JAN. 6, 2002 ..... JAN. 2, 2002 to JAN. 13 ..... JAN. 9, 2002 to JAN. 20 ....JAN.16, 2002 to JAN. 27 ... MAY 22, 02 to JUNE 2, 02, MAY 29, 02 to JUNE 9, 02. Sign up as an Undercurrent reader and Marc will give you a classic set of greeting cards, featuring his superb underwater photography.

Exercise During Decompression? December 19, 2001

An experiment was performed at Canada's Defence and Civil Institute for Environmental Medicine involving 140 man dives to 45 meters for 30 minutes. There were four study groups: inactive on the bottom and during decompression; inactive on the bottom but active exercise on decompression; active exercise on the bottom and inactive during decompression; active exercise on the bottom and on decompression. Active exercise brought the heart rate to 130-150 beats per minute (mild, not vigorous exercise) for 5 minutes followed by rest for 5 minutes. In comparing the four groups, they found no differences in bubbling between the inactive during decompression groups and no difference between the active during decompression groups. However, there was a statistically significant difference between the inactive during the bottom time and the active during decompression groups, showing a much lower risk of decompression illness,, i.e., exercise during decompression reduced bubbles and reduced the risk of decompression illness. However, exercise during decompression does not mean you can decrease your decompression time. ( From a presentation at the Great Lakes Chapter of the Underwater Hyperbaric Medical Society by Louis Jankowski, PhD, Professor at McGill Universities in Clinical Exercise Physiology. He is also a NAUI Course Director.)

Irian Jaya and Elsewhere, with a Discount December 19, 2001

Visit some very unusual waters on a superb liveaboard, a 115-foot all wooden vessel with a spiffy crew that accommodates up to 16 divers and specializes in underwater photography (E6 processor, camera workstations, and 110/220V charging tables). Kararu Dive Voyages told us they will give a 10% discount for Undercurrent readers on cruises to three Indonesian destinations. Most unique: a 9-night cruise (Feb 27- March 8) to Northwest Irian Jaya (which splits the island with Papua New Guinea) with photographer Jim Watt (National Geographic) who will present slides on his photographic techniques and advise anyone who wants to produce the best of images. (Looking for undived waters? You've got it. Irian Jaya is one of the world's last pristine areas for marine and terrestrial wildlife with some of the world's least explored islands. There's only one primitive land-based operation around the entire province, so this is the only way to discover it.)

If not this, then a 12-night cruise from Alor west by Flores and Komodo and back to Bali (March 16 - 28 ) or a 7 night cruise from Bali to Komodo and back to Bali (May 23-May 30). Sailing and diving back through the Alor Strait and on through the Komodo National Park back to Bali, offers the opportunity of diving some of the most varied marine habitats in Indonesia. Larry Tackett and Denise Nielson Tackett will join the vessel as photo pros on the May trip. Two exceptional photographers, they will lecture on marine life and share their experience with those who want it. A good write up in the 2002 Chapbook tells it all about Kararu. To get more information and sign up, visit their website at and email them at -- to get your discount, tell them Undercurrent sent you.

Small Hope Update December 19, 2001

The folks at Small Hope Bay in the Bahamas tell us they are up and running after Hurricane Michelle beat up on them. They are currently diving from the Coakley House in Fresh Creek, 2 miles from Small Hope, where they have built a new dock. "The beach patio area and solarium are fine, now that we have done a bit of rebuilding. The office and glass room did sustain damage, but are now as good as new. Actually we got quite a bit of extra sand courtesy of 'Michelle'. Our beaches are bigger and better than ever." (Note to the staff: please replace your funky rusty bikes with some that will get people a good bit of exercise. But, we're not picking on you. Half the resorts who advertise bikes offer a couple of junkers, hardly enough to energetic guests).

560 Pages of Honest Reviews about 375 Dive Resorts and Liveaboards December 19, 2001

That's what you'll get if you become a subscriber to the print version of Undercurrent. The 560 page 2002 Travelin' Diver's Chapbook -- which came off the press on December 14 -- is yours, FREE, if you sign up now.

-- Ben Davison, editor/publisher

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