Last updated January 8, 2002
Each year Undercurrent subscriber David Leonard sponsors a live-aboard trip, turning over all “profits” to the Griswold Foundation for the Prevention of Child Abuse. This year, he needs to fill a few spaces from September 14-27 on a 10-day trip to Cocos Island, Costa Rica, aboard the world-class live-aboard Undersea Hunter. Trip price of $3,500 includes EVERYTHING--airfare, boat fare, all diving, 2-3 days hotel stay in San Jose, CR, all transfers, a nifty StarDive windbreaker, AND, most importantly, a tax-deductible donation to the Griswold Foundation. For details, visit www.stardive.org or e-mail him at email@example.com. In his seven years of running trips, he’s raised more than $60,000 for this very worthy cause.
Every serious diver needs one major, unbiased diving reference and this is it: the all new Fourth Edition of the NOAA Diving Manual, which was last published in 1991. In full color, with 688 coated pages, it is the most detailed diving reference book available, yet written in lay language. More than 100 authors and reviewers, selected from a diverse spectrum of experts in recreational, commercial, military, scientific, and research diving, address complex diving issues. They cover all aspects of diving, including new gear, operational techniques, and details to help the diver dive safely. The technologies of rebreathers and mixed gas diving, including Nitrox and oxygen are included. Diving physics, physiology, decompression, and diving medicine have also been updated to reflect recent development in the diving industry. The NOAA Nitrox Tables and the Nitrox diving procedures allow deeper and/or longer bottom times to increase diver efficiency when using Nitrox, without affecting safety or increasing decompression time. Add this book to your library by clicking here. You’ll get the best price Amazon.com has to offer and we will donate a percent of the proceeds to the Coral Reef Alliance. Price: $79.95
Papua New Guinea has some of the best diving on the planet and Mike Ball, who operates the luxury liveaboard Paradise Sport is giving Undercurrent readers 15% off the prices for selected departures in January, February and March. 7 or 10 night expeditions in Milne Bay -- which is well know for its incredible marine life bio-diversity -- is a macro photographers dream. Check out www.mikeball.com for full itinerary & information details. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 1 800 952 4319 for departure dates & prices. Get your discount by asking for the "Undercurrent offer."
One of the most beautiful dive sites in Thailand's Andaman Sea, Hin Muang-Hin Daeng, was seriously damaged in December when dynamite from an illegal and unidentified fishing boat damaged two giant underwater rocks, each as large as a football field and as tall as a 100-story building. Nangnoy Yossundara, a local dive instructor, said, “It is the most ecologically important site in the Andaman Sea with soft coral habitats. You have to dive at Burma Bank to experience its equal.” The two giant rocks were about 40 feet under water. Hin Muang is covered with purple corals while Hin Daeng, closer to the water surface, has red corals. Dive operators said the illegal fishing activity was just the tip of the iceberg. Famous scuba diving sites near Phi Phi and Similan Islands have been damaged by dragnets from fishing boats that swept corals and destroyed fish spawning grounds. The operators called on the government to zone the area to protect the undersea ecology from illegal fishing. If you want to learn more about what you as a diver can do to stop such activity, visit the website of preserve coral reefs at www.coral.org.
It seems that every year an unwary diver or two dies from being hit by a boat prop and last year was no different. In November, Florida diver James E. Hyde died after being hit in the head by the prop of the charter boat Playmate, from which he was diving. The divers were doing a drift dive near the Marquesas when Hyde was hit, causing fatal head injuries. The Playmate is based in Oceanside Marina on Stock Island. (Key West Citizen)
And, it seems that every year a snorkeler gets bitten by a shark in Maui’s waters, and that happened New Year’s Day when a 6-foot tiger shark bit a small chunk out of Tommy Holmes, a 30-year-old musician from California. Holmes (the Tommy Holmes Band), and his girlfriend, Monica Boggs, were 100 yards off the beach at Olowalu. “We were near a reef where there was a large bunch of sea turtles, and I heard Monica screaming through her snorkel. She grabbed my hand, and I looked to see where she was looking.” Forty feet below the he saw the shark “heading straight for us. He was coming up from the depths, at a 45-degree angle, like a submarine heading for the surface.” The shark “hit me in the lower thighs and buttocks, and at that point I punched him in the nose, and he went away.” The couple swam madly for the beach, and Holmes said, “I felt behind me, and my shorts were all torn, and I realized I had probably been bit pretty good.” Boggs, who was swimming ahead of him, looked back, Holmes said, and saw “a trail of blood” floating out behind her boyfriend. They eventually reached the beach, where police and paramedics tended to Holmes, then took him to the hospital. Holmes, who has logged 100 scuba dives, said this was the first shark he had ever seen in the water.
-- Ben Davison, editor/publisher
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