Help Save Grand Cayman
On one day in January, 14,000 cruise visitors from six vessels went
ashore in Grand Cayman, a number equivalent to half the island's population.
The hordes kept traffic at a standstill, but delighted the businesses,
including dive ops who take hundreds of these folks daily to visit the
reefs. Not all dive operators are happy and now the government wants
to serve even more cruise ships, so it's seeking to move the Georgetown
cargo port to the East End, at Half Moon Bay, near the Blowholes. The
new terminal would affect such dive sites as Ironshore Gardens, Maggie's
Maze, Kellie's Caverns, Little House, Big House, Fantasy `Land and Crusher's
Wall, says Steve Broadbelt, General Manager of Ocean Frontiers. These
are among Cayman's best shallow dives, often the only sites available
during certain times. A new East-West Highway is under consideration
to handle the trucks that will be carting containers from one end of
the island to the other. Broadbelt says "Every East Ender I have
spoken to has told me they will lay down in front of the bulldozers
and concrete trucks if they have to stop this from happening."
But that may not be enough because cruise ship dollars are bigger than
diver dollars and East End votes. And, to hell with the environment.
Register your complaint about the new terminal by writing, faxing or
calling the Hon. McKeeva Bush , Ministry of Tourism Government Administration
Building, George Town, Grand Cayman phone #: 345.949.7900, Fax #: 345.949.7544.
in the Turtle House: The Green Sea Turtle and the Fate of the Ocean
April 16, 2002
Here's a remarkable book. In the mid seventies, scientists and divers
see tumors on green turtles, first in Hawaii, then Florida, then elsewhere.
While the tumors at first seem superficial and can be removed, they
soon spread into the turtles organs . . . Turtle populations plummet.
And the race begins to find the cause? What's in the water? Why aren't
fish seemingly affected? What does this portend for our seas, as the
problem expands and continues today. Journalist Osha Gray Davidson has
written a medical detective story that will fascinate any diver who
has ever seen a turtle beneath the surface. Davidson gives us an inside
look at the Cayman turtle farms -- and the history of Cayman's turtles
and turtle fishing since Columbus' time -- and dives with turtles at
Maui's Turtle House. He tells us what was behind the big Caribbean sea
urchin die off a decade ago, what's happening in the dying waters of
California's Monterrey Bay, and Alaska's sea cow slaughters. Davidson's
keen eye produces a marine biologist's thriller for the lay reader,
while touching on plenty of topics dear to a diver's heart. While you
may not be aware to the plague facing our turtles, Davidson makes it
apparent how it's a serious indicator of the threats to our oceans and
its critters. An extremely well written, informative and suspenseful
book, you'll have a hard time putting it down. Fire in the Turtle House
(published last October) is available
here, which will deliver you Amazon.com's best prices and send a
hunk of the profit directly to the Coral
Reef Alliance. The current price is $18.20 (1258 pages, hardbound).
Aboard the Nai'a in Fiji with a Discount April
Undercurrent's incognito reviewers -- as well as scores of our readers--
have always sung the praises of Fiji intimate and comfortable liveaboard,
the Nai'a. Now, they're offering Undercurrent readers a $400 discount
on a special 14-day exploratory Fiji expedition, which runs September
28 - October 12. The itinerary will take you through the heart of Fiji's
diving paradise, Lomaiviti, and onward to find new underwater gems in
uncharted reaches. Divers on similar exploratory excursions have pioneered
several now-famous NAI'A dive sites, such as E6 and Cat's Meow. And
yet the Bligh Water basin in the middle of the Fiji Islands has hundreds
of miles of reef still entirely untouched. For real adventure, exploratory
cruises are unparalleled.
Or, if you want to visit Fiji's recognized sites and dive and dine
with the legendary filmmaker Stan Waterman, join him on a September
21-27 cruise and receive a $200 discount . For more than forty years,
Stan has enlighted audiences with his underwater cinematography. The
"Man Who Loves Sharks," will present videos from his many
expeditions and assist and advise on underwater shooting techniques.
To book your space on these or any 2002 Nai'a charter, contact email@example.com
and tell them Undercurrent sent you.
Help is Requested
April 16, 2002
David Colvard, MD (Wake Research Associates in Raleigh, NC) writes:
I am conducting a follow-up survey of 12,000 divers; the first survey
will be presented at the June scientific meeting of Undersea and Hyperbaric
Medical Society. I need to better understand divers and their experiences.
Ideally, I would like to be able to follow the same group of divers
each year for three consecutive years. You can complete the survey by
Your Dive Buddy
April 16, 2002
No doubt your dive buddies would be happy to receive free Undercurrent
newsletter each month. Encourage them to sign up by sending them this
URL and telling them they can sign up here.
April 16, 2002
A 106-foot catamaran will carry 16 divers and the flag of the Aggressor
fleet in Tahitian waters, beginning this September. It will sport
a hot tub, offer Nitrox, and all the amenities one usually associates
with Aggressors. www.aggressor.com . . . The Air Tahiti Nui flights
out of Los Angles also fly as QANTAS code share flights, so you can
either use your American Airlines AAdvantage miles to fly free or
upgrade while earning more than 10,000 miles -- but, only if you book
the Qantas code share.
Is Capable of Killing You Without Warning
April 16, 2002
That pronouncement accompanies every KISS rebreather produced
by the Canadian-based Jetsam Tech. In a letter to New Scientist
magazine, they say, "There are three major hazards regarding
rebreathers. Hypoxia, caused by lack of oxygen, gives no warning
whatsoever. It may be preceded by a slight feeling of well-being,
followed by unconsciousness. Oxygen toxicity, which may or may not
give warnings of its onset, results in convulsions that in themselves
are not fatal, although their occurrence underwater is not conducive
to survival. Carbon dioxide build-up (hypercapnia) tends to manifest
as air hunger before it reaches serious levels. Although the warning
may seem brutal, it is, in fact, the absolute truth. Adding warning
bells or alarms will not lessen the danger and may even increase
the risk through complacency. Rebreathers, by their very nature,
will never be completely safe. The only way to enhance their safety
is with a high degree of awareness, even paranoia, in the diver."