updated June 11, 2003
Less than 600 miles from Miami, Grand Turk Island is a special place. Fine people, an occasional donkey wandering the streets, calm water, little hotels and restaurants, and, best of all, a great wall with endless sites just five boat minutes from shore. It’s a wonderful throwback in time. The diving is as good now as it was when I first visited it 20 years ago, with pristine coral and a healthy fish life. Oasis Divers -- a first-class operation and a favorite of Undercurrent subscribers -- is offering 10 percent off their already low rates and specials -- just for friends of Undercurrent. Dale and Everett are great guides and great folks and can handle all your hotel reservations, inter-island travel, and diving! For any new booking from July 1 - October 31 mention Undercurrent sent you and you'll get an additional 10 percent off. Three boat dives a day are available plus unlimited shore diving. Book online through the Oasis Divers website, www.oasisdivers.com, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Or call Dale at 649-946-1128 or 800-892-3995, and if she’s not out diving she’ll give you all the details and help you select the hotel that meets your needs.
931 first stage Zeagle regulators sold between January 20 and May 19 are being recalled. If you have one of these regulators -- or a Zeagle regulator serviced during this period – don’t dive with it until it’s been inspected by a Zeagle dealer. A defective high-pressure seat could cause the first stage to over pressurize, interrupting the air supply and making it impossible to breathe from the regulator. Zeagle states: “This type of failure is most likely to occur upon initial pressurization of the regulator and is unlikely to occur underwater.” For more info go to www.zeagle.com/RegRecall.htm, call 1-800-771-5568, or contact your Zeagle dealer.
Whether you’re converting your underwater shots to digital or shooting digital underwater or on land, this book will help you master digital enhancement and presentation. Jack and Sue Drafahl, who have published more than 500 articles, have produced this excellent volume to help you master the digital techniques you need to solve common problems, repair images, and create dazzling presentations. They cover basic and advanced techniques in contrasting and saturating images, reducing grain, eliminating backscatter, correcting exposure errors, modifying colors, and enhancing fish and people shots for truly professional-quality work. This 224-page paperback is chock full of photos explaining the computer techniques for top quality images. Buy it for $27.97 (list $39.95) price by clicking here (which will lead you to Amazon.com), and our profit from this sale or any other book you purchase will go to the Coral Reef Alliance.
A visa for a country where you’re not within reach of an embassy or consulate? Travel Document Systems has been helping travelers for nearly two decades and makes it easy with their online registration. Find them at www.traveldocs.com to fill out a form online or call their Washington, D.C., office at 800-874-5100 or 202-638-3800 or the San Francisco office at 888-874-5100 or 415-773-2829. Say Undercurrent subscribers Martha and Jeff Hubbard (Glenmont, N.Y.) who went diving in Brazil last October, “Brazil requires a visa and makes it difficult to get one. We used www.traveldocs.com and were delighted.”
Florida’s Looe Key is hosting its annual Underwater Music Festival on July 12, which draws as many as 600 divers and snorkelers. There will be an underwater conch shell blowing contest, demonstrations of revolutionary snorkeling technology, and underwater artistry and music broadcast via Lubell Lab speakers suspended beneath boats. Expect to hear Celine Dion's rendition of the "Titanic" theme and (who else) Jimmy Buffett's "Fins." Divers even claim the fish appreciate the concert. In recent years, festival highlights have included diver dinners at a below-water bistro, a long-haired, harp-wielding mermaid, and several snorkeling Elvises playing guitar underwater. You can charter space aboard boats run by Lower Keys dive operators or launch your own craft from public ramps. Info at www.fla-keys.com or www.lowerkeyschamber.com.
Get eight years of information on dive resorts, from more than 4,000 pages of Chapbooks, reader reports, and back issues. Now's your chance to become an Undercurrent Online Member for just 25 cents. Sign up now for this special offer.
To a diver, a healthy reef is a remarkable symphony of equilibrium and interdependence. Just what makes it so is the topic of the beautifully written and illustrated book by Dr. Richard C Murphy, the director of science and education for Jean Michelle Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society. In helping us view the complexity of the reef, he gives us endless facts to help us understand what’s really happening below: the upside down jellyfish is upside down so the algae in its tentacles will be exposed to the sunlight ... fish change colors when they sleep because it takes too much energy to maintain their daytime colors ... some nudibranchs use brilliant hydroid-like colors to warn predators -- including divers -- that they can sting like a hydroid. To describe coral cities, Murphy’s chapters cover Power Plants and Farms, Waste Management and Recycling, Construction and Public Housing, Conflict and Cooperation, and Social Security. It’s a fascinating way to understand the reef, and his 172 full color photographs make this both a beautiful coffee table book and excellent late night reading. Hardbound $45, softbound $34.95.
Off west Maui on April 15, whale researcher Mark Ferrari was underwater videotaping a frenzying pod of 50 false killer whales attacking a 15-foot broadbill swordfish. However, without warning, the swordfish turned on Ferrari, ramming its 5-foot bill into his right shoulder beneath the collarbone, flipping him around and flinging him away. Debbie Ferrari helped her bleeding husband climb aboard their boat and raced to Lahaina where Ferrari was taken to a local hospital. No major arteries or organs were pierced, though nerves were damaged and bones broken. Ferrari has regained some feeling in his upper arm and shoulder and has been able to use his right arm. Ferrari got the attack on his own video. "I recognize the scientific value of the tape. It is absolutely incredible stuff," he said. "But the story is not about me getting stuck by a (swordfish). Hopefully, we can turn it into a National Geographic special to educate people about the pseudorcas. I'd rather show people the joys of science." (Honolulu Advertiser)
Paul Tzimoulis, diving pioneer, renowned underwater photographer, and the publisher and driving force behind Skin Diver Magazine for three decades passed away at his home June 3rd. Paul made a great mark on diving and, in fact, was a friend of Undercurrent from the get-go, recognizing that in the commercial world of diving, sport divers needed a voice. His wife Geri Murphy has requested that donations in his name be made to preserve coral reefs (coralreefalliance.org), Ocean Conservancy (oceanconservancy.org), Ocean Futures (oceanfutures.org) or Ambassadors of the Environment (www.aote.org). There will be a memorial on June 22nd, Sunday Morning 7:00 a..m. at Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific 100 Aquarium Way,,Long Beach, CA. Contact Ronda Friend 510-909-6343 with questions regarding the Memorial
-- Ben Davison, editor/publisher
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