updated July 29, 2003
Pro and Smart Com Computer Failure
Scubapro has recalled 6000 Swiss-made UWATEC Smart Dive Computers. In faulty models, the alert signal system does not work properly, freezing the computer screen and leading to an inaccurate depth, tank pressure, or ascent rate display. The recalled units were sold between February 2002 and June 2003. Contact your UWATEC dealer for a free replacement or call (800) 808-3948. www.uwatec.com.
Undercurrent readers have long touted the skills of divemaster Larry Smith, and many traipse off to dive with him no matter where he's working. Now he's with a new American-owned company based in Bali -- Adventure h2o -- and this fall will be aboard their new Adventure Komodo, a 75' luxurious aluminum catamaran. Built to high Australian standards for safety and reliability, it features a new EANx membrane system for Nitrox, Cordon Bleu Chef (strong with vegetarian dishes), aluminum "Zodiac" type dive tenders, and 20 knots top speed (cruise 15). It takes 10 guests in 6 double cabins; 2 cabins share one head. The boat will begin operating dive trips in November in the remote parts of Indonesia: Komodo, Alor, Banda Sea, Raja Empat, and just about every other Indonesian reef. The owner owns an Australian vineyard, so fine wines flows freely! Regular price is US$300/day. Undercurrent readers can get 10% off all bookings made this year; go to www.adventureh2o.com for the current schedule. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org to dive with Larry and Adventure h2o, and mention Undercurrent to get your 10% off.
This great compilation of stories from eminent scientists and gifted writers explores the human-dolphin bond from the dolphins' perspective. Selections range from tales of transformative dolphin encounters, essays on how to protect them and their habitats, and poems honoring dolphins to provocative critiques of swim-with-dolphins programs and acoustic pollution. From ethical debates to advocacy for a "Cetacean Nation," Between Species brings new perspectives on the kinship that divers who have ever seen a dolphin understand in their hearts. Buy this 360-page hardback through us for only $17.67 and a portion of the profits will go to the Coral Reef Alliance. You can see other book recommendations here.
If you can't find a place to go this Christmas, here's your chance. Every year, New Yorker David Leonard organizes a dive trip, with all proceeds going to the Griswold Foundation for the Prevention of Child Abuse. He foots all administrative expenses and so far his trips have raised $65,000 for the Foundation. You can join the December 18-29 trip for $4000, which includes airfare from any US city, a hotel in Papeete, transfers, and a tax-deductible donation. David says most participants are opting for a longer stay in Tahiti at a nominal extra cost. Email email@example.com.
While it means more income to the residents, a new pier for cruise ships isn't a welcome site to traveling divers who love the quaintness of Grand Turk. Come December, Holland America, Fiesta and other cruise ships will begin disgorging thousands of cruisers to walk around aimlessly while stores pop up to satisfy cruisers insatiable shopping appetite. So, one of the few bastions of the Old Caribbean will soon fall from grace. Right now, both America and US Air has reduced rates to Provo, so you might want to fly down and hop over to Grand Turk for a last look.
John Cronin, who with Ralph Erickson started PADI in 1966, and was still the CEO, died July 16 at his home in Temecula, California at the age of 74. In 1959, John accepted a position with U.S. Divers and later become CEO and President, a position he held until 1985. Cronin served on the board of the DEMA and was last president in 2002
John Knight, M.D. writes: "I observed a diver prepared to commit suicide if he fell off the edge of the dive boat. Dressed in a wet suit without its jacket, he was wearing his normal heavy weight belt while sitting on the gunwale of the dive boat, but without his scuba gear or fins on. Had he fallen backwards, his only hope of survival would have been immediate release of his weight belt. Unfortunately, few divers drop their weight belts before they die underwater." (Journal of the South Pacific Underwater Medicine Society).
-- Ben Davison, editor/publisher
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