updated August 29, 2003
Dancer in Grenada
Peter Hughes is pulling out of Grenada on October 3, after just a few short months. The folks there say that "since beginning the owner has 'struggled' with meeting and maintaining Dancer Fleet standards . . . however, recently, he decided to sever the agreement because the size of the vessel (12 persons) is not adequate to make the venture economically feasible (because of the cost of meeting and maintaining our requirements)." Says one Undercurrent subscriber, who complains that he shouldn't have been booked if they knew the problems: "We actually had mushrooms growing in our shower."
If you have a flight scheduled between September 5 and October 15, be forewarned. Cayman Air has just slimmed down service and changed departures times, so you might not make connections you have planned.
The SunRay Mod Light may inadvertently turn on while unattended if it has accidentally become partially flooded. And, if it were in close quarters, the generated heat wouldn’t be good. So, if you own one and it gets flooded, unscrew the silver bezel and remove the light bulb from the socket. Then return it for an upgrade. For info call Light & Motion Service Department at 831-645-1572 or visit www.uwimaging.com
Ever gone to a dive resort where you had a reservation, but once you got there you found they didn’t have room on their diveboats for you every day? It’s a problem we’re investigating, so e-mail me your story: BenDavison@aol.com (or firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Malaysia Airlines' AccessAsia Pass lets you fly to any or all of 25 destinations in Southeast Asia for $999/person. Price includes roundtrip fare between Los Angeles and Kuala Lumpur, or Newark and Kuala Lumpur, plus Economy Class travel to any or all of the other 24 listed cities — Bali, Manila, Phuket, Bangkok — within a 30-day period. You can also add cities in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and even extend the 30 day period for an additional fee.
For the second year in a row, scientists have found lionfish off the North Carolina coast, and they’re not supposed to be there. On August 19, researchers came across 10 lionfish, a spiny fish native to the warm Pacific and Indian oceans, during a submersible dive in roughly 250-foot water. Read why officials are concerned and how the fish might have arrived there at www.charlotte.com/mld/observer/news/local/6605585.htm
Carl Hoffman does a thorough investigation into the deaths of 17 divers and three crew in Belize in 2001; it is in the September issue of National Geographic Adventure, available at your local newsstand. It’s a fascinating, yet tragic, read, and there’s plenty of evidence that it was an accident that should never have happened. You’ll also get an understanding of why the Belize Aggressor, anchored alongside the Wave Dancer, was lucky to survive. Hoffman says "the story required me to delve under the skin of Belize and discover why the Belizean version of the story was so different from the American version." You can order the September issue on the National Geographic Adventure website at nationalgeographic.com/adventure
You wreck divers might tune into the History Channel on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. for this unique series. Using state-of-the-art equipment for deep filming, dramatic re-enactments, and expert interviews, Deep Sea Detectives merges science with suspense, to test new theories about infamous shipwrecks and shine a light on the dark underwater graves of ships, planes, and submarines. Your chance to crack open a beer and still dive deep
In Croatia, a scuba diver was found dead at the bottom of a cave at 180 feet, with a knife protruding from his chest. After his body was retrieved, an autopsy found that the death was due to both drowning and the penetrating knife wound. Officials believed it was a homicide and arrested two suspects. However, the “blood stains” on their clothing were paint, and they passed a polygraph test. A forensic analysis of the profile of the diver's last dive stored in his computer and other findings led officials to conclude that the diver committed suicide, most likely because he ran out of air and wanted to avoid the agony of drowning. (Dr. Nadan M. Petri, Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine Department, Naval Medical Institute, Croatia)
Rajat Ampat Islands, Indonesia — is this the world’s best diving? ... Should Female Divers Beware? A single woman gets stuck with a male roommate on a live-aboard. ... Two Live-aboard Fatalities Raise the Question: Were safety procedures sufficient? ... Getting Nailed by Jellies: A commercial preventative lotion proves effective. ... Gray Around the Gills: How older divers adapt the sport to their changing bodies. ... And much, much more. You will get this issue if you subscribe to Undercurrent today.
-- Ben Davison, editor/publisher
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