For nearly three decades, arguably the best guide and instructor in the Caribbean has been Fred Good in Belize. He writes: "Since so many of our guests first learned of Saint George's through Undercurrent it seemed fitting that we would express our thanks through this publication. Saint George's Lodge started business in 1977. In 1992, we were the first resort in this area to offer Nitrox training, and in 1994 we published Nitrox dive tables that are also available on the web site, www.gooddiving.com. We have enjoyed our reputation as a resort that offers far deeper diving than is available at most Caribbean resorts. We started providing multi-level diving to our guests on first opening our doors. We are especially proud of our safety record ... no diving accidents ever! And now, while we are still well ahead of the game, it is time for us to call it quits. We would like to thank all of you who dove with us over the past 27 years. A number of you knew that we were considering such a move, and many were kind enough to ask that, when this decision had been made, we let them know so that they might come visit "one last time." We would be delighted to see you again before we close. Thank you for your support. You have been delightful guests." firstname.lastname@example.org
Undercurrent is researching a story on computer problems, repair hassles, and replacement issues. If you have had any difficulties with your dive computer, please e-mail me the details. BenDavison@aol.com
Young divers can get a chance to win a visit to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's undersea laboratory/habitat, Aquarius, by entering a NOAA-sponsored writing contest. In Aquarius, scientists can live and work for about two weeks without coming up to the surface. The contest is open to students in eighth through 12th grades and requires an essay of 1,000 words or less on "I want to live for two weeks underwater in Aquarius because ... " The prize is a scuba dive visit to Aquarius and a 60-minute tour of the underwater habitat for the winner, parents, and teacher. Entry deadline is April 9, 2004. Details at www.uncw.edu/aquarius.
Mexico expelled six rescued cave explorers -- four British military personnel and two civilians -- after officials determined they had violated their tourist visas. An official said that, while the team members stated they were here as tourists, they "carried out activities of exploration, scientific study, and training.'' The government accused the team of making false statements when applying for tourist visas. The team drew attention when its planned three-day underground expedition turned into eight days of entrapment as floodwaters fed by heavy rain blocked the entrance of the cave. Mexico spends millions of dollars each year to promote tourism and officially encourages adventure sports including cave diving on the Yucatan peninsula. However, the Associated Press reports that it is unclear whether cavers, scuba divers, bird-watchers or amateur astronomers -- all of whom sometimes explore or make scientific observations -- will now be required to obtain special visas or to give special notice to Mexican authorities.
If you were in Tahiti on Friday, April 2, no one would take you diving because the 24 dive operators there are taking the day off to protest the effects of shark fishing, Tahiti Presse reports. The group's president, Didier Alpini, said the diving clubs are concerned with the recent development of organized shark fishing for export. He claimed that in recent months shark fishing had intensified as the fins are shipped to Asian countries to make shark fin soup. ... So get there before the sharks are gone and take advantage of these deals. Air Tahiti Nui has a Special through May 31 from $799, including roundtrip from L.A., five nights on Moorea at Hotel Kaveka in a bungalow, inter-island travel via high-speed ferry from Papeete to the island and back. Contact them at www.airtahitinui-usa.com ... Go-Today has a similar deal for $799, but for a deluxe hotel in Papeete, and includes roundtrip air, four nights at the Sofitel Maeva Beach. Agency has other deals to Tahiti & Moorea ranging from $1,199 to $1,999. Contact them at www.go-today.com
Looking for a summer internship? Several are available with groups such as DAN, the Reef Educational and Environmental Fund, and Scuba Diver Magazine. Details at www.owuscholarship.org/internships/internships_2004.pdf
-- Ben Davison, editor/publisher
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