Updated January 16, 2007
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New Regulations in the Galapagos
If you want to dive the Galapagos Islands, go soon. New rules are on the way. Starting in 2008, only 8 day/7 night dive trips will be allowed – no more 11 day/10 night trips, which provide more time at the best sites. Itineraries have already been restricted. Dive boat land excursions may be limited and night diving may be prohibited. Increased tourism has created too much pressure on the Galapagos and even more regulations may be coming.
This incisive Undercurrent five-part series is now available to the public. To read or download, go to our home page www.undercurrent.org.
Consumer Reports studies using humans continue to find that the best repellents use high concentrations of DEET. The top-rated Deep Woods Off is 98 percent DEET, and kept mosquitoes away for 12 hours. Several products with 30 to 34 percent DEET protected for at least five hours. Products with 7 percent DEET lasted only an hour. Non DEET Repel Plant Based Lemon Eucalyptus finished behind the products with 20 percent DEET, but offered nearly four hours protection. Most herbals like Bite Blocker and Natrapel offered little or limited protection. A favorite with divers, Skin-so -Soft, offered no protection against the aedes mosquito. In tests last year. Cutter Advanced with 7 percent picaridin repelled mosquitoes well, but this time they found it provided less protection.
Halcyon is recalling Explorer-40 BCs that it sold after July 2005. Over time, the over pressure valve could delaminate and cause the BC to leak. The serial numbers are available at www.halcyon.net/recall. You can return the unit to any Halcyon dealer for a replacement. To contact Halcyon call (800) 425-2966, ext. 307, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
In May 2005, diver Timothy Hogan ignored his blurring vision to continue struggling with a fish he had speared. By the time he got back on the boat he had lost feeling below his waist. Despite 11 treatments in a hyperbaric chamber, he is now paralyzed from the waist down. Last March, Hogan sued the Divers Alert Network and the Coast Guard, stating they mismanaged his rescue by leaving him waiting while he lost all feeling in his legs. DAN made a business decision to settle, while the suit against the Coast Guard is pending. A full account of the story will be in the February issue of Undercurrent.
Several Products at the DEMA show caught our attention and here are a few. The AquaLung Sea Quest Pro BC allows you to simply control your ascent and descent by pulling on a lever up and down to surface or dive deeper. . . .Apeks Status technology lets you know when your regulator is safe to use or needs servicing; attach it to an air tank before diving and Status checks the range of pressure the first stage is sending to the second stage, and an LCD displays whether the regulator is dive-worthy. . . . Buddycall is a battery-operated sound-emitting device worn like a watch. It can be heard underwater for greater than 150 feet in radius . . . .The Sea Marshall Lost Diver “SOS” Alerting Unit is an oil-filled ball worn on a wetsuit or clipped to a BCD and, when pressed, emits a visible light and a homing beacon that goes down to 100 meters underwater. Above surface, it has a range of 7 to 10 miles in good conditions, 1 to 2 miles in adverse conditions.
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Note: Undercurrent is a not-for-profit organization. Our travel writers never announce their purpose, are unknown to the destination, and receive no complimentary services or compensation from the dive operators or resort.
-- Ben Davison, editor/publisher
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