Updated May 5, 2008
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How Much to Tip on Dive Trips
Always a passionate topic among divers. Do you tip no matter what, or not at all? Do you tip individuals or put it in a community pot? Undercurrent readers gave some interesting feedback on how they handle tipping. Read our findings in this month's "Tipping on Dive Trips" article, available to read for free at Undercurrent.
While diving the Banshee Channel in southern Taiwan, Saturday, April 26, eight divers were reported missing when the boat skipper couldn't locate them and returned to port. The six men and two women divers were being carried by a current opposite their intended direction and so they surfaced twenty minutes after they began the dive, but were too far away to alert the boat. A hunt was launched but after 30 hours at sea with no rescue, the divers separated into two groups, one to swim to land while the other would wait it out. Ding Bo-Ling, a 32-year-old dive instructor, swam ten hours until he hit shore Sunday night, nearly 50 miles from the original dive site. With Ding's help, rescuers at dawn found five divers clicking their underwater cameras' flashes to get attention and later found the remaining two.
A father and daughter from Utah were making an early-morning dive in Stingray City on April 15, when currents pulled them out of the North Sound into rough seas with four-foot swells. A marine patrol boat happened on them a few hours later, unhurt but fatigued from unsuccessfully battling the currents to get back into the Sound.
You can read online, the new issue of Undercurrent on the first of the month, research more than 10,000 trip reports and ten years of back issues. For seven days only, you can sign up for a one week trial subscription for only $1.
In our September issue last year, we wrote that the Galapagos National Park had suspended many dive operations and only allowed the Sky Dancer and the two Aggressor boats to keep their regular itineraries. The Deep Blue, has now been reissued its dive permit so it has space available for 2008 trips into August. Call your favorite dive travel agent or click here.
Literally the size and shape of a brick, "Underwater Eden: 365 Days" by American photographer Jeff Rotman features a colorful photo for every day of the year. Rotman took close-ups of reefs from the Red Sea and Costa Rica to Palau and the Great Barrier. Opposite each photo are captions written by Rotman that contain scientific facts and trivia along with personal anecdotes from 30 years of photography. 9 x 6 inches, 365 photos, $30. Order this or any other dive book through our website Undercurrent and proceeds from Amazon.com will go to save many of the coral reefs Rotman photographed.
Tyro Talbot, a 26-year-old dive instructor for Oasis Divers on Grand Turk, died while free diving on April 19. Talbot, his brother and a few friends went offshore to free dive, but Talbot apparently went too deep and blacked out. His brother brought him to the surface and hospital personnel tried to revive him, but Talbot died. To see the Grand Turk TV station WIV4 report about his death, click here.
One of the best things about being an Undercurrent subscriber is the valuable advice we print from other subscribers. Eldon Okazaki from Sunnyvale, CA has this important tip: Make sure you have plenty of empty passport pages before your next international dive trip. While en route to an Indonesian liveaboard last fall, Okazaki was stopped at the Manado airport because he was told his passport was full, even though the last two pages were empty. "The customs officer said when you get to the last four pages, it is considered full. I had to pay a 'fee' to get through." Okazaki was lucky. We've had reports from other divers who were refused entry into a country because their passport was "full."
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Ben Davison, editor/publisher
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.
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