Updated April 6, 2009
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Lionfish Keep Spreading Around The Caribbean
That Pacific lionfish, inadvertently introduced into Florida waters in the early 90s, has now made its way to Belize. There have been reports of fish sightings off Turneffe and Glover’s Cayes. In March, Michael Hancock of the Amigos del Mar dive shop in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, caught one near the Turneffe atoll and turned it over to the Belize Fisheries Department. Channel Five News in Belize reported that Hancock wrapped it in his t-shirt and got stung when the long spines penetrated the cloth and his hand, but fortunately the injury wasn’t serious.
PS: Join a lion fish research effort in North Carolina, May 18-19. Discovery Diving, in cooperation with NOAA and REEF, hopes to capture 150 live lionfish to study their spawning. The $350 fee will include charter, seminar, optional lodging. Go to www.discoverydiving.com for details.
Wreck-diving firm Mel Fisher’s Treasures is offering the “Atocha Dive Adventure.” The week-long trip package includes training in commercial treasure salvage techniques and two days of diving the Spanish galleon Atocha, lying in 55 feet of water 35 miles south of Key West, to help salvage experts find its sterncastle and remaining gold and silver (Fisher divers have already found $400 million worth of loot.) Any diver who discovers treasures will get a previously conserved Atocha piece of equal value, up to $2,500. The first treasure hunt is June 8-14, and the $2,500 cost also includes private room and bath in an Old Town Key West vacation rental and a sunset sail with wine, but no meals. The trips will be offered all summer. Contact Shawn Cowles at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (305) 294-5441.
This 512-page book filled with hundreds of current reviews of dive resorts and liveaboards around the world is yours free with a seven-month subscription to Undercurrent. Not only do you get the Chapbook, you get free online access to past issues and hundreds of new reader reports. All for $29.95. Go to /secure/UCnow/UserNewSub7i2995b.php to order. The Chapbook supply is limited, so you must order now.
With overseas dive trips farther out of reach for budget-conscious divers, we’re wondering what you’re doing about domestic dives. If you do decide to keep your diving local, how do you make the sometimes cold, muddy, murky dives worth gearing up for? Tell me the unique, creative ways you use to make these dives more fun, and I may include them in an upcoming story we’re planning on the topic. Send e-mails to me at PublisherBenD@undercurrent.org.
According to a study by Divers Alert Network’s medical researchers in the journal Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine, DAN-insured members age 60 and over have a relative risk four times greater than that of male teenager. Young male divers also have a four-fold greater mortality risk than young female divers. However, differences in risk associated with gender disappear by age 60, leaving “senior divers” of either sex as the most affected by dive-related deaths. Why is that? Read our May issue as we explore the reasons in the final part of our “Why Divers Die” series.
If you need good books on how to improve your underwater photography, you can find them on Undercurrent’s Web site. We recommend a few in our April issue, but the entire list is at Undercurrent. To find it, click on “Diving Books and Guides.” Then click on “Complete List of Diving Books” at the top of the following page, and scroll down to see books listed in the “Photography/Video” section. Buy any book through us and you’ll get Amazon.com’s best discounted price. Plus, your purchase will help save the coral reefs that you’re lighting and framing in your photos.
To be up to date on dive health and safety issues before their next dive trip, members of Divers Alert Network can watch its new online training seminars for free (non-members can watch for $25 each). Current topics include taking care of your ears during a dive, diabetes and diving, and decompression illness, and more are coming throughout the year. The online seminars are here:
In the February issue, we reported on a man who faked his death while diving near Laguna Beach, CA last September to avoid three arrest warrants and a sentencing. John Sung Park, 29, was then spotted two weeks later in Los Angeles but slipped out of sight again. He was finally nabbed in Las Vegas on April 1 after caught cheating at the tables in the MGM Grand Casino. Park will be extradited to Orange County, and added to his pile of charges will be faking an emergency during his Laguna Beach dive.
In one of the free reads in our April issue, the writer who reviews San Salvador’s Riding Rick Inn explains the importance of having a magnifying glass underwater to pick out the smaller marine wonders -- but not just any magnifer will do. Read whether you should pick glass over plastic and if bifocals in your mask can really do the trick. Go to Undercurrent, scroll down to "The April Issue" and click on "Get A Magnifying Glass."
It’s annoying to have one suddenly and uncontrollably gush air before a dive. Regulator makers try to get around the problem by designing manual controls but read the free article by our equipment editor John Bantin to know why they’re usually not necessary. Bantin also explains the best way to stop that annoying loss of gas. Go to Undercurrent, scroll down to "The April Issue" and click on "Anatomy of a Free Flow."
Subscribe now (/secure/UCnow/UserNewSub7i2995b.php), and this is what you can read in our latest issue: Riding Rock Inn, San Salvador: a good place for wall diving just two hours’ flight time from Miami . . . how you can get reader reports of your dive trips published in our 2010 Travelin’ Divers’ Chapbook . . . extra costs you may forget about on your next dive trip, like fuel surcharges and penalties for missing dives. . . how to handle problems with your mask’s upward vision . . . diving for fun and a good cause without having to leave your hometown . . . how to plan an international group dive trip with fewer hassles, and why personal liability-coverage is a must for the trip leader . . . the role of overweighting and underinflated BCDs in diver deaths . . . why the diving at some Bonaire reefs may not be so good today . . . a good reason why feeding fish junk food is a bad idea . . . and much more.
Ben Davison, editor/publisher
Note: Undercurrent is a registered 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization donating funds to help preserve coral reefs. 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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