Updated January 11, 2010
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Cozumel Lionfish Tournament with Blue Magic Scuba
Since mid-summer, lionfish seem to have proliferated on Cozumel's reefs, and Blue Magic Scuba has decided to do something to control a fish that threatens to decimate other marine life. From February 1 through June 15, Blue Magic is sponsoring a Lionfish Tournament and awarding prizes for such accomplishments as the most killed and the largest. You spot the lionfish, the divemaster catches it and the more lionfish caught, the more chances you have to win. Prizes include free diving at Blue Magic Scuba, a $500 gift certificate for gear at the local dive shop of your choice, and a four-night stay at the Fiesta Americana, which also includes diving. To get all the details, go here and click on the Lionfish tournament link in the lower left, or get the latest update here. For more information or to book, call Blue Magic toll-free at 866-712-6161 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Turns out you might have less air in your tank than you think. A recall issued by Cressi says, "Partial obstruction of the high-pressure port can produce an inaccurate reading on the pressure gauge, resulting in a slow descent of the BC needle in the pressure gauge. The inaccurate reading on the gauge poses a drowning hazard to divers." About 200 regulators have been recalled, in the wake of Cressi-Sub USA receiving three reports of inaccurate pressure readings. "Cressi MC5" and "Cressi Black" are printed on the faulty regulators. If you have one, return it to a Cressi-authorized dive shop for a free repair, or call 800-338-9243.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a recall of 16,000 Dive Rite Wings because the overpressure valve springs could rust and fail, allowing the BCD to leak and posing a drowning hazard. The affected models include the Travel, Venture, Rec, Trek, Classic, Nomad and Super Wings, and were sold in red, blue or black. Faulty springs were used on wings that have an opaque white or blue-tinted bladder and welded in flanges. Wings with a black bladder are not affected. Only the Dive Rite wings that have a serial number ranging from 42,000 through 72,000 and were sold from June 2006 to October 2008 are included in this recall. If you have one of them, return it to an authorized distributor or call Dive Rite at (800) 495-1046.
Subscribers Blue McRight and Warren Wagner (Los Angeles, CA) say yes and that island authorities are not doing enough to protect them. As proof, they sent us this YouTube video
Is it worth carrying your cell phone on you in case you come to the surface far from the dive boat? I have my opinions about that but also checked with Verizon, The Coast Guard and other divers about the general consensus. Read what everyone said, for free, in our January 2010 article: "Taking Your Cell Phone Diving: Dumb Idea or Good Safety Tool?" Just go to Undercurrent and click on the article link at the top of the page.
Here's a definitive guide book on what the authors call "the greatest repository of tropical marine life on earth." And anyone who has dived it knows they speak the truth. This 146-page book is filled with descriptions of mind-blowing dive sites, along with good descriptions of the area, the people and what you need to know to dive there. And the photos of unusual critters will knock your socks off. Whether or not you think you'll ever get to Raja Ampat, you should own this book just to nurture your dreams. Order it now by going to Undercurrent and clicking on a photo of the cover, and our profits will go directly to tropical reef conservation.
Subscriber Jamie Pollack (New York, NY) works for the group Shark Savers and told us about her organization's newest effort to keep shark fins out of soup bowls. It's partnering with WildAid for a multimedia campaign in China and asking divers to help fund their efforts. For a tax-deductible $100, you can fund a "Say No to Shark Fin soup" bus-stop billboard featuring basketball star Yao Ming that will be placed in a high-traffic area of Beijing or Shanghai for a year. WildAid had 200 billboards in Beijing last year and says that of the people they surveyed who remembered the billboards, 82 percent said they would stop or reduce their eating of shark-fin soup. For details and donation information, go here:
We've got special offers to hunt lionfish in Cozumel, organize your own dive safari in Bali, and get a reduced rate on the Manthiri in the Maldives. Click here for more information:
In the December issue, I recommended buying a travel vest to hold your carry-on items and beat airline luggage weight restrictions. But reader Harvey Cohen (Middlefield, NJ) has a cheaper idea: Just put on your BCD over your shirt, wear it onto the plane, then stow it in the overhead bin. What does the TSA think about this? Read about it by clicking on our free link "Skip the Travel Vest" at Undercurrent.
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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