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The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
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Current Online Updates*
The Latest Dive News

Updated March 1, 2010
These brief news articles below were sent out via email to all divers who signed up for our free email list. You can sign up here to receive future Undercurrent Online Updates and get these news alerts and special offers like these once a month or so.

Dive Apps for Your iPhone
A Tough Dive Site with a Great Payoff
There's a Cockroach in My Regulator: Shipping May 15
Free Photo Tutorials from the Pros
Special Trial Subscription Offer
The Smartest Marine Life in the Sea
Want to Get the Youngsters into Diving?
Got Any Good Dive Guide Stories?
What about Vacation Home Rental Tales?
Drugs and the Bends
New Dangers of Rebreather Diving
What You're Missing in This Month's Undercurrent

Dive Apps for Your iPhone:  March 1, 2010

Of the 145,000-plus programs available for download onto Apple's iPhone and new iPad, we found some good ones for divers. Brock Brinkerhoff created iScubaPlan, a multiple dive/multi-level dive planner for sport divers, and iDecoPro for technical divers, both openwater and rebreather; both are $8 at Apple's iTunes store. Dive Signs reminds divers what signals to use underwater ($2). More Mobile Software's Dive Log lets you type in details about the dive site while you're there, and uses the iPhone's location service to capture the GPS coordinates ($10); it also offers Nitrox Tools ($6) and Trimix Tools ($7) to figure the best mixes. Or get a free download of Gas Blender, which calculates even more mixes like Heliair and Heliox and offers similar tools.

A Tough Dive Site with a Great Payoff:  March 1, 2010

If you're game, visit the Arctic Circle Dive Centre in northern Russia's White Sea. To dive, you'll have to create a hole in three-foot-deep ice with a handsaw to get to the water, while someone has to stay above ground in to make sure the hole doesn't freeze up. And dress warm for the 14-degree water temperatures. But your payoff is swimming up close with endangered beluga whales. The ivory-colored whales are gentle, swim up close and look divers straight in the eye. Check out Franco Banfi's photos of them in this Daily Mail story. Information about the Arctic Circle Dive Centre is here; diving with the beluga whales is year-round but obviously summer months are the warmest.

There's a Cockroach in My Regulator: Shipping May 15:  March 1, 2010

We're putting the finishing touches on our brand-new, 256-page book that's filled with the best of the unusual, entertaining and jaw-dropping stories Undercurrent has published. They're true, often unbelievable and always fascinating, like the stingray that gave the diver a hickey, and an exploding tank that yielded $150,000 of cannabis. We're offering it to you now for the pre-production price of just $17.95. (Shipping/handling is $5 for U.S. resident, $9.95 for Canada; California residents add $1.80 for sales tax.) Go to Undercurrent and click on "Editor's Book Pick of the Month" for details and to order online.

Free Photo Tutorials from the Pros:  March 1, 2010 is a good website for photographers, amateur and pros, and its revamped website includes detailed underwater photo technique tutorials. Many are written by DivePhotoGuide founders Jason Heller and Matt Weiss, but masters like David Doubilet and Martin Edge also contribute, covering the gamut from super macro to wide angle. Go to and click on "Techniques."

Special Trial Subscription Offer:  March 1, 2010

Now for only $3.60/month you can access all of Undercurrent's issues, articles and reader reports, as well as file a reader report yourself. Plus we'll send you our brand new 480 page 2010 Travelin' Diver's Chapbook (US/CA residents only) filled with hundreds of reviews of dive resorts and liveaboards worldwide. Know where and when to go on your next dive trip, and where/when NOT to.
If you previously were an Online Member and want to use your old username/password, you can get the same deal here

The Smartest Marine Life in the Sea:  March 1, 2010

Rays and octopuses are smarter than some divers we know. Scientists have recently been studying what tools they use to get food and shelter. Check out this video of veined octopus searching for coconut shell halves, suctioning them to their undersides, then reassembling them and disappearing inside to hide. In the Amazon, freshwater stingrays are shown using water as a tool, shifting their bodies to create a flow that moves food toward them.

Want to Get the Youngsters into Diving?:  March 1, 2010

If they have a Nintendo Wii, get them the videogame "Endless Ocean: Blue World," introduced last week. The main plot revolves around a woman investigating the death of her ocean-exploring father, but as players investigate waters around the globe, they can access info about habits and behaviors of hundreds of sea creatures, from seahorses to whales, and pull up recent stats, like the health status of local fish. Divers can also sell salvaged items from shipwrecks and use them to buy coral and create reefs to attract marine species. But tell the kids that the training-the-dolphins aspect of the game isn't something they should support in real life. The game retails for $30; get info at

Got Any Good Dive Guide Stories?:  March 1, 2010

Like bad customer service, for instance. Take the dive guide subscriber Ralph Bishop (Ithaca, NY) had on his Spirit of Solomons trip in December. "He was carrying a camera, trying to get his own photo first, while everyone else waits." What situations have irked you involving the dive guides who are supposed to be there for you, the paying customer? On the other hand, tell us about the situations where they've given you standout service. We'll compare and contrast dive guide service - and how it affects an entire dive trip -- in an upcoming issue. E-mail me your tales at

What about Vacation Home Rental Tales?:  March 1, 2010

As more divers try to stretch their dollar further, renting a home instead of a hotel room at a dive destination is sometimes a better deal. But what's the best way to go about doing it? We want your experiences, both good and bad, about looking for vacation homes and timeshare rentals, both online and through live people, how good of a deal you got compared to dive resort prices, and the pros and cons of going this route. Send your stories, tips and advice to

Drugs and the Bends:  March 1, 2010

Many divers take diuretics for high blood pressure or vertigo, but do those medications increase your chances of decompression sickness? Undercurrent contributor Doc Vikingo investigates; read his story for free in our March issue. Go to Undercurrent and click on "Do the Drugs You Take Increase Bends Risk?"

New Dangers of Rebreather Diving:  March 1, 2010

Before you buy or upgrade rebreather gear, read this piece, for free, by our equipment expert John Bantin. He looks at the differences between rebreather training and the type of new/used rebreathers on the market. Go to Undercurrent and click on "New Dangers of Rebreather Diving."

What You're Missing in This Month's Undercurrent:  March 1, 2010

  • Rocio Del Mar: Well-trained crew - and seals - in the Sea of Cortez
  • One big reason why divers are hanging up their fins
  • Do the drugs you take increase the risk of bends?
  • New dangers of rebreather diving
    Where's your customer service, Scubapro?
  • Divers are feeling more jellyfish stings
    Recalls of Mares dive computers and Tusa regulators
  • New diver-tracking rules, but will divers abide?
  • Join the hunt for lionfish in the Caribbean
  • and much more

Ben Davison, editor/publisher
Contact Ben


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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Highlights of Previous Online Updates*

Here are past Online Update emails sent out . You can sign-up for free to receive these in the future here.

November, 2009

October, 2009

September, 2009

August, 2009

July, 2009

June, 2009

May, 2009

April, 2009

March, 2009

February, 2009

January, 2009


Online Updates* Archive, 2000-2008

* Sometimes referred to as Upwellings

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