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Updated August 18, 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 news alerts and special offers like these every month.

There's a Cockroach in My Regulator
Malaysia Shuts Down Dive Sites
Is This Contest Fair To Photographers?
Packing Metal in Your Body?
Sharks up Close
Atlantis of the East?
Design a Park Tag for Raja Ampat
Get a Better View Underwater
Get 5 issues of Undercurrent sent directly to your email address each month for just $15
Mantas on the Menu
What You're Missing in the August Issue of Undercurrent

There's a Cockroach in My Regulator:  August 18, 2010

Our new book has 240 pages of the best of the unusual, entertaining and jaw-dropping stories Undercurrent has published during the past 35 years. They're all true, though nearly unbelievable and always fascinating, like the stingray that gave the diver a hickey, an exploding tank that yielded $150,000 of cannabis, and buddy couples fighting with each other. We're offering autographed copies for 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.

Malaysia Shuts Down Dive Sites:  August 18, 2010

Twelve reefs at the islands of Tioman, Redang, Perhentian, which are 30 miles off Malaysia's east coast, are now closed to divers and snorkelers until November because government officials want the corals to recover from coral bleaching. Ninety percent of the coral had bleached in recent months, and while damage is due to rising sea temperatures and not tourism, they believe that a ban on diving will give coral time to recover. Think that will really do much, especially in three months' time? We don't. Divers with trips planned to Mabul and Sipadan, don't worry: they are still open.

Is This Contest Fair To Photographers?:  August 18, 2010

Underwater photographers are abuzz about NAUI's recent "Just Dive" photo contest, but not for the reasons you would expect. Subscriber Mike Boom from Oakland, CA, told us why. "NAUI owns outright any image submitted to them for the contest, whether the image wins or not." Read our article "Fair to Photographers" for free to find out why NAUI is doing this, and why both amateur and pro photographers are up in arms. Go to Undercurrent - the article link is at the top of the page.

Packing Metal in Your Body?:  August 18, 2010

You may be the diver in your group that sharks flock to. Martin Sutcliffe, a diver working at the Sea Life Centre in Blackpool, England, is immediately targeted by a bowmouth shark named Betty whenever he entered the predators' tank. She shuns other divers to nibble his hair and rub against him. Staff were baffled until they learned Sutcliffe had a metal rod implanted in his arm after an accident. Because sharks are sensitive to magnetism, detecting electric impulses as tiny as one-billionth of a volt, Betty seems to find the magnetic particles in Sutcliffe's arm irresistible. Sutcliff says, "She only nibbles, but her teeth are so strong it feels like hard scratching and it's impossible to ignore."

Sharks up Close:  August 18, 2010

Jim Abernethy, who makes a living with his Scuba Adventures shark dives in the Bahamas, has come out with this book featuring excellent photography and detailed data about shark biology. Buy it for that youngster you're trying to get interested in scuba diving and ocean conservation, and you may even pick up a few shark facts you didn't know before. 81 pages, with color photos on each. The hardcover version is $25, the paperback is $20. Click here to order through Undercurrent and you'll get Amazon's best price -- and we'll get a cut of the proceeds to continue our reef-protection efforts.

Atlantis of the East?:  August 18, 2010

When the remains of what looked like an ancient underwater city - mystical statues behind an ornate temple gateway at 100 feet deep - were photographed off the northwestern coast of Bali, the Indonesian government hailed it as a potentially "phenomenal" discovery, and excited local media speculated that an Atlantis of the East had been found. Unfortunately, those hopes have been sunk. The city turns out to be an underwater theme park built in 2005 by British diver Paul Turley, owner of Sea Rovers Dive Centre in Pemuteran, to entertain his dive students. The goal was for visiting divers to make a donation to the Reef Gardeners project, where unemployed local fishermen are trained to maintain the nearby corals. Turley told the Daily Telegraph he had a good laugh. "Perhaps our publicity wasn't good enough as no one knew about it, but now I guess another great mystery has been solved."

Design a Park Tag for Raja Ampat:  August 18, 2010 is holding the Raja Ampat Entrance Tag Design Contest. Enter your best photos or graphic designs and have your image printed on the 5,000 park tags that will be attached to the BCs of visiting divers. The winning submitter also wins an all-inclusive, 10-day dive trip to Raja Ampat. Submission deadline is September 6; public voting ends October 11. Contest details are at

Get a Better View Underwater:  August 18, 2010

Subscriber Mel McCombie (New Haven, CT) has this tip for mature divers with eyesight issues: "Take one SeaVision Gauge Reader mask and swap out one lens with either a SeaVision flat glass mask or one of the many brands of the same size (TUSA Liberator, Blue Reef, etc.) The result is one eye is able to see close up but with a much wider overall view because both lenses are not taken up by the reading lens in each corner. It's especially good for those with small faces since the Gauge Readers take up a lot of the field of view. There are other companies making masks with magnifier lenses, but I have compared and found the SeaVision optics to be the smoothest, with no horizontal line."

Get 5 issues of Undercurrent sent directly to your email address each month for just $15:  August 18, 2010

In addition, you'll have access to more than ten years of issues and thousands of reader reports of destinations around the world. All you need to do is sign up here and the August issue will be immediately sent to you, and on the first of each month for four more months you'll get Undercurrent. You can print it out, read it on line or download it for future reference. If you're a previous member, you can get the same deal here using your old username and password.

Mantas on the Menu:  August 18, 2010

The falling shark population is prompting Asian chefs to look for manta rays and mobula rays to meet the voracious demand for shark fin soup, reports the London Times. Until recently, they have been hunted only by subsistence fishermen, who harpoon them. But in the eastern Indonesian port of Lamakera, catches of manta have rocketed from a few hundred to about 1,500 a year. "Mantas and mobulas are being used as shark fin soup filler," said Tim Clark, a marine biologist at the University of Hawaii. The cartilage is being mixed with low-grade shark fins in cheap versions of the soup. So divers, next time you're in Indonesia, raise a little hell about manta fishing.

What You're Missing in the August Issue of Undercurrent:  August 18, 2010

Plantation Beach Resort, Honduras: diving the Bay Islands' quiet side . . . Thailand tech diving, an easy Aussie wreck dive, and the ups and downs of diving during El Nino . . . . is diving more deadly over age 50? . . . how divers can help in the Florida Keys . . . a spat between two dive operators means good deals for Raja Ampat trips . . . how a court ruling may change the dive liability release you sign . . . is this NAUI contest fair to photographers? . . . what travel insurance covers -- and doesn't -- when hurricanes hit . . . 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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