Cozumel After Hurricane Wilma
Learn or Practice Yoga between Dives in the Philippines This Summer
Dive Gear for Your iGadgets
"Thanks for Bringing Me Back to Diving."
What You're Missing in This Month's Issue
A Near Miss for Shark Dive Trip Operators Everywhere
Why You Should Skip Trip Insurance
Used to Diving in Calm Water?
One Area in Indonesia You Don't Want to Dive
Kudos to This Rebreather Manufacturer
What Divers Can Do for Earth Day
Do Fastballs and Fish Mix?
Cozumel After Hurricane Wilma: April 18, 2012
One of our undercover travel writers wrote, "Cozumel is my first and best love in Caribbean diving. In January, I visited the island after nearly a seven-year separation, largely caused by Hurricane Wilma, the largest storm ever measured in the tropical Atlantic, did serious damage to the island and its reefs. While the island's topside, a major cruise ship destination, recovered quickly, developers can't speed the natural recovery of the coral oasis." What did he find underwater? Read our travel review of Cozumel and the dive operator Living Underwater, free of charge at Undercurrent
Learn or Practice Yoga between Dives in the Philippines This Summer: April 18, 2012
The Siren Fleet has just four spaces left on its Dive and Yoga Liveaboard Safari to the Philippines' southern Visayan Islands. The seven-night trip aboard the Philippine Siren is August 11-18, departing from Cebu and visiting the islands of Cabilao, Balicasag, Pescador and Sumilon before docking at Dauin on Negros Island. The region is known for its macro critters, while Balicasag is a standout for its steep walls and overhangs, and whale sharks are seen frequently at Sumilon. Besides four dives a day, you'll also get yoga lessons and classes from instructor Teresa Herera. The $2,500 price also includes equipment rental, Nitrox fills, all meals, soft drinks and beer, and local transfers in Cebu to the Philippine Siren. For more information or to book your spot, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://worldwidediveandsail.com
Dive Gear for Your iGadgets: April 18, 2012
DiveNav just released the iDive computer, a free app that transforms your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad into a dive computer. Its virtual depth sensor lets you interact with your i-gadget by using simple hand movements to make it descend or ascend in the water column, so you can create your own custom dive profiles based on your model-specific dive computers. Turn your iPhone into an underwater camera with TAT7's iPhone Scuba Case. It's waterproof to 100 feet and includes a wrist lanyard for safekeeping, but it only includes three strategically-placed buttons for launching and operating the camera app's shutter button and photo/video switch, so you can't tweet underwater about the cool grouper that swam by. The case is $85 but currently out of stock, and TAT7 isn't taking new orders until April 16.
"Thanks for Bringing Me Back to Diving.": April 18, 2012
Randall Rothenberg was a former head honcho at Time Warner, which publishes major magazines like Time and Sports Illustrated, so he knows a thing or two about good writing and editing. Which makes it doubly special to us when someone like Rothenberg, now CEO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, takes the time to write us this letter: "I subscribed to Undercurrent for almost two decades and absorbed every issue. But then diving dwindled for me, and I let my subscription lapse. Last summer, I started feeling the loss, and the hankering to go diving built and built. The first thing I did was search online to see whether Undercurrent had gone digital. I was pleased beyond measure that you not only had gone digital, but you'd done it in a way that was entirely consistent with your classic design, voice, and values. Thanks to you, I broke my 11-year dive celibacy at Bruce Bowker's Carib Inn in Bonaire, which was exactly as you described. And your piece on Saba - the island from which I did my first openwater dive 27 years ago - gave me the impetus to return there for the first time in almost 20 years. It, too, was exactly as described (and wonderfully so). I owe you great thanks for bringing me back to diving - and for staying true." Join Rothenberg by signing up for a subscription here
What You're Missing in This Month's Issue: April 18, 2012
Living Underwater, Cozumel: how the reefs are doing post-Hurricane Wilma . . . diving on the northern tip of British Columbia's Vancouver Island aboard the Nautilus Swell . . . the problems with artificial reefs . . . a shark dive with no sharks, and two resorts to avoid . . . are you more careful maintaining your dive gear than this Virginia police department? . . . what to do about smoking divers aboard liveaboards . . . do water and automated external defibrillators mix? . . . how divers can give back, part II: more ways to make your dive trips count . . . was it user error or gear malfunction for this diver carrying a Nautilus Lifeline . . . and much more.
A Near Miss for Shark Dive Trip Operators Everywhere: April 18, 2012
Divers opposed to cage-free diving with sharks have an argument with this video, posted on Pete Thomas Outdoors, especially at the 40-second mark. A diver on a Bahamas expedition (trip operator and dive site not disclosed) jerked his foot from the mouth of the tiger shark that swam between his legs, was attracted by his fin and and then turned to take a bite. You can hear the lucky diver's exclamation through his mouthpiece. Patric Douglas, who runs the cage diving operation Shark Diver, believes the location was Tiger Beach. Read Douglas's comments on his blog post: "Yes, that is a Tiger on predation, and yes those divers do not have a clue, and yes that was as close as it looked.... At 0.40, that diver was one second away from sending years of conservation work down the tubes."
Why You Should Skip Trip Insurance: April 18, 2012
We got this letter from subscriber Samuel Johnson: " Dear Ben, this is a response to "Insurance for Your Next Dive Trip" in the January 2012 issue. We've been around this issue before, but the topic makes me so crazy that I simply have to write again. It is guaranteed that the insurance companies that sell travel insurance are going to make a profit. It then follows from that fact, with absolute certainty, that the people who buy travel insurance, over the long haul and on average, are going to come out paying more for the insurance than they get back from their claims." To read the rest of his letter -- and Ben's reply - go to Undercurrent
Used to Diving in Calm Water?: April 18, 2012
If you were trained in placid waters and never dealt with waves and surge, you have special dangers to equip yourself for. Bill Savage from Okotoks, Alberta was on a Hawaii dive trip near Honokohau with the Hawaiian Scuba Shack, along with his wife and son, when a surge pushed him into an underwater tunnel. Savage, 49, managed to get out and onto some rocks when a second wave struck and sent him under again. When he didn't surface, another diver pulled him from the water but CPR efforts didn't help, and Savage died. While we don't know all the details, we do know it's nearly impossible to swim against surge. To avoid overexertion, it's best to rest as the surge pulls you back, then swim forward as the surge shifts to the direction you want to go toward.
One Area in Indonesia You Don't Want to Dive: April 18, 2012
While earthquakes, like the recent 8.2 tremor, can do a lot of damage to Indonesia reefs, it's nowhere as bad as the dynamite fishing being done in East Kalimantan, a province on the island of Borneo. Authorities in Bontang report that 4,200 of the 6,000 hectares of coral reefs in the area were badly damaged from dynamite fishing but there is little they can do to stop it. A government spokesman told DIVE magazine, there was little enforcement done because nearly all the fishermen in the area do it, and chemicals needed to make the explosives are widely available there. "Two fishermen were recently arrested for dynamite fishing, but that won't discourage them from continuing to do it," the spokesperson said. "'Their awareness of the damage that they're doing to the environment remains very low."
Kudos to This Rebreather Manufacturer: April 18, 2012
Ambient Pressure Diving, the British firm that makes the Inspiration rebreather, also made the life support system used by film director James Cameron during his solo dive seven miles down to the depths of the Mariana Trench, near Guam, last month. Owner Martin Parker told DIVE it was the biggest commission his company had ever undertaken, "but it all worked perfectly." What didn't work: the descent, which was plagued by mechanical issues, and hydraulic failure, preventing Cameron from collecting samples from the sea floor. Still, Cameron spent three hours underwater without major glitches, and released this footage of his ascent, descent and time at 35,765 feet deep.
What Divers Can Do for Earth Day: April 18, 2012
Project AWARE is focusing on shark conservation all month with the Big Shark Shout Out. You can sign this petition that the nonprofit will present to environmental leaders worldwide before they meet next year at a conference for protection of endangered species. You can also submit your photos of sharks in Project Aware's photo contest before April 30, with the grand prize being a plane ticket to dive Australia's Great Barrier Reef.
Do Fastballs and Fish Mix?: April 18, 2012
The Florida Marlins think so, having installed two 20-foot-long tropical fish aquariums on the field directly behind home plate in its new baseball stadium. They think it "screams Miami," while animal rights activists think it screams abuse. Animal Rights Foundation of Florida spokesman Don Anthony told the local press, "Even if the glass doesn't shatter, [stadium noise is] going to cause a tremendous vibration and disturb the fish." To prove protestors wrong, Claude Delorme, the Marlins' head of ballpark development, set up a pitching machine to launch baseballs at the tank with fish inside. The results? "You would see a small reaction, "Delorme said. "They would move because they would sense something in that area." He has no plans to remove the fish, so we'll see if they make it through September.
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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