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Updated May 18, 2012
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.

Island Dreams Celebrates its 25th Year with a Cozumel Dive Trip for You
Why You Should Subscribe
Miflex Recalls 17,000 High-Pressure Hoses
What You're Missing in This Month's Issue
How Do You Handle Diving in Downcurrents?
One Type of Shark Repellant Does Not Fit All
But There's Not as Many Sharks to Repel
Our Latest Book Pick: Ocean Soul
Coral Reefs Under Attack by Tcotchke Lovers
The Best Use for an Old Air Tank?
Taking Kids on Your Next Dive Trip
Coming Up in Undercurrent

Island Dreams Celebrates its 25th Year with a Cozumel Dive Trip for You:  May 18, 2012

The Houston-based dive travel agency is marking its 25th year in business with a celebration, an underwater photo contest, and a drawing for a Cozumel dive trip prize for one of our lucky e-newsletter subscribers. Enter Island Dreams' underwater photo competition, and three lucky winners get seven nights at either Scuba Club Cozumel, El Galleon Resort in the Philippines or Fiji's Matava Resort. Island Dreams' president Ken Knezick is also offering a prize drawing specifically for Undercurrent subscribers to win a four-night stay at Presidente Intercontinental Cozumel Resort & Spa and three two-tank day dives with Scuba Du, redeemable between July 1 and December 15. For more details and to enter, go here

Why You Should Subscribe:  May 18, 2012

Letters from our readers say it all. Mark Ahola (Cleveland, OH) wrote, "I just wanna say that I love your mag. I should have subscribed years ago! I only dive a couple trips annually, but will be well prepared when I do through Undercurrent. Kudos!" Because he subscribes, Edward Leibowitz (Jersey City, NJ), was one of the first to learn about a 32 percent price reduction on a Truk Odyssey trip that we listed in the Flotsam & Jetsam section of the April issue. "Because I'm retired, I was able to go on this trip, taking advantage of the $1,000 discount. It was a great trip, and Odyssey has the best and safest diving operation I've ever encountered in all the years that I've been diving. If I hadn't subscribed to Undercurrent, I would not have known about the price reduction. You can be another fortunate diver who gets the scoop first in our monthly issues. Subscribe now for $39.95 per year or $4.95 per month. Satisfaction guaranteed or your money back.

Miflex Recalls 17,000 High-Pressure Hoses:  May 18, 2012

Last November, we wrote an article about the multiple complaints from divers about Miflex's high-pressure hoses breaking, and at least one dive shop stated that it won't carry them because of all the reports about leaking issues. Now comes a notice that the U.S. distributor is recalling 17,000 hoses in North America, but Miflex still intends to sell them everywhere else. What's going on? Read the article for free at Undercurrent

What You're Missing in This Month's Issue:  May 18, 2012

M/V Bilikiki, Solomon Islands: fishy reefs and WWII wrecks . . . integrated weights vest: helpful or a piece of junk? . . . reader reports of good and bad dive resorts, serious inflator problems and credit card ripoffs . . . dive watches: useful tools or divers' arm candy? . . . three more marine species on the endangered list . . . should you splurge on a VO2 Max test? . . . how the Internet screws up dive vacations . . . 189 failures lead to recall of 17,000 Miflex hoses . . . where to take kids on dive trips, and how to keep them entertained . . . and much more.

How Do You Handle Diving in Downcurrents?:  May 18, 2012

For an upcoming story about diving in places notorious for "downcurrents" - where you're finning along at, say, 50 feet and then suddenly plunging to a depth of 150 feet -- we want to know what your experiences in them have been. Downcurrents can be a common hazard in Cozumel, Fiji's Somosomo Strait, Malpelo Island, so we're writing up how to handle them during a dive. If you've been sucked into a downcurrent, what was your response, how did you react and what advice would you give to fellow divers? E-mail me at

One Type of Shark Repellant Does Not Fit All:  May 18, 2012

New research from the University of Western Australia states that electronic repellents currently on the market may be less effective for the three most dangerous species: great white, tiger and bull. Shark Shield, the most popular one, emits a high level of electric current to deter sharks within a few feet but because every shark species is different, some won't be repelled or deterred as well as others. Professor Shaun Collins tells Stock & Land that developing repellents to target specific shark species will be more effective than using a one-size-fits-all approach, and he is seeking funding to develop species-specific repellants which can target other senses such as light, sound or smell.

But There's Not as Many Sharks to Repel:  May 18, 2012

A new study finds that populated islands are not the place to do shark dives, as many as 90 percent of reef sharks have disappeared from their reefs. In a study printed in Conservation Biology, researchers at the University of Miami pulled shark-sighting data from more than 1,607 dives at 46 reefs in the central-western Pacific, from populated sites like the Hawaiian Islands and American Samoa to reefs nearly devoid of human influence, to see the numbers of gray, black-tip, white-tip, Galapagos and tawny nurse sharks. In the populated areas, reef shark numbers were greatly depressed, compared to reefs in the same regions that were farther away from humans, meaning less than 10 percent of the baseline numbers remain in those areas. Human influences far outweighed natural ones for the decline.

Our Latest Book Pick: Ocean Soul:  May 18, 2012

National Geographic veteran Brian Skerry has photographed ocean life for more than 30 years. With his new book, he has partnered with National Geographic and Conservation International to raise awareness of the plight of the world's oceans through his photos and stories of marine life. Beautiful photos aside, Skerry's personal stories about his encounters with marine life, the preparation and research done before diving in, and the explanations of how he got those world-class shots give the book its heft. Order this book or any of our book picks via our website

Coral Reefs Under Attack by Tcotchke Lovers:  May 18, 2012

They're disappearing four times faster than the rain forests, mainly due to poachers who ship coral to the U.S. to feed the souvenir and home decoration industries. Apparently, buying and selling coral from countries like the Solomon Islands isn't illegal, and shell shops in the U.S., which puts staghorn and elkhorn coral on the Endangered Species list, are relying on coral from South Pacific nations, where government regulations are more easy to get around. Read the Miami New Times story on the coral curio trade and its worldwide effect

The Best Use for an Old Air Tank?:  May 18, 2012

Hook it up to a bicycle horn that is louder than the Concorde jet. The Environmental Transport Association, the British equivalent of AAA, has created the Hornster, a bicycle bell that explodes at 178 decibels (hearing damage starts at 140 db). The air horn is powered by a scuba tank mounted between a bike's handlebars and seat, and using a regulator that feathers the horn open and closed. If the idea of bicycling the streets and honking an ear-destroying horn at everyone around you sounds intriguing, than the US$8,000 Hornster bike may be for you.

Taking Kids on Your Next Dive Trip:  May 18, 2012

You can make your next dive trip a family adventure with your kids. But because those under age 15 aren't old enough to do standard dives, you'll have to plan for it differently than you would for yourself and other "old timers." Kids Sea Camp president Margo Payton offers a few suggestions on how to keep everybody happy - read her article for free at Undercurrent. Subscribe to Undercurrent and you can read the travel pros' picks for the nine best dive lodgings worldwide to take kids.

Coming Up in Undercurrent:  May 18, 2012

What goes into your wetsuit, and why it costs what it does . . . a diver's death shows why carbon monoxide poisoning may be more widespread than you think . . . what to do if you're caught in a dangerous downcurrent . . . what do DEMA, ExxonMobile and the National Homebuilders Association have in common? . . . why you may remove your regulator when you shouldn't . . . 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, 2012

October, 2012

September, 2012

August, 2012

July, 2012

June, 2012

May, 2012

April, 2012

March, 2012

February, 2012

January, 2012

December, 2011

November, 2011

October, 2011

September, 2011

August, 2011

July, 2011

June, 2011

April, 2011

March, 2011

February, 2011

January, 2011

Online Updates* Archive, 2000-2010

* Sometimes referred to as Upwellings

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