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Updated September 24, 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.

Another Recall of High-Pressure Hoses
What You're Missing This Month
Coming Up in Undercurrent
Is a Caribbean Cruise for Serious Divers?
Not Following in Dad's Footsteps
A Good Signaling Device
Anderson Cooper Says This Is a Marine Paradise
A Mobile App for Cayman Divers
And Another App to Track Sharks
The Scuba Snobs' Guide to Diving Etiquette: Book II
Sad but Not Shocking News about Caribbean Reefs
An Airline Bans Shark Fins on Flights
R.I.P. Ron Taylor
"Sometimes Holding Hands Can Say More than Words."

Another Recall of High-Pressure Hoses:  September 24, 2012

In May, Miflex recalled 17,000 double-braided, high-pressure hoses which could burst at the consoles Phantom now has similar problems -- its double-braided, flexible high-pressure hoses can burst at the crimp fitting attaching to the first state, leading to rapid depletion of air. They are recalling the 11Q3, 11Q4, and 12Q1 lots (the date codes) of those hoses. Phantom hose users should check the hose male fitting that screws into the regulator first stage -- if the hex is stamped with one of those date codes above, send the hose to Innovative Scuba Concepts, the distributor (no packaging or proof of purchase required). For all the details, go here.

What You're Missing This Month:  September 24, 2012

Jardines de la Reina, Cuba: is it the marine paradise Anderson Cooper claims it to be? . . . a land resort that offers just as good Raja Ampat diving as any liveaboard there . . . part II of our look at rebreather safety: why oxygen analyzers could be the weakest link . . . dive etiquette rules from "the scuba snobs" . . . one cavern plus panic equals four dive deaths . . . books to buy for becoming a smarter diver . . . a scary first openwater dive for a 13-year-old . . . and much more

Coming Up in Undercurrent:  September 24, 2012

What's the diving like in Florida these days. . . what goes into your wetsuit, why it costs what it does, and why some keep you warmer than others . . . can dive shops turn you away if you don't buy gear from them? . . . how a worldwide shortage of helium is affecting technical diving . . . what one dive operator did after passengers started talking to the media about the death of a diver on one of its trips . . . our readers' experiences about diving after a major medical procedures . . . why you shouldn't take that introductory offer to dive on a brand-new liveaboard itinerary . . . and much more.

Is a Caribbean Cruise for Serious Divers?:  September 24, 2012

Doc Vikingo, who has written many articles for us over the years, recently embarked on a Caribbean cruise, not so much because he wanted to, but because he somehow won it. Should a serious diver follow in his wake? Read his opinion, published in this month's issues, and available to read for free at Undercurrent.

Not Following in Dad's Footsteps:  September 24, 2012

Guy Harvey is known for his marine life artwork and conservation work, but perhaps he's not passing on his teachings to his daughter. While the Guy Harvey Expeditions Team was in Isla Mujeres last month to film whale shark gatherings there as part of a new documentary, Jessica Harvey, 22, took a film break to do some fishing and caught a 600-pound-plus swordfish, the largest caught on rod and reel by a female angler in the last 30 years, and the largest on record in Isla Mujeres. Jessica fought the fish for nearly three hours, then posed with her proud papa in front of the strung-up fish for a photo op. Very surprising for a man who calls himself a conservationist. What happened to catch and release, especially when they don't make swordfish of this size like they used to?

A Good Signaling Device:  September 24, 2012

Next time you're diving, consider wearing a yellow bikini. It came in handy for Candy Tutino of Naples, FL, when she got separated from her husband and son while diving in the Gulf of Mexico last month. The Tutinos had taken their boat four miles offshore, and when Candy surfaced from the dive, the boat had drifted away. She started swimming for shore, but then had the idea of tying her yellow bikini top to a flipper and waving it in the air to attract boaters. It caught the eye of David and Lyn Hunerberg in their 58-foot boat. Luckily, Tutino was only three-quarters of a mile from shore, but she still enough time to put her top back on and look decent before arriving back at shore, where her family had alerted authorities.

Anderson Cooper Says This Is a Marine Paradise:  September 24, 2012

On 60 Minutes, he touted Cuba's Jardines de la Reina as a pristine marine preserve, the best place to dive in the Caribbean. Is he right? One of our undercover dive travel writers went there this summer to find out. You can read the full review, free to view on our website. Our writer also recommended watching this video snippet to get a sense of Jardines de la Reina above and below water (note the amount of silky sharks).

A Mobile App for Cayman Divers:  September 24, 2012

Next time you're diving in the Caymans, download the Tourism Association's new app , free for both Apple and Android phone users, to find out what's new, where to go and how to get around. Features include daily news releases about what's happening, daily flight schedules and interactive Google maps showing where businesses are located.

And Another App to Track Sharks:  September 24, 2012

Ever heard of Foursquare, the app that lets you "check in" at a spot and alert everyone in the world to where you are? Now great white sharks have their own version of that. Shark Net is a free app for the iPhone and iPad from a team at Stanford University Marine Sciences working on the Global Tagging of Pacific Predators Project. They've been deploying acoustic detection buoys and robotic "wave gliders" in key locations where they know great whites s tend to congregate, and then track them in real time. They've even given the sharks names, such as Chomp and Scargirl. Your app will notify you when Chomp, Scargirl or another shark "check-in" by passing within 1,000 feet of the listening device. Shark Net also has interactive maps, photos of the sharks, historical tracking data and 3D interactive model of sharks complete with unique markings and fin shapes that the researchers use to recognize individuals in the wild.

The Scuba Snobs' Guide to Diving Etiquette: Book II:  September 24, 2012

Last year, we published excerpts from Dennis and Debbie Jacobson's self-published book , The Scuba Snobs" Guide to Diving Etiquette. . Based on additional "reporting" from recent dive trips and direct input from their readers, the Jacobsons have all new Dos and Don'ts for sport divers to follow, from buddy-diving etiquette to when men should and shouldn't wear tank tops. Order through our Books page and you'll get Amazon's best price -- and our profits will go to save coral reefs.

Sad but Not Shocking News about Caribbean Reefs:  September 24, 2012

It's obvious that Caribbean reefs are in decline, but a new report from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) states that they have completely collapsed. In the most comprehensive study to date of Caribbean coral reefs, scientists have discovered that the total amount of healthy coral has dropped from a 50 to 60 percent rate in the 1970s to less than 10 percent today. The hardest-hit areas include Jamaica, the Florida Keys, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico (less than 15 percent of coral reefs surviving), and the least-affected areas are the Caymans, Curacao and Bonaire (25 to 30 percent). IUCN scientists say the remaining 10 percent of Caribbean corals can be protected, and overfishing reduced, by governments establishing marine protection areas, and also working with local fishers to raise the price of individual fish so that fewer of them need to be caught.

An Airline Bans Shark Fins on Flights:  September 24, 2012

Kudos to Cathay Pacific, for announcing it will no longer carry shark fin on its cargo flights. The Hong Kong-based carrier, which is one of the world's largest cargo airlines, said in a statement that it would "stop shipping unsustainably sourced sharks and shark-related products." And kudos to the environmental groups in Asia that sent a joint petition to Cathay Pacific, citing Hong Kong government figures that showed 10,500 tons of shark fin were imported into the territory last year, with Cathay Pacific alone handling as much as 650 tons. The airline said that the real figure was much lower, and that while most shark fishing is incompatible with its position on sustainable development, the cargo ban on shark fins will not have a material impact on its business.

R.I.P. Ron Taylor:  September 24, 2012

The Australian marine conservation pioneer, famous for filming underwater footage in Jaws, died on September 8 at age 78. He had battled myeloid leukemia for two years. A former champion spearfisherman, Taylor turned to protecting marine life after an underwater epiphany made him realize he didn't want to kill then anymore. His passion and proficiency with an underwater camera got Taylor the call from Steven Spielberg to film some of the iconic underwater sequences in Jaws, although later he expressed concern that the blockbuster film had hurt the image of a creature he had come to respect. He's survived by his wife, Valerie, with whom he worked for more than 40 years conserving and filming sharks worldwide.

"Sometimes Holding Hands Can Say More than Words.":  September 24, 2012

That's what Ben Burville, an underwater photographer and the local doctor in his British town, posted at the beginning of his latest YouTube video . He was diving in the North Sea off the Northumberland Coast last month when he came across a friendly grey seal that hung around to hold hands with Burville and be filmed doing so. As Burville commented on his video, the front flippers of the seal can grasp much like a human hand. Talk about a great dive buddy.

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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