Recall of Pricey Dive Computers in North America
Looking to Save Money on Your Next Flight?
What You're Missing This Month
Reef Fishes of the East Indies
Coming up in Undercurrent
Amazing Diving Stories
The Best Time to See Manta Rays?
Moody's Namena is up for Sale
Is This Dive Operator Right or Wrong?
Be a Volunteer Diver in Raja Ampat, Get 30 Percent off Your Trip
A "Model" Reef Worth Visiting
And a Reef That's Being Threatened
Keep Your Dentures In While on the Dive Boat
Recall of Pricey Dive Computers in North America: October 23, 2012
Atomic Aquatics, which makes the $1,200 Cobalt dive computer models, just announced that it's recalling 4,000 of the units in the U.S. and 200 in Canada, which were sold between November 2010 and July 2012. Read the details at Undercurrent.
Looking to Save Money on Your Next Flight?: October 23, 2012
According to a new study by the travel booking website Kayak, the average fare for a domestic flight is $370 over a six-month period before departure, but that drops to $342 when booked 21 days before. For international flights, the lowest fare can be booked 34 days before departure, when the average price is $977, compared with $1,016 for the six-month period before takeoff. For domestic trips longer than a week, you can save as much as 10 percent by leaving on a Tuesday and returning on a Wednesday. Book the same weekdays for international flights and you'll save 21 percent; you can save 9 percent if you leave on a Saturday and return on a Sunday.
What You're Missing This Month: October 23, 2012
A Papua New Guinea resort and liveaboard where machetes, bare butts and cannibals are part of the package . . . why your days of diving with helium may be numbered . . . shark dives in a secluded part of the Bahamas, and land-based and liveaboard options in the Galapagos . . . do dive operators have a right to threaten you with a lawsuit if you talk to the press? . . . how PADI's new owner plans to improve the dive business . . . a place where lionfish eradication may be working . . . why you should think twice before taking a maiden voyage . . . hand-biting barracudas in popular dive sites . . . how an innocent photo stirred up controversy for a new fish ID book . . . and much more.
Reef Fishes of the East Indies : October 23, 2012
With a list price of $250 and a weight of 14 lbs., this will probably be the most expensive piece of literature you've ever bought, but the price and the poundage will be worth it to add this three-volume set to your library. Marine biologists Gerald R. Allen and Mark V. Erdman have combined 60 years of surveys, fieldwork and research to create the most definitive guide of the Coral Triangle to date, perhaps forever. It includes 3,600 photographs, 40 percent of which are of fish not seen before in print. For a sampler, check out pictures of 25 of the newly-discovered reef fish species at National Geographic's website, then buy the three volumes from us at Undercurrent's Book Picks.
Coming up in Undercurrent: October 23, 2012
What goes into your wetsuit, and why it costs what it does . . . can dive shops turn you away if you don't buy gear from them? . . . our readers' advice about diving again after a major medical procedure . . . details about life insurance plans geared toward scuba divers . . . can scuba diving really burn 400 calories per hour? . . . and much more.
Amazing Diving Stories : October 23, 2012
In the search for great underwater adventure writing, look no further than this absorbing new book by John Bantin, one of Undercurrent's top-notch contributors. He has compiled dozens of true tales that will intrigue and delight everyone from the seasoned diver to the bathtub snorkeler. Consider the British diver who barely survived a crocodile attack while diving from an Indonesia liveaboard, or the divers fired upon by the military when diving in the Red Sea. Bantin, who makes 300 dives a year, gets behind the scenes of terrible tragedies, applies his great wit to his own travels and travails, and explores unusual and bizarre behaviors both animal, fish and human that take place a few fathoms down. Order his book through our Undercurrent's Book Picks, and you'll get Amazon's best price - plus our profits will go to save coral reefs.
The Best Time to See Manta Rays?: October 23, 2012
Either during a full or a new moon, when they're more likely to gather, say scientists at the University of Queensland. While studying manta rays that were foraging for food, cruising and being cleaned by smaller fish at Lady Elliott Island in the Great Barrier Reef, the researchers found the number of rays was higher in Australia's autumn and winter months (which is spring and summertime for us Yanks), around the new and full moons, and when wind speeds were lower. The scientists, whose study was published in the journal PLOS ONE, believe their results can be applied to understand the distribution of manta ray populations around the world.
Moody's Namena is up for Sale: October 23, 2012
The resort is listed with an agent in New Zealand. Check out here . Tom Moody wants to sell the island and resort after 30 years, although he still has 68 years left on his lease. Ninety percent of the 107 acres can't be developed.
Is This Dive Operator Right or Wrong?: October 23, 2012
If you are on a dive boat when something goes wrong, brace yourself, because you may be contacted by lawyers on both sides if there's a lawsuit. And woe to you if you dare talk about what happened to the press -- you'll really get their attention. But do dive operators have a right to threaten you if you do? Find out what happened to three divers who talked to the media after a death aboard a dive boat last summer. Read the feature article for free at Undercurrent.
Be a Volunteer Diver in Raja Ampat, Get 30 Percent off Your Trip: October 23, 2012
Helen Newman, founder of the British nonprofit Sea Sanctuaries Trust, has this special offer for our readers: "With the arrival of the KM Hang Tuah loaned to us as a floating ranger station and survey platform in Raja Ampat, we're able to take a few volunteer divers on conservation expeditions this November and December, and offer 30 percent off our 25-day or 50-day programs. You'll assist in collecting vital baseline data, monitor changes in fish and coral, and work in our social development programs with the local communities. You'll spend time on the liveaboard Hang Tuah, as well as in a basic homestay in a villages while working with the local community. You can expect to take at least 30 dives plus manta tows during your stay. Conditions are basic, the area is remote, and you'll be expected to assist with cooking, cleaning, filling tanks and other activities related to the operation. Discounts are available for volunteers with additional qualifications, such as in medicine or education." Prices are $3,500 and $6,000 for 50 days, and include round-trip transfers from Sorong, food, accommodation and diving. Note: Because Sea Sanctuaries is not a U.S.-based nonprofit, you can't deduct trip expenses on your trip. For more information, go to here or contact Helen Newman at firstname.lastname@example.org
A "Model" Reef Worth Visiting: October 23, 2012
The Philippines' Tubbataha Reef, southeast of Palawan, was recently recognized by the World Future Council as a model in coral reef conservation. The Council gave one of two Silver Awards for sustainable ocean management (the other went to Namibia, the gold went to Palau) to the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park Act, the measure that created a 385 square-mile marine sanctuary and was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. "Tubbataha has demonstrated that with carefully planned management, local communities need not bear the burden of closed protected areas, but can be their primary beneficiaries," the Council's statement read. "As a nursery site for fish, the reef supports local artisanal fisheries."
And a Reef That's Being Threatened: October 23, 2012
Malaysian newspapers are reporting that illegal dynamite fishing is happening near Sipadan Island. A boat operator told the Daily Express he's hearing fish bombs set off at night near Sipadan Island, and that the illegal activities were "rampant" in the past month. The Star quoted an unnamed diver who claimed to see hundreds of dead triggerfish and surgeonfish, and a hawksbill turtle in a scene of sizeable destruction at the Eel Garden dive site near Mabul Island, separated from Sipadan by a 15-minute boat ride. Randy Davies, a founder of Borneo Divers, told the Daily Express he doubts fish bombing is happening at Sipadan because the deep, plunging walls only sink bombed fish to a virtually bottomless sea, "but we don't know for sure until we get more facts on hand." We'll have our own travel report in a future issue.
Keep Your Dentures In While on the Dive Boat: October 23, 2012
Or at least don't clean them over the side, as we reported in the last issue. That's what British diver Keith Ashmall was doing while on a dive trip near Nab's Head in St. Bride's Bay. They slipped out of his hand while he was cleaning them. The captain immediately dropped anchor, and members of Ashmall's Pembrokeshire dive group hopped in to search for his choppers. After 90 minutes of searching, the slippery teeth were found at 65 feet. Talk about great dive buddies -- they saved Ashnall from paying US$400 for another set of dentures.
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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