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Updated December 26, 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.

Kick Off 2013 with a Subscription to Undercurrent
Manthiri Maldives Special
Take Your iPad Diving
A New Way to Improve Your Underwater Photos
Coming Up in Undercurrent in 2013
Discount Airfares to Micronesia
When, Why and How Do You Tip?
Fund the Future Divers of America
The Latest Good News for Sharks
Help Misool Eco Resort's Rangers
Has This Happened to You?
Kauai's Coral Reef Infection
Help CORAL Meet Its Match

Kick Off 2013 with a Subscription to Undercurrent:  December 26, 2012

Stay up to date on critical developments in diving, equipment and travel with our 11 monthly issues. Our articles can help you save money, and even help save you from diving disasters. Then you'll understand why our subscribers keep on subscribing, even after they've stopped diving. William King, Isle of Palms, SC) writes, "In 1984, I wrote to Ben asking where in Hawaii I could take my newly certified but reluctant wife to dive. He recommended Dive Makai on the Big Island. Lisa and Tom did a wonderful job, and subsequently my wife has dived everywhere from the Caribbean to Truk Lagoon. Last month, my wife decided to retire from diving due to a physical condition that makes coming aboard dive boats via a ladder a difficult situation, but thank you, Ben, for giving me a great dive partner for 28 fantastic years. I couldn't have done it without your advice." Fred Kolo (New York, NY) gave us a glowing letter after reading Bret Gilliam's November article "Who Is That Masked Man?" (free for you to read on our homepage). "I read Bret's piece with great pleasure and amusement, but more to the point I have been a constant reader of Undercurrent for many years now, even after I have given up diving. Gilliam pinpointed so clearly the qualities that make Undercurrent almost unique in the world today. You have made a wonderful thing with Undercurrent, and it remains of deep interest to me simply because of its belief in speaking out the truth. Thanks so much for it." Subscribe now

Manthiri Maldives Special:  December 26, 2012

The fine liveaboard, the Manithiri, has just a couple spots left for four great cruises and will give you more than 20% off their seven-day trip beginning January 19, and the same healthy discount on three nine-day cruises in February and April. At $2260 for seven days or $2906 for nine days, you won't find a better value on a craft that our readers have been touting for years! Big fish, great reefs, a well seasoned crew, and diving from a dhoni as large as some liveaboards, make this an unforgettable trip. Go to their website or get your questions answered by emailing

Take Your iPad Diving:  December 26, 2012

Ever gotten bored during a decompression stop and wish you had your Angry Birds or Facebook app to wile away the time? Next year, you may be able to do that, by whipping out your iPad underwater. The iDive waterproof housing was developed by scientists at the Red Sea Research Center to let them record data on an iPad while diving, then they decided to let everyone else in on the fun. The iDive, which has been taken down to 100 feet, uses a special "skin" for the touchscreen, a plastic shell for the back part and a small carbon dioxide canister to maintain the entire unit's waterproofing. iDive is expected to begin production in the first half of 2013. To get on the waiting list, go to

A New Way to Improve Your Underwater Photos:  December 26, 2012

Vivid-Pix, a new software program for correcting underwater pictures that also debuted at DEMA, goes on sale January 1. It uses an algorithm that was developed to correct the too-common occurrences in underwater photos, like too much or too little light, or a loss of contrast. Vivid-Pix co-founder Rick Voight told that the software automatically corrects underwater photos via computer or tablet with a one-click fix. "It analyzes each individual image, then it's able to provide the choice to the consumer." For more info, go to

Coming Up in Undercurrent in 2013:  December 26, 2012

Is Sipadan diving worth the hype? . . . Easy diving in a remote part of Baja California . . . 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 . . . can scuba diving really burn 400 calories per hour? . . the link between women, age and DCS . . . Ben and John Bantin's reviews of DEMA's big dive convention . . . and much more.

Discount Airfares to Micronesia:  December 26, 2012

United Airlines is offering a great discounted "Visit Micronesia" tourist fare that's valid for ticketing between now and March 31, 2014. The discount fare covers up to five stops in a 30-day period for travel to Palau, Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and others - the first stop must be scheduled when the ticket is purchased, but the rest can be left open. A round-trip Visit Micronesia fare from Honolulu with stops in Majuro, Kosrae and Pohnepei totals $1,100. The fare isn't available online, so you'll need to buy it through a travel agent, or call United at 800-864-8331. Tell them the net fare tour code is VMICR to help them find the discounts.

When, Why and How Do You Tip?:  December 26, 2012

We're thinking about doing an article on tipping - the good, bad and just plain unusual tip policies and practices. Do you know a liveaboard, dive resort or scuba operator with such policies? In what situations have you been glad to tip -- or outright refused to do so? Furthermore, how much do you tip? To whom, and on what basis? As traveling divers, we need to share this important information because for dive trips running in the thousands, tips can become a big hunk of expenses. So how do you tip? Send me your stories, comments and opinions at

Fund the Future Divers of America:  December 26, 2012

Would you trust high school students to place an $80,000 underwater camera and water monitoring system in the ocean? Teens4Oceans is doing just that. It's a new nonprofit started by Graham Casden, owner of the eco-friendly dive shop Oceans First, and a group of Boulder, CO high schoolers for taking action to help the ocean. The T4O teens have deployed six solar-powered monitoring units off of Florida, Grand Cayman and the U.S. Virgin Islands, with plans to deploy five more. They even help to engineer and design them, then use the information gathered for research projects. There are currently four chapters, with plans to expand the program in 2013. To donate and get involved, go to

The Latest Good News for Sharks:  December 26, 2012

French Polynesia and the Cook Islands just announced the creation of adjacent shark sanctuaries, spanning 2.5 million square miles of ocean.

Help Misool Eco Resort's Rangers:  December 26, 2012

Shark finning is still common in Southeast Asia, so the Misool Eco Resort in Raja Ampat worked with conservationists and local villagers to establish a fishing ban in a 165-square-mile no-take zone. When a neighboring village asked to take part, the area was expanded to 472 square miles and Misool recruited a group of rangers to help patrol for illegal fishermen. NBC News recently did a story on their efforts. You can donate to the Misool Ranger Patrol at

Has This Happened to You?:  December 26, 2012

After all our coverage of high-pressure hose problems and recalls, is there now something going on with low-pressure hoses? Here's a letter about that from subscriber Brian Johnston at Kanata Diving Supply in Ottawa, and his shop's experiences with Myoflex hoses. "We recently acquired a number of low-pressure hoses from a company going out of business in Canada. None of the hoses were high pressure, due to the recall. Recently, a number of our more advanced tech divers have switched out of all their low-pressure Myoflex hoses -- they were experiencing flow interruption due to hoses becoming crimped. They found that on their pony bottle setups, when they pulled the regulator from the inner tube band, the hoses would become crimped, like a cheap rope binding at the bend. Have any of our readers experienced similar problems?" If you have, let me know at

Kauai's Coral Reef Infection:  December 26, 2012

Since June, a mysterious milky growth has been spreading rapidly across the reefs in Hanalei and the surrounding bays of the north shore. Identified by scientists as both a bacteria and a fungus, the growth is killing all the coral it strikes and spreading at the rate of one to three inches a week. "Nowhere we know of in the entire world where an entire reef system for 60 miles has been compromised in one fell swoop," biologist Terry Lilley told the Los Angeles Times. He says the rapid growth of the coral disease follows two years of heavy sedimentation traveling down the Hanalei River from development upstream and heavy rains.

Help CORAL Meet Its Match:  December 26, 2012

The good news: The Tiffany & Co. Foundation recently awarded the Coral Reef Alliance a $50,000 grant for its work in preserving pristine reefs in Fiji's Kubulau District. The catch: Tiffany has asked the Alliance to get a full match from its supporters by January 11. Help them reach that goal by making a tax-deductible donation at their website.

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*

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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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