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The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
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Updated February 15, 2013
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.

Celebrate 2013 with a full year's subscription to Undercurrent
What You're Missing This Month
Our Chapbook Is in Print Again
When, Why and How Do You Tip?
Coming Up in Undercurrent
DEMA Cancels Its Festival for Divers
Problems with DEPP or another Dive Equipment Insurer?
Cedar Beach Ocean Lodge, British Columbia
What Strange Dive Injury Have You Had?
The U.S. Navy and Tubbataha Reefs
Diving in "Shark Infested" Waters
Giant Squid Finally Caught on Film

Celebrate 2013 with a full year's subscription to Undercurrent:  February 15, 2013

Business Week called us the "Consumer Reports of diving." Forbes had us on its "Best of the Web" list because we offer "scuba tips no other source dares to publish." Our sources of information, like veteran dive pros Stan Waterman and Bret Gilliam, are also subscribers. Join them and besides a new issue in your e-mail every month, you'll get full online access to all of our issues, the new 2013 Travelin' Divers Chapbook and all past Chapbooks, and 10,000 travel reviews by serious divers covering 342 destinations and liveaboards. Benefit from all of our money-saving and life-saving articles by subscribing for an 12-month membership for $39.95, or try us out with a one-month membership for $4.95. My personal guarantee: all your money back, no questions asked, if you're not satisfied. Subscribe at

What You're Missing This Month:  February 15, 2013

A laid-back dive site with a mix of marine life in Baja California's Sea of Cortez . . . two easy ways to recycle your used dive gear . . . Ben's slightly irreverent view of the DEMA show . . . why a diver can't sue the scuba gear manufacturer that caused her brother's death . . . can filling tanks in water baths cause them to explode? . . . middle-age women and the risk of DCS . . . why the DEPP insurance company recently gave divers the silent treatment . . . a new way to control lionfish in the Caribbean . . . and much more.

Our Chapbook Is in Print Again:  February 15, 2013

The 2013 Travelin' Divers Chapbook print edition has just arrived from the presses, and it's impressive in its size (700 pages) and quality of information. Order it for $19.95, plus shipping and handling at our partner .

When, Why and How Do You Tip?:  February 15, 2013

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 on dive trips running at costs in the thousands, tips can become a big hunk of expenses. On the flip side: If you are a dive operator or work in the industry, please let me know your thoughts about tipping as well -- what's appropriate, how do you distribute it, etc. Send me your stories, comments and opinions at

Coming Up in Undercurrent:  February 15, 2013

Bad mistakes dead divers make, like Jagermiester shots before a dive and skipping the BC . . . one diver's tale about being stranded 12 miles from shore, and how he made it back . . . can scuba diving really burn 400 calories per hour? . . . must-have dive apps for your iGadget . . .the when, why and how much to tip on your dive trip . . . and much more.

DEMA Cancels Its Festival for Divers:  February 15, 2013

The Diving Equipment and Marketing Association has canceled plans for its consumer-focused Water, Sports and Travel Festival, scheduled for April 26 to 28 in Fort Lauderdale, FL. The festival was supposed to supplement the big trade-only event that DEMA runs later in the year, but it failed to gain support from key members in the dive trade, especially those based in Florida. DEMA's executive director Tom Ingram said in a statement, "The cross marketing concept, originally introduced in 2011 . . . as a way to reach potential new diving customers, was initially embraced. Unfortunately, even after several changes to the proposed festival structure, including prohibiting life support equipment sales by exhibitors, the Festival concept has not generated sufficient support from the diving business community." Why is the dive trade so reluctant to let Joe Diver see the goods and gear? If they want to reach those potential new diving customers - and to keep their businesses afloat, they sure do - this is certainly not the way to do it.

Problems with DEPP or another Dive Equipment Insurer?:  February 15, 2013

Whenever we write about dive equipment insurance, we always get a few reader complaints about Dive Equipment Protection Plan (DEPP) and its slow handling of complaints. In this month's issue, Deane W. Lehrmitt, who handles the DEPP program, explained why DEPP has recently been giving its customers the silent treatment (a five-week computer systems failure), but some Undercurrent readers aren't buying that. "If they are up and running again since December, why are they not responding to all the claims filed before that?" asks Helena Soler (Mammoth Lakes, CA). Have you too had any bad experiences with DEPP or another dive equipment insurer? Or can you share a good customer-service story, or advice on how to get a claim handled right? Send me your stories, comments and tips at

Cedar Beach Ocean Lodge, British Columbia:  February 15, 2013

If you like the marine wonders of cold-water diving, and gourmet food in between dives, this small lodge on tiny Thetis Island is for you. Read our undercover writer's review of this dive site at Undercurrent.

What Strange Dive Injury Have You Had?:  February 15, 2013

Thanks again to all of you who sent in your stories about diving after major medical procedures. They were all useful, and we included a bunch of them in January's article "Post-Op Diving." Now we want to know what sort of odd injuries might happen on dive boats -- the types of injuries that aren't covered by DAN. If one of those happened to you, did you get a bill? Did you have supplemental medical insurance or not? Ultimately, how was the issue resolved? Send your stories to me at

The U.S. Navy and Tubbataha Reefs:  February 15, 2013

On January 17, the USS Guardian ran aground on the Phillipines' Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park. The crew was not injured, and there were no oil leaks, but the marine park manager said the 220-foot-long Guardian, an Avenger-class mine countermeasures ship, flattened an estimated 44,000 square feet of the World Heritage site. The U.S. Navy has apologized, and promises to pay the $600-per-square-meter fine. It also recently confirmed that it needs to dismantle the badly-damaged ship instead of haul it off, in order to do the least possible damage to the reef. A floating crane from Singapore is on its way, and the dismantling is expected to take more than a month to complete.

Diving in "Shark Infested" Waters:  February 15, 2013

With "oxygen tanks" to boot. Read my take on media stories about diving, and why journalists -- and Matt Damon -- need to brush up on their scuba terms before writing or talking about the sport. It's free to view at Undercurrent.

Giant Squid Finally Caught on Film:  February 15, 2013

January 27 is an historic date because the giant squid was finally filmed for the first time, after multiple failed attempts, in its natural habitat off Japan's coastline. Oceanographer and marine biologist Edith Widder was a big part of the successful mission, due to her "Eye-in-the-Sea," a deep-sea camera observatory she developed to explore the ocean unobtrusively. See the squid footage and an interview with Widder on CBS This Morning (thanks, WetPixel), and read more about the Eye-in-the-Sea and the successful mission

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.

December, 2012

November, 2012

October, 2012

September, 2012

August, 2012

July, 2012

June, 2012

May, 2012

April, 2012

March, 2012

February, 2012

January, 2012

Online Updates* Archive, 2000-2011

* Sometimes referred to as Upwellings

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