Stan Waterman Subscribes, So Why Not You?
AquaLung Recalls 174,000 Children's Masks
What You're Missing This Month
Our Chapbook Is in Print Again
Looking for Treasure?
Diving During a Typhoon
Coming Up in Undercurrent
Another Place to Recycle Dive Gear
A Handy New Dive App for Bonaire
California's No-Fishing Zones Are Great for Divers
Record-Breaking Freediver: The Good News
Record-Breaking Freediver: The Bad News
The Coconut Octopus in Action
Sharks and Rays Get More Protection
Stan Waterman Subscribes, So Why Not You?: March 20, 2013
Here's what the great dive veteran Stan Waterman wrote us: "I have just recently subscribed, and your current issue confirms my satisfaction in doing so. It is most informative and interesting." Follow his lead, and that of other experienced divers, and start or renew your subscription. Besides a new issue in your e-mail every month, you'll get full access to all of our issues online, the new, 700-page 2013 Travelin' Divers Chapbook (available again in print) and all past Chapbooks online, 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: www.undercurrent.org/UCnow/join.shtml.
AquaLung Recalls 174,000 Children's Masks: March 20, 2013
As an avid diver, you've probably got a kid or grandkid who loves snorkeling, but better check out his or her mask. Two types of youth snorkeling masks sold under the Aqua Lung and U.S. Divers brands are being recalled because notches in the tempered glass can cause it to break from pressure underwater and cut the face. There were 17 reports of the lens cracking or breaking, including seven reports of cuts and scratches to the face. The first recall is for 130,000 Santa Cruz Jr. youth masks, either sold individually or as a set with snorkel and fins, and manufactured before October 2011. (They don't have a production code on the frame near the nose pocket, while those made after that date do have one.) They were sold at sporting goods stores like Academy, Dick's and the Sports Authority, as well as online at Amazon.com and other Internet retailers from March 2011 through July 2012. The second mask recall is for 44,000 Martinique Jr. masks, similar to the Santa Cruz Jr. but sold only under the U.S. Diver brand and only at Costco stores from November 2010 through July 2011. Contact U.S. Divers for a replacement mask via its toll-free line at (888) 606-6162, or go to www.usdivers.com and click on "Recall Notice."
What You're Missing This Month: March 20, 2013
Good diving, despite a major typhoon, at Cebu . . . more good diving in Belize and Hawaii, but more problems with the Siren fleet . . . why you should love having pruney fingers . . . a lost-at-sea diver tells his tale of a 14-hour swim from Gordo Banks back to shore . . . John Bantin compares dive computer watch pioneer Suunto's latest offerings to everyone else's . . . dead divers' bad mistakes . . . dive apps worth downloading onto your iGadgets. . . why you shouldn't call them "shark attacks" anymore . . . and much more.
Our Chapbook Is in Print Again: March 20, 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.
Looking for Treasure?: March 20, 2013
Underwater treasure hunts are always intriguing, especially if you get a share in the profits. Bobby Pritchett, CEO of Global Marine Exploration, wrote us to say his company just got a contract in the Dominican Republic for salvaging shipwrecks 200 to 500 years old. That may be a good area to search -- Deep Blue Marine announced back in 2011 that it found what it thinks is the Caribbean's oldest shipwreck, on the northern coast, after finding jade statues, Mayan jewelry and gold coins dating back to 1535. The salvager split its profits, probably worth millions, evenly with the Dominican government. Pritchett is seeking investors, so if you like high-risk diving from a financial standpoint, contact him at gmexploration.com.
Diving During a Typhoon: March 20, 2013
"Here I was, on my third trip to the Philippines, searching for diving that really excited me, and we were about to be whacked by a major typhoon. Bopha was forecast to go right over Kasai Village on December 5. Suitcases were repacked "just in case," and everyone spent the evening huddled in the reception area, eating dinner and watching bad movies, planning to hunker down in the relative safety of the camera room if necessary." Read what happened to our travel reporter during a stay at Kasai Village at Undercurrent.
Coming Up in Undercurrent : March 20, 2013
How's Belize's Caye Caulker as a base for diving? . . . more bad mistakes dead divers make, like taking Jagermeister shots before a dive and having someone sub as yourself during a medical exam . . . can scuba diving really burn 400 calories per hour? . . . the when, why and how much to tip on your dive trip . . . more horror stories about dive equipment insurance policies with a certain company . . . one reader's recommendation for what to do with that Italian shipwreck Costa Concordia . . . and much more.
Another Place to Recycle Dive Gear: March 20, 2013
After writing about where to take old equipment when you're done with it, Undercurrent readers are popping up with more places to sell stuff to. The latest is from David Steinberg, who recommends Discount Divers Supply in Seattle. Box up your equipment and ship it to the shop, which will give an estimate once the package arrives, and can offer cash or credit. They're looking for quite an assortment of stuff, including non-working rebreathers and antique dive gear. ( www.discountdivers.com )
A Handy New Dive App for Bonaire: March 20, 2013
Todd Barnes created the DiveBonaire app for iPhones and iPads, giving detailed info about 100-plus of the island's dive sites, including current, visibility and coordinates, and a fish ID list, where you can also notate where you saw critters. He's offering promo codes for a free version of the App to review (there were 26 left at press time) at http://divebonaire.toughturtle.com/codes; otherwise, buy it for $5 here.
California's No-Fishing Zones Are Great for Divers: March 20, 2013
Six years after California created the nation's most expansive network of marine reserves -- 29 "no-fishing zones" along the coast -- the effort appears to be working. UC Santa Cruz scientists found that populations and sizes of several key fish species, plus starfish, urchins and crabs, have increased more in the protected areas between San Mateo and Santa Barbara counties than in unprotected ocean areas nearby. It's a key finding because California's marine protected areas are being closely watched by other states and countries as a possible solution to improving world's oceans. The state Fish and Game Commission wrote similar rules for the rest of California's 1,100-mile coastline, and the most recent no-fish zones were created last December, ranging from Mendocino to the Oregon border.
Record-Breaking Freediver: The Good News: March 20, 2013
Freediver William Trubridge, the first person to dive 100 meters unassisted, has just completed another record-breaking dive -- reaching a depth of 60 meters (200 feet) and back to the surface in 60 seconds. He put out a video of the one-minute event at here.
Record-Breaking Freediver: The Bad News: March 20, 2013
Freediver Herbert Nitsch, known as the "Deepest Man on Earth" for his 32 world records, didn't have such a good experience on his last try. He's profiled by Bob Simon on 60 Minutes Sports about the experience, and you can see footage of his fateful dive. The episode will be rebroadcast on Showtime this Saturday, March 23, at 2 p.m. (both Eastern and Pacific). See the preview.
The Coconut Octopus in Action: March 20, 2013
It's also known as the veined octopus, typically found in the western Pacific and on sandy bottoms, and it's distinct for its bipedal walking. But it gets its nickname for carrying coconut shells around with it for shelter by walking, and sometimes even collapsing into and rolling with them (it also likes clam shells). Thus, it has become the first invertebrate known to carry and maintain objects for future use. On a recent trip aboard the Pindito in Raja Ampat, ReefID.org got this good footage.
Sharks and Rays Get More Protection: March 20, 2013
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) just wrapped up in Bangkok with decisions to extend protection for mantas and five shark species (oceanic whitetip, porbeagle, and the scalloped, smooth and great hammerheads). There were similar actions to regulate trade in various turtles. While it's a big step, and the CITES agreement is currently signed by 178 countries, previous meetings have a mixed record of hits and misses. CITES has no enforcement mechanism of its own, so it depends on national governments to put these rulings into effect.
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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