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Updated May 29, 2014
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.

Marine Life-Mauling Divemasters
Why You Should Subscribe
Are Male Divers too "Helpful?"
What You're Missing in this Month's Issue
Lost at Sea for 24 Hours or More?
Prince William, Head Divemaster
Bonaire Gets More Direct Flights from the U.S
Coming Up in Undercurrent
Thanks, Facebook Fans
Indonesia and Palau Are Doing It, Why Can't We?

Marine Life-Mauling Divemasters:  May 29, 2014

What to Do about Them? In his Reader Report about Kaimana Divers in Oahu, Michael Kay (Redwood City, CA) wrote, "While the divemasters were generally respectful of the sea life, one divemaster grabbed an octopus and held it, causing it to squirt all its ink. He even passed it around for other divers to hold." This is a no-no in our book, but it seems like fish-handling, such as cradling nurse sharks and pulling reclusive creatures out of their holes, is all-too-common behavior for many divemasters worldwide. Common rebuttals are, "Divers pay to see things, and we want to make sure they see it" and "Photographers need close-up shots of marine life, so we help them." What do you think? Is there a fine line between touching marine life for a good purpose and handling it to the point of harassment? Have you been on dive trips where divemasters were too grabby for your taste? If so, did you do anything about it? Are there dive operators you want to call out for being too touchy with marine life, or those who deserve divers' business because of their respectful approach of sea life? Send me your stories and opinions at

Why You Should Subscribe:  May 29, 2014

Letters from our readers say it all. Mark Ahola (Cleveland, OH) wrote, "I just wanna say that I love your mag. I should have subscribed years ago! I only dive a couple trips annually, but will be well prepared when I do through Undercurrent. Kudos!" Because he subscribes, Edward Leibowitz (Jersey City, NJ), was one of the first to learn about a 32 percent price reduction on a Truk Odyssey trip that we listed in the Flotsam & Jetsam section of our newsletter last year. "Because I'm retired, I was able to go on this trip, taking advantage of the $1,000 discount. It was a great trip, and Odyssey has the best and safest diving operation I've ever encountered in all the years that I've been diving. If I hadn't subscribed to Undercurrent, I would not have known about the price reduction." You can be another fortunate diver who gets the scoop first in our monthly issues. Subscribe now for $39.95 per year or $4.95 per month and it will be delivered about the first of each month directly to your email account. Satisfaction guaranteed or all of your money back.

Are Male Divers too "Helpful?":  May 29, 2014

A woman I'll call "Linda" from Seattle, WA, recently wrote this interesting question, "Have any fellow female divers been treated in a patronizing way by men in their dive group? I've had random men in the group approach me to check that my gear is assembled properly, offer helpful tips for beginners, and generally treat me like an idiot. Any tips on how to deal with this situation without alienating people?" Undercurrent readers wrote in with their stories, and two psychologists -- one male, one female, both divers -- offered their advice. Read our article from this month's issue to find out how the two sexes compare and contrast - on the homepage at

What You're Missing in this Month's Issue:  May 29, 2014

CoCo View Resort, Roatan: where the motto is "eat, sleep and dive a lot" . . . why checkout dives are so important . . . the final report of a father and son's cave-diving deaths . . . Maldives Princess: a long way to go for whale shark sightings, but worth it. . . . Florida dive shops get fined for illegal feeding of sharks . . . warning: more "kidnappings for ransom" in eastern Sabah . . . does a high-fat diet increase your risk for DCS? . . . coming soon: underwater Wi-Fi . . . why divers die, part I: too much panic, too few trips to the doctor . . . a dive shop owner's take on Bret Gilliam's stories about poor dive training . . . and much more

Lost at Sea for 24 Hours or More?:  May 29, 2014

A Dive Expert Wants to Know Your Story. We got an e-mail request from Mike Davis, editor of the journal Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine, who writes, "I am interested in writing (with selected colleagues) a review article on prolonged immersion in open water and its mental and physiological effects, using selected accounts from divers as a vehicle for this, to bring the article into the 'real world.' I would be interested to hear from lost divers (or others who know of such incidents) who were immersed at sea for longer than 24 hours." If you have a story for Davis, send me an e-mail at, with some details of the incident and the best e-mail address to reach you at. I'll pass it on to him, and he'll contact those whose stories are a good fit for the research article.

Prince William, Head Divemaster:  May 29, 2014

The British Sub-Aqua Clubis unique in that it has royalty in charge of it. Prince William just became the president of BSAC, taking over from his dad, Prince Charles (seems like this title is another one passed down via royal primogeniture). In next month’s issue of the British magazine SCUBA, Prince William listed his goal as president: “I look forward to working with BSAC to encourage even more young people into the sport, for they are the next generation of underwater explorers, pioneers and protectors . . . I hope that one day my son, George, will also experience the wonders that snorkeling and scuba diving have to offer.”

Bonaire Gets More Direct Flights from the U.S:  May 29, 2014

Starting August 22, Delta will add an additional weekly flight on Friday, with the same inbound/outbound times as its current Saturday flight. So on Friday and Saturday, Delta Flight 663 will leave Atlanta on 9:45 am, arriving in Kralendijk at 1:55 pm, and Flight 662 will depart Bonaire 3:59 p.m., arriving back in Atlanta on 7:22 p.m. And after a successful pilot program, United Airlines will start its Houston-Bonaire flight again in September and keep it going year-round, departing George Bush on Friday afternoons, and returning on Saturday mornings.

Coming Up in Undercurrent:  May 29, 2014

Our undercover travelin' divers review diving in Indonesia and the Mexican Yucatan . . . how to trim the weight and cut the costs of dive travel . . . do you need to download the data off your dive computer? . . . part II of "Why Divers Die:" more real-life examples of dive deaths that could have been avoided . . . how an attack on a scuba diver underwater in Hawaii is connected to the controversial aquarium-fish industry . . . and much more.

Thanks, Facebook Fans:  May 29, 2014

On March 19, nine months after we started our Facebook page, Undercurrent reached the magic number of 10,000 "Likes." As a thank-you, we asked our Facebook fans to try to win a free annual subscription to Undercurrent by answering this three-part question: There was once a liveabord dive boat that carried more than 200 divers --name: 1) the vessel; 2) at least one year in which it sailed; and 3) and at least two destinations it visited. Maryellen Gibson (Destin, FL) is our newest subscriber; she guessed the Ocean Spirit, which she went on back in 1990 to do diving in Honduras, Belize and Cozumel. We're now up to 10,750 fans. If you haven't joined us on Facebook yet, please do. We post extra dive news, videos and other relevant stuff at

Indonesia and Palau Are Doing It, Why Can't We?:  May 29, 2014

"February was a banner month for marine conservation and sustainable marine tourism," writes underwater photography pro and Undercurrent contributor Maurine Shimlock. "Indonesia announced that the entire archipelago would become the world's largest manta ray sanctuary. Palau declared a ban on all commercial fishing within its exclusive economic zone. What, if any action has been taken elsewhere, especially by the U.S., to protect sharks and manta rays within its waters?" Read Maurine's commentary on America's efforts -- or lack of them -- in her latest blog post for us, "Taking a Stand," at

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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