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Updated December 20, 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.

Did You Get Your Copy of the 2015 Travelin' Diver's Chapbook Yet?
Have You Submitted Your Underwater Photos Anywhere?
The Best Diving Info Comes from Undercurrent's Writers
The World's Oldest Diver?
Are You Too Old to Dive?
Coming Up in Undercurrent
A Diver's Dream in Las Vegas
The Blackfish Fallout Continues at SeaWorld
Give Your Buddy a Great Dive Book for Christmas
Need a Cheap Camera Diffuser Underwater?
Dive Shows for Divers
Our Latest Travel Story
Are You Eating Cleaner Shrimp?
John Bantin's Amazing Diving Stories Now Out in Paperback
Is This the Next Great Dive Destination?

Did You Get Your Copy of the 2015 Travelin' Diver's Chapbook Yet?:  December 20, 2014

Our latest edition is available to order in a print copy. Thanks goes to our Undercurrent subscribers who sent in their reader reports, filling up 797 pages with nearly 600 reviews of about dive resorts and liveaboards around the world. It's the most up-to-date information about dive destinations you're going to find anywhere. Order your paperback copy - just go to our home page . Or get it for a 25% discount when you subscribe.

Have You Submitted Your Underwater Photos Anywhere?:  December 20, 2014

Have you ever sent one of your photographs into a contest, submitted one to a magazine, online publication or any type of professional organization. Did you get paid? Did you not get paid? Did your photo show up elsewhere . . . and did you know about it beforehand? Let me know your experience - I may use it in a story we're considering about the financial pros and cons of underwater photography. Write me at

The Best Diving Info Comes from Undercurrent's Writers:  December 20, 2014

John Bantin, one of our top writers, spent years testing dive equipment for the British magazine Diver before he retired, although he still writes for us. Nigel Haines is one of our subscribers who is glad of that fact. He wrote us to say, "As a subscriber to the dive magazine John worked for, I wondered why his articles no longer seemed to be appearing. As a diver for some 40 years, I no longer brave the waters around Britain, but now retired, I manage to get away to exotic locations three or four times a year, and I use John's articles on destinations as guides to where next to dive. Thank goodness I'll still be able to read John's pearls of wisdom in Undercurrent." Get pearls of wisdom on a monthly basis from Bantin and other veteran divers who write for us and contribute to our stories like Bret Gilliam, Ken Kurtis, Doc Vikingo, Burt Jones and Maurine Shimlock. Join the other subscribers who, like Haines, find great dive tips, news and experiences through us. Plus you'll get an autographed copy of There's a Cockroach in my Regulator, our 244-page book filled with scores of the best, most weird, most unusual stories Undercurrent has published. (Already got a copy? It'll be a great holiday gift for your dive buddy.) Satisfaction guaranteed or your money back. Subscribe now here

The World's Oldest Diver?:  December 20, 2014

Undercurrent subscriber Erwin Staller (Hauppage, NY), age 93, claims to be it. He sent us a certificate he recently received for that honor from Big Blue Unlimited in Turks & Caicos, and wrote, "I just returned from Turks & Caicos, where I am being certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest diver in the world. I dive with Big Blue Unlimited on a regular basis (I've been diving with them when they started, and I was already 76)." Congratulations, Erwin, for the honor.

Are You Too Old to Dive?:  December 20, 2014

Many Undercurrent readers are veteran divers who have been around the block, but "veteran" could also be code for a "senior" diver. While most of you are still plenty fit for diving and rarin' to go to remote parts of the globe for your underwater fix, are there some dive operators who think divers over "a certain age" are just too old to dive? We discuss that topic in our feature "Are You Too Old to Dive?" Free for all to view at /

Coming Up in Undercurrent:  December 20, 2014

Our undercover travelin' divers review liveaboards in the Caribbean and Tonga, resorts in Curacao, Panama and Indonesia . . . why you should research weather conditions before you book a dive trip . . . should a diver's certification certificate last forever?. . .our report of the latest and greatest gear on display at the DEMA dive industry trade show last month . . . why there's such a brouhaha over the "Miss Scuba" beauty pageant . . and much more.

A Diver's Dream in Las Vegas:  December 20, 2014

Undercurrent subscriber Leigh Vinzant (Centennial, NV) says, "I did the Diver's Dream at Le Reve, a show at the Wynn Las Vegas, and what a magical experience! The Diver's Dream package included a two-night stay in a suite at the Wynn, the VIP Indulgence treatment at Le Reve, a backstage tour, an orientation dive in the Dream Theatre pool and a dive during a live performance of Le Reve. We took an orientation dive of the Dream pool. We swam through the tunnels the performers use to enter the pool, and watched the dive team get everything in place for the evening performance. That night, we wore their all-black equipment. Hidden from the audience's view, we followed the dive team into the pool. As the lights dimmed and the music started, performers waved at us as they swam by, and dive team members offered up fist pumps. Watching the show from underwater was incredible. Before leaving, we were given SDI specialty certifications in 'Dream Diving.'" The price? The equivalent of 10 days in Honduras -- $2,450 a couple - but for Vinzant, it was definitely worth it.

The Blackfish Fallout Continues at SeaWorld:  December 20, 2014

On December 12, SeaWorld CEO Jim Atchison announced he is stepping down on January 15, but will stay on the board and as a consultant. Sea World also plans on cutting jobs for "cost-saving efforts." This all comes after a horrible 2014, with an attendance drop, a plummeting stock price and multiple lawsuits, including one from shareholders who said they were misled about the impact of the documentary Blackfish on SeaWorld's performance. An industry analyst told the Orlando Sentinel, "[The] board will probably . . . seek someone who is less [concerned] about the operations of the park and a lot more about, 'How do we handle the public relations and the media aspect of SeaWorld?' I think that's the biggest challenge they have now."

Give Your Buddy a Great Dive Book for Christmas:  December 20, 2014

We have just a few copies left of There's a Cockroach in My Regulator, our 242-page paperback with some of the more unique and quirky stories ever published in Undercurrent. It's a fun read for every diver, but even non-divers can enjoy it. One of those is Carla Pollard from Mill Valley, CA, who writes in her Amazon review of our book, "I know nothing about diving, and I never subscribed to Undercurrent, so I found the compilation of articles positively mesmerizing. This book was a real page-turner for me. To have so many enthralling stories in one place is a jewel." Buy it directly from Amazon for $9.95, plus postage and handling, by clicking here. Order by December 18th for Christmas delivery.

Need a Cheap Camera Diffuser Underwater?:  December 20, 2014

Ken Kurtis, owner of the Reef Seekers dive shop in Beverly Hills, CA and a regular Undercurrent contributor, has this tip. "Underwater photographers, if you're ever in need of an emergency diffuser, the plastic top of a Pringles can makes a really good one. It spreads the light out a bit and costs you maybe half a stop of exposure. When I was shooting with my old Nikon SB-105s, the Pringles top fit perfectly over the front of the flash -- I just added a little duct tape and was good to go." Any flavor of chips will do.

Dive Shows for Divers:  December 20, 2014

Our World Underwater is hosting some excellent dive and travel shows just for sport divers. The next one is in Dallas on January 25-26, followed by Chicago February 27-March 1. New gear, new travel destinations, demonstrations, film festivals -- they're not-to-be missed get-togethers for sport divers and their friends. More information at

Our Latest Travel Story:  December 20, 2014

Want to dive in Raja Ampat, but can't decide which liveaboard to go on? One of our undercover travel reviewers, who recently spent three weeks diving there, explains why the Mermaid Fleet is a good bet. Read the report on the Mermaid I and the Mermaid II -- it's a full travel review we posted as our latest blog. Free to view, along with our other latest posts, at /blog

Are You Eating Cleaner Shrimp?:  December 20, 2014

According to DNA analyses conducted by the environmental group Oceana, 35 percent of shrimp sold in U.S. grocery stores and restaurants was improperly labeled by species or type. Most commonly, farmed shrimp is passed off as wild or "Gulf caught." In New York City, 43 percent of shrimp samples were improperly labeled. Of the 20 species Oceana identified, eight were not previously known to be on the market for consumption. According to National Geographic, these included coral "cleaner" shrimp, "which pick parasites off reefs and are popular in the aquarium trade."

John Bantin's Amazing Diving Stories Now Out in Paperback:  December 20, 2014

In the search for great underwater adventure writing, one needs to look no further than this absorbing book, just out in paperback, by one of Undercurrent's top-notch contributors. Bantin has compiled dozens of tales that will intrigue and delight. Consider the British diver who barely survived a crocodile attack while diving from an Indonesian 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. Buy his book through us here

Is This the Next Great Dive Destination?:  December 20, 2014

Last month, the central African nation of Gabon declared almost a quarter of its territorial sea off limits to commercial fishing, creating a first-of-its-kind network of marine-protected areas in the region, which is home to more than 20 species of rays and sharks. The area will cover 18,000 square miles of ocean and will protect 20 species of whales and dolphins, and four species of marine turtles, including the world's largest breeding leatherback turtle population. Gabon's president, Ali Bongo Ondimba, made the announcement at the opening of the IUCN World Parks Congress, held only once every 10 years, which drew thousands of delegates from 165 countries.

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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