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Updated December 20, 2016
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.

Nikon’s New Waterproof Action Camera
Undercurrent Came Through For Me.”
Tropical Ice or Fear Game?
The Soul of an Octopus
What You’re Missing in Undercurrent
NASA Wants to Save the Reefs
Dengue Fever in Hawaii
Four Sunscreens that Truly Save the Reefs
The Shortcomings of Diving with Winged BCs
Your Toothpaste May Be Killing Marine Life
The Class Action Lawsuit against Aqua Lung and Its Faulty Suunto Dive Computers Continues
Congratulations, Maurine Shimlock
Coming Up in Undercurrent

Nikon’s New Waterproof Action Camera  January 20, 2016

Move over, GoPro. Nikon just announced a waterproof action competitor. Called the KeyMission, the square device captures 4K video, but unlike current GoPro models, it features wide-angle lenses on both sides, and images are then combined in a 360-degree view. The KeyMission will be available this spring, but no price has been announced. See a teaser of the KeyMission here.

Undercurrent Came Through For Me.”  January 20, 2016

Reader Ed Leibowitz (Jersey City, NJ) wrote us that he’s glad he extended his Undercurrent subscription. “As a result of this, I found out about the discounted Sea Hunter trip to Cocos Island that you sent to subscribers in the mid-month email last spring. I would not have known about this if I wasn’t receiving Undercurrent. I booked the trip with Jenny Collister of Reef and Rainforest, who called it the “Undercurrent Special for the Sea Hunter.” As a subscriber, you too can get first dibs on exclusive dive travel deals we offer to readers, plus detailed travel reviews, the hard-hitting investigations of the dive industry, the in-depth equipment reviews, the different angles of diving that no other publication covers, and more. Your satisfaction guaranteed or your money back. Subscribe now here.

Tropical Ice or Fear Game?  January 20, 2016

If you were to search for a thriller to read and only knew the title, which of these two would you select? I asked that question of our readers in our November email. Of the nearly 1,300 votes cast, Tropical Ice won by a 2-to-1 margin so that’s what I’ll call my thriller, which my agent has sold for May publication. What’s the ice? Well, it’s a chum ball, but I’ll offer no more details so as not to spoil the fun. Thanks for helping me select the title.

The Soul of an Octopus  January 20, 2016

A decade ago in a posh San Francisco restaurant, I was tempted to order the grilled Pacific octopus. But I didn't, recalling that an octopus, by many counts, is smarter and more emotional than many wise mammals. . . . .Having just read Sy Montgomery's new book, The Soul of an Octopus (a finalist for last year's National Book Award for Nonfiction), it’s clear this animal belongs in a Head Start class, not in a sushi restaurant. I guarantee you'll finish this book in absolute awe of the octopus.”Order The Soul of an Octopus through us at here and you’ll get Amazon’s best price -- and our profits will go to save coral reefs.

What You’re Missing in Undercurrent  January 20, 2016

Sam's Tours, Palau: a less expensive alternative to a liveaboard . . . bad divemasters, shark scares and why you shouldn't bring "dirty" dollars overseas . . . read this book, and you'll never want to eat octopus again . . . DEMA's politics, and its odd fellowship with the oil industry. . . Jennifer Aniston's new husband believes there was a plot to kill him while diving . . . a wacky dive instructor's course leads to a $15,000 settlement for a bent diver . . . why not all certified liveaboards have been thoroughly inspected . . . a federal judge rules that a PADI dive liability waiver doesn’t cover snorkeling . . . the hazards of diving choppy waters . . . and much more.

NASA Wants to Save the Reefs  January 20, 2016

Given the threats facing the world's coral reefs, NASA is kicking off a three-year expedition named the Coral Reef Airborne Laboratory, or CORAL, to measure the condition of coral reefs with advanced instruments attached to airplanes. Principal investigator Eric Hochberg told the Huffington Post he and his team will use something called a “portable remote imaging spectrometer” to survey key reef systems in Florida, Hawaii, Palau, the Mariana Islands and Australia. By recording the unique spectral signatures of living corals and algae (as corals die, algae numbers increase), the spectrometer will give an extensive picture of what's happening to the world's reefs, allow scientists to better predict the future, and guide policy makers.

Dengue Fever in Hawaii  January 20, 2016

If you’re planning a dive trip to the Big Island, heads up: Cases of the mosquito-borne disease are on the rise there -- as of January 8, 210 cases have occurred -- 190 to Hawaii Island residents, 20 to visitors. Undercurrent blogger “Doc Zeke,” a public health scientist and diver for 40-plus years, has posted his view of the outbreak and how to protect yourself on our blog. Read Dengue Fever in Paradise at

Four Sunscreens that Truly Save the Reefs  January 20, 2016

You probably already know that sunscreen can damage coral, but some claim to be reef-safe. Scuba Diver Life compiled a list of what they view as the truly reef-safe sunscreens currently on the market: Stream2Sea (which we wrote about in our September issue), Green People, Badger Healthy Body Care and Raw Elements. Read the details here.

The Shortcomings of Diving with Winged BCs  January 20, 2016

One of our subscribers, J. Konstanza (Sacramento, CA), wrote to us, describing his problems with the Scubapro Knight Hawk, as well as his spouse's issues with the Scubapro Lady Hawk BCD -- common among BCDs that have a large buoyancy cell separate from the harness and independent from it. "I believe they have a flawed design that traps air on one side or the other of the BC.” Read the issues he had, plus what John Bantin, our veteran gear tester, says about winged BCs and whether single-tank divers really need them. The article in this month’s issue is free to read at

Your Toothpaste May Be Killing Marine Life  January 20, 2016

The minuscule plastic "microbeads" often found in soap and toothpaste are harmful to sea life. That's because each day, consumers wash these bits down the drain by the ton, where they travel into the oceans and end up in the gullets of fish, turtles, marine mammals and seabirds. Microbeads are found in many top brands, including Crest toothpaste, Axe shower gels, Neutrogena skin care products, and face and body scrubs made for The Body Shop, Rite Aid, and Estee Lauder. Now both countries and companies are cracking down on microbeads. Unilever and Colgate- Palmolive have stopped using microbeads; Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson say they will follow in 2017. And last month, both houses of Congress passed the Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015, which will prohibit the manufacture of "rinse-off" cosmetics with microbeads as of 2016, ban their use in cosmetics starting in 2018, and prohibit their use in over-the-counter drugs from 2019.

The Class Action Lawsuit against Aqua Lung and Its Faulty Suunto Dive Computers Continues  January 20, 2016

Aqua Lung in the U.S. has failed in its move to dismiss a class action claiming that some Suunto diving computers it distributed were dangerously defective. As previously reported in the August issue of Undercurrent, lead plaintiff Ralph Huntzinger claims they can malfunction and cause injury or death. Read what a federal judge ruled – the article is free to read at

Congratulations, Maurine Shimlock  January 20, 2016

The veteran underwater photographer -- and frequent Undercurrent contributor -- now has a fish named after her. Marine biologists Gerald Allen and Mark Erdmann, authors of the prolific Reef Fish of the East Indies, have named a lovely yellow and blue damselfish recently discovered in Indonesia's West Papua region Chrysiptera maurinae in Shimlock's honor because she has "zealously promoted marine conservation of Cenderwasih Bay and the surrounding Bird's Head region by means of her excellent journalism and photography."

Coming Up in Undercurrent  January 20, 2016

What gets you a better dive package deal: the Internet or the travel agent? . . . where the wild things are: aboard the Galapagos Sky . . . why dark chocolate makes for sweeter diving . . . our latest “Why Divers Die” investigation, and how divers may find themselves in potentially fatal situations . . . what drunk rats can tell us about diving, drinking and DCS . . . and much more.

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, 2016

DEMA News, November, 2016

November, 2016

October, 2016

September, 2016

August, 2016

July, 2016

June, 2016

May, 2016

April, 2016

March, 2016

February, 2016

January, 2016

Online Updates* Archive, 2000-2015

* Sometimes referred to as Upwellings

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