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Updated November 28, 2023

Belize Aggressor IV Runs Aground
The Good Old Fashioned Compass. Forgotten in the Digital Age
You're Reading Our Free Mid-month Email
You Never Know What You'll Find
Don't Feed the Dolphins
Scuba Diving Magic
Delicious But Illegal
Do You Wear Hearing Aids?
Careful What You Tuck Inside Your Wetsuit
Bret Gilliam

Belize Aggressor IV

Belize Aggressor IV Runs Aground.   November 28, 2023

While Aggressor Fleet was busy promoting week-long trips on their 115-foot liveaboard at the DEMA show the morning of November 16, in Belize, the vessel broke free from its Lighthouse Reef mooring and drifted aground while some divers were underwater. All 17 passengers and 8 crew were evacuated by Belize Coast Guard to a nearby island and then transported to Belize City by the Aggressor III. Early reports say the hull is breached. Belize authorities may fine the vessel's owners for damaging the reef. One week later the vessel was still stuck on the reef. The whole story will be in the next issue of Undercurrent in January.

The Good Old Fashioned Compass. Forgotten in the Digital Age.   November 28, 2023

"The wreck's over there." While you probably have compass software on your dive computer, don't forget a simple wrist magnetic compass is still helpful if you want to swim to a reef or wreck and return on a 180-degree course. It's easy to use, and while following it, you won't lose your computer display. If you have forgotten how to use it, it takes a little practice (even on land) to become proficient again. An inexpensive device, it can save you a ton of embarrassment when you must surface several times to locate your boat.

You're Reading Our Free Mid-month Email.  November 28, 2023

Why not receive our ten monthly, 16-plus page, ad-free newsletters and become a paid subscriber? We cover subjects other dive publications avoid for fear of upsetting their advertisers. But we don't accept advertising. We are accountable only to divers. Our travel reviews are written by undercover authors who pay their way. Our stories cover equipment problems, liveaboard safety, the ins and outs of tipping, how dive insurance can fail you, and much, much more. In December, subscribers receive the Travelin' Diver's Chapbook, filled with hundreds of travel reviews by fellow subscribers. Not only that, you have access to more than 11,000 Undercurrent independent readers' reports -- opinions and impressions posted without fear or favor by those who have stayed at the resorts or have been on liveaboards worldwide. I am offering you a seven-month trial subscription for just $19.95. And I'll send you a FREE download of the 40-page e-books Eight Great Liveaboards (and One Disaster) and Eight Great Dive Resorts (and One Dog). If you want your money back at any time during this period, you'll get it, a promise I've kept since we started publishing in 1975. Click Here.

follis - Roman coins

You Never Know What You'll Find.   November 28, 2023

An Italian sport diver of Sardinia in the Mediterranean unexpectedly discovered about 50,000 ancient bronze Roman coins, exceptionally preserved with still-legible inscriptions. Called follis, they're bronze coins introduced around 294 A.D. Most were found in a shallow sandy area between seagrass and the beach, suggesting nearby shipwrecks.

Don't Feed the Dolphins.  November 28, 2023

Sarasota Bay off Florida's west coast is year-round home to bottlenose dolphins. Boaters frequently offer them fish and guts from cleaned fish, and the dolphins love an easy meal. But the boaters are killing their kids. Researchers have found that dolphin mothers who interact with boaters have nearly twice as many babies as those who don't. However, those babies are nine times more likely to die prematurely because young and juvenile dolphins can get killed by boats or fishing gear as they try to stay close to their mothers. Feeding dolphins is illegal under the U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Scuba Diving Magic.  November 28, 2023

A 13-year-old magician, Avery Emerson Fisher, combined her love of magic and scuba diving by plunging into a new Guinness World Record for the most magic tricks performed underwater, 38 tricks within three minutes, at the Aquarium of the Bay in San Francisco (CA), where the water was 58°F, and schools of fish swam around her. She trained for months and even earned a Scuba Magician certificate from Chef Anton, the creator of Scuba Magician, a PADI Distinctive Specialty. (What's next, underwater turkey roasting?) See the video here.

Delicious But Illegal.   November 28, 2023

A man in Key West collected, cooked, and ate two queen conchs, noted for their beautiful shells. His decision landed him in hot water similar to that in which he cooked them, or, rather, he landed temporarily behind bars when he was arrested by Florida Fish and Wildlife police. Harvesting queen conch in Florida can be a felony.

Do You Wear Hearing Aids?  November 28, 2023

If you're a user, you know it's easy to forget you're wearing them, and with prices up to six grand or more, they're precious. Rod Ellis (Smithton, MO) was a tad unhappy when he forgot to remove his before a Cozumel check-out dive. "One was lost to Davy Jones, and one made a short dive for a few minutes but somehow survived." He says, "Buy hearing aid insurance. Back home, they were replaced for $300." His tip: Add their removal to your pre-dive checklist.

Careful What You Tuck Inside Your Wetsuit.   November 28, 2023

After Perth, Australia's Matt Rogerson finished his regular good deed, snorkeling and collecting trash from his local beach; he was washing his gear when he noticed one of the most deadly creatures in the world hiding in an abandoned snorkel he'd picked up, and stuffed in his wetsuit. The tiny blue ring octopus, no more than an inch long, conttains tetrodotoxin, and this little fellow's bite could have paralyzed Rogerson, maybe even killed him. He says he'll be more careful about what he tucks inside his wetsuit.

Bret Gilliam.   November 28, 2023

There was no more unique and accomplished individual in the dive industry than Bret, whose passing left boatloads of friends behind to raise a glass to his memory. Among other things, Bret was a founder of SDI/TDI, and the training agency held a party in his memory during the November DEMA show in New Orleans when Bret's old friend Jonathon Edwards, a folk singer-songwriter best known for his 1971 hit single “Sunshine,” performed to the delight of those there. John Bantin, Undercurrent's Senior Editor, posted his remembrance on the Undercurrent website. You can read John's blog by clicking here.

You're Reading Our Free Mid-month Email.   November 28, 2023

Paid subscribers receive a monthly 16-plus page ad-free newsletter covering subjects traditional publications avoid for fear of upsetting their advertisers. But we don't accept advertising. We are beholden only to divers. Our travel reviews are written by undercover authors who pay their way. Our stories cover equipment problems, liveaboard safety, the ins and outs of tipping, how dive insurance can fail you, and much, much more. In December, subscribers receive the Travelin' Diver's Chapbook, filled with hundreds of travel reviews by fellow subscribers. Not only that, you have full access to more than 11,000 Undercurrent independent readers' reports -- opinions and impressions posted without fear or favor by those who have stayed at the resorts or have been on liveaboards worldwide. I am offering you a seven-month trial subscription for just $19.95. And I'll send you a FREE download of the 40-page e-books Eight Great Liveaboards (and One Disaster) and Eight Great Dive Resorts (and One Dog). If you want your money back at any time during this period, you'll get it, a promise I've kept since we started publishing in 1975. Click Here.

Ben Davison, editor/publisher
BenDDavison@undercurrent.org

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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.

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.

 

4 May, 2024

20 May, 2024

23 April, 2024

16 March, 2024

16 February, 2024

15 January, 2024

16 December, 2023

28 November, 2023

25 October, 2023

26 September, 2023

18 August, 2023

20 July, 2023

12 June, 2023

27 May, 2023

22 April, 2023

21 March, 2023

21 February, 2023

22 January, 2023

17 December, 2022

26 November, 2022

19 October, 2022

23 September, 2022

15 August, 2022

21 July, 2022

21 June, 2022

16 May, 2022

29 April, 2022

30 March, 2022

25 February, 2022

24 January, 2022

 

3 December, 2021

27 October, 2021

21 September, 2021

August 18, 2021

28 July, 2021

12 June, 2021

21 May, 2021

26 April, 2021

11 April, 2021

27 March, 2021

12 March, 2021

28 February, 2021

9 February, 2021

31 January, 2021

20 January, 2021

5 January, 2021

20 December, 2020

1 December, 2020

15 November, 2020

1 November, 2020

13 October, 2020

1 October, 2020

21 September, 2020

9 September, 2020

21 August, 2020

8 August, 2020

18 July, 2020

8 July, 2020

25 June, 2020

9 June, 2020

May, 2020

April, 2020

March, 2020

February, 2020

January, 2020

Online Updates* Archive, 2000-2019

* Sometimes referred to as Upwellings


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