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Updated January 15, 2024

A Hammerhead Nursery
The 2024 edition of the Travelin' Diverís Chapbook
Sherwood BCs are Still Falling Apart
Remarkably Bright Creatures
Bob Sachs, Founder of Dive Bequia
Blue Sea Dragons Washed Ashore
Egypt's Red Sea is Safe?
How Do You Tip on Dive Trips?

A Hammerhead Nursery.   January 15, 2024

Scientists may have found the nursery of tropical Atlantic great hammerhead sharks, where they give birth to their young. It's Biscayne Bay, which stretches south from Miami to the Keys. Remarkably, it's one of Florida's busiest spots for boating and fishing. Despite being large marine creatures (the largest great hammerhead ever caught was as long as the largest confirmed great white shark), little is known about their natural history, but the nursery discovery is a good start.

Hammerhead shark with a snorkeler

The 2024 edition of the Travelin' Diverís Chapbook.   January 15, 2024

The 864-page paperback containing 546 first-hand reports on liveaboards and resorts Undercurrent subscribers dived in 2023 is now available. If you submitted a report or two, you'll find it here. While it's accessible online for subscribers, you can also purchase a printed copy for $39.95 (plus tax and shipping). Click here to order from Lulu.

Sherwood BCs are Still Falling Apart.  January 15, 2024

Mary Clark (Keokuk IA) wrote that hers fell apart while diving in October 2023 in the Bahamas while 15 feet down. Instead of being threaded through the body of the BC as is typical with other BCs, the cam bands of her Sherwood Avid BC pass through separate attached plastic blocks. The plastic eventually grew brittle and broke away, allowing her tank to separate from her and her BC. Luckily, the boat had a safety line out, and she could navigate the choppy waves to get to the boat, but she only used her snorkel as the tank was pulling away from her. She called Sherwood, and "they pretty much said they don't have issues, but if I could send the pictures of the BC and the serial number, they might be able to give her some money towards another one." Her husband has stopped using his. Several of our readers have reported a similar issue with their Avid. We have contacted Sherwood in the past about that problem, to no avail.

Remarkably Bright Creatures   January 15, 2024

Remarkably Bright Creatures is Shelby Van Pelt's debut novel, narrated in part by an ornery octopus living in a public aquarium who explains what it's like to be an octopus. It's sold more than 1.4 million copies since its 2022 release, and if you haven't read it, you're missing a charming and insightful tale. She was inspired by Soul of an Octopus, a nonfiction bestseller by Sy Montgomery, another book essential to a diver's library.

Bob Sachs, Founder of Dive Bequia.  January 15, 2024

Bob Sachs, Founder of Dive Bequia, died on January 3, piloting his own plane, which crashed in Caribbean waters near Petit Nevis just after taking off from Bequia. Also killed were Christian Klepser, a German actor known for his roles in the Speed Racer, The Good German, and Valkyrie, and his two young daughters. We made a lot of good dives with Bob and are greatly saddened by the deaths.

Blue Sea Dragons Washed Ashore.  January 15, 2024

A deep water nudibranch, distinguished by a vivid blue top side and feathery gills resembling wings, is rarely seen by divers because it inhabits water too deep. However, after floods and an industrial oil spill, hundreds washed up on a beach near Chennai, India. While the blue sea dragon is a rare sight, its captivating appearance, with dual camouflage capabilities -- using the blue side against the ocean's hue and the silver side against the water's bright surface -- adds to its mystique. Blue sea dragons are venomous.

Blue sea dragon

Egypt's Red Sea is Safe?   January 15, 2024

We have noted in previous emails, the Egyptian dive industry is alive and well during the Israeli war, and it still is, regardless of the Houthisí attacks on ships. The Egyptian Red Sea is more than a thousand miles from Bab el Mendab, where the Yemeni Houthis are causing trouble, and war-torn Gaza is a long way away across the Sinai desert. Port Ghalib is 400 miles from Gaza, Hurghada 296 miles away, and Sharm el Sheikh is 240 miles away. The Egyptian diving industry is booming but not with bombs, and European divers remain plentiful, drawn to clear water and great wrecks. Go join them.

Red Sea Map
Image courtesy of BBC.com

How Do You Tip on Dive Trips?  January 15, 2024

We'd love to get your thoughts about dive trip tipping. How do you decide whom to tip and how much? Do you tip at all? Do you offer that extra appreciation for all and sundry services? Do you tip individually or in a pool? Let us know to help us prepare a story on what is customary among Undercurrent travelers. Write to BenDDavison@undercurrent.org and tell us how you approach the subject, not forgetting to add your town and state.

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.

 

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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