Dear Fellow Divers,
This is the first of our blogs and every few days or so, a number of diving writers with important opinions will have something to say: John Bantin, who spends a dozen or more weeks a year testing equipment for DIVER magazine; Bob Halstead, the retired owner of the Telita in PNG, who is never at a loss for words; Burt Jones and Maurine Shimlock, leading photographers and writers putting together a guide on Raja Ampat, Indonesia; Bret Gilliam, who has more insider knowledge about the industry than any combination of a dozen others; Doc Vikingo, who addresses an endless number of health and safety issues in Undercurrent, other magazines, and on the web….it’s a great list.
As for me, who started Undercurrent when I was a penniless but crusading diver, I’ll have a few things to say too. For example, as I write this, the swine flu scare is gaining ground and Cozumel, a diver’s favorite Caribbean haunt, is one of the areas where it has shown up. Bummer for anyone with plans to go there, double bummer for the good people of Cozumel, who are already teetering financially from the downturn in traveling divers.
About the only time I ever get travel insurance is if I have to hook up with a liveaboard. If my plane is delayed, I could miss the entire trip, so it’s worth having insurance. But I’d sure be thinking about it now if I were to head anywhere in the Caribbean because no one knows the boundaries of this disease. To get covered against these unpredictable sorts of things, travel insurance policies that might cover such events require that you take out a policy somewhere near the time you make your first payment. If you bought a flight to Cozumel in March and decide in May that you need to cancel, you either have to have that policy in hand or eat whatever amount you have prepaid.
If you have recently put some money toward your trip, your travel agent may still be able to help you. Or go to www.insuremytravel.com, where you might have some luck finding a policy to cover you. Good luck.
Ben Davison, founder and publisher, Undercurrent