Undercurrent — Consumer Reporting for
the Scuba Diving Community since 1975
July 20, 2009
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Poseidon Announces Recall of BCD Part: The Swedish manufacturer is recalling 300 of its Besea W50 Diving Wings because the inner bladder can break, posing a drowning hazard. Poseidon says it received 15 reports from divers and dive shops of the inner bladders breaking, but no injuries have been reported. Bladders marked for recall were sold between September 2007 and June 2008, and have the batch number 5445 on a tab located between the “legs” of the inner bladder. Contact Poseidon USA for a free replacement by calling them at 877-673-4366 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Central, or send an email to email@example.com .
Should You Reschedule That Roatan Dive Trip?: The U.S. State Department issued a travel warning (http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/pa/pa_4526.html) after the military coup ousted Honduras’ president, recommending Americans “defer all non-essential travel to Honduras until further notice.” However, the Bay Islands are far from the unrest so flights directly to Roatan should be of no concern, but some people change planes in the cities of Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula, where there may be potential problems. If such events make you nervous, do your research. In the August issue of Undercurrent, we carry an article about other countries where the politics and violence may concern divers.
Did This Diver Get Away With His Wife’s Murder?: We’ve been continuously following the story of Gabe Watson, the American charged with killing his wife Tina while diving the Yongala wreck on the Great Barrier Reef in 2003. Even though Watson returned to Australia and pleaded guilty, the story has not ended there. See our July report on the twists, turns and shockers surrounding this case, and why there is so much outrage against the court’s decision. Get it now at Undercurrent
Annual Coral Spawn in Florida and Bonaire: Their reefs’ “love affairs,” synchronized mass-spawning rituals, are traditionally sparked by August, September and October’s full moons. Divers’ best bets in Florida are on August 5, 6 and 7 (full moon is August 6) and September 2, 3 and 4 (full moon is September 4). Contact any Keys dive shop about coral spawn dives. In Bonaire, spawning times are between three and nine days after the full moon, so the ideal times are September 7 to 13, and October 7 to 13. See Dive Friends Bonaire’s list (http://www.dive-friends-bonaire.com/pdfs/coral_spawning2009.pdf) of predicted spawning times for various marine life.
Is Palau Still Safe to Dive? Of Course: The Pacific island made headlines when it agreed to accept a group of Turkic Muslims from China, imprisoned in Guantanamo after being captured in Afghanistan and Pakistan in 2001(the Pentagon then determined they were not “enemy combatants” but the men were stuck in legal limbo). Some locals are raising hell about the new residents, like Sam Scott, owner of Sam’s Tours, who says he received e-mails from divers canceling their trips because of the refugees. “Palau’s image is important to us in the tourist industry,” Scott told The National in Australia. “We are making a mistake here. Leave well enough alone.” What, is he expecting these guys to be throwing bombs at Blue Corner dive boats? We take the side of Palau’s Visitors’ Authority, which hasn’t been able to afford an ad campaign for a while and believes the free worldwide press has raised its profile (though a few silly thick-headed divers have cancelled trips and missed out on some of the world’s best diving).
Perfect Your Underwater Photos: For underwater photographers at all levels, we have a selection of books on our website that explain how you can improve your techniques and create higher-quality photos and videos. Go to Undercurrent and click on “Diving Books and Guides.” Then click on “Complete List of Diving Books” at the top of the following page, and scroll down to see books listed in the “Photography/Video” section. Buy any of these great resources through us and you’ll get Amazon.com’s best discounted price. Plus, your purchase will help save the coral reefs you’re putting on film or disk.
Death Of A Shark Diver, Redux: Another story we followed in detail was the death last year of Austrian diver Markus Groh from a shark bite to the leg while on a shark dive in the Bahamas. In this July feature, we interview the owner of the boat Groh was on the dive for his perspective, and report on how bad dive boat practices in the Red Sea led to the most recent shark fatality. Read it for free at Undercurrent
Keep Hawaii’s Fish In The Ocean, Not Aquariums: In our July issue, writer Rene Umberger described the awful truth about how up to 75 percent of Hawaii’s endemic fish are being taken by the aquarium trade. Subscriber John Woolley (Seattle, WA) says we divers should contact Hawaii politicians and remind them about their most important consideration: money. “Those coming to marvel at the fish in their natural habitat –snorkelers and scuba divers — bring more money to Hawaii than those capturing the fish to send them out of the state. Add to this the ecological impacts of depleting fish stocks, and you have a looming ecological — and economic — disaster.” Send your comments to top state senators Colleen Hanabusa (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Fred Hemmings (email@example.com), and House of Representative leaders Calvin Say (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Lynn Finnegan (email@example.com).
Our Latest Blogs: Sex, Survival Skills and Underwater Photography: If you haven’t had a chance to check out our new blog section, do so. We’ve added a new batch of informative and entertaining posts from our expert contributors: Bret Gilliam (“Why? Because Itâ€™s The Rules”, “Honing the Survival Edge”, and “Sex, Drugs, Rock n’ Roll and Diving”); Burt Jones and Maurine Shimlock (“The Ugly Side of Underwater Photography”, “Sinking in Luxury”); Doc Vikingo (“Erectile Dysfunction Caused By Diving?”); and John Bantin (“Big Difference Between Day Boats and Liveaboards: The Customers”, “The Weighty Matter of Flying with Dive Gear” ). We’ll update the blog with a fresh perspective weekly. Follow them by going to Undercurrent and clicking on “Blog”. Note too that you can comment on these posts as well as rate them — just click on the stars under the title to give your rating.
Our Divers’ Forum: If you have a question about which liveaboard to choose, or which dive computer Undercurrent divers prefer, or looking for a buddy for a trip, or basically anything relating to diving, and haven’t found the answer yet — just post it on our Divers’ Forum — go to Undercurrent and click on “Forum” . Or you may find the answer there already — there’s been lots of activity lately. Here you can get answers from other serious divers who read Undercurrent.
Special Discounted Introductory Offer: Sign up now for a one-year membership to Undercurrent for $29.95, $10 off the standard offer. PLUS that includes a free (hard)copy of our Travelin’ Divers’ Chapbook 2009, with reviews of more than 1,000 dive resorts and liveaboards worldwide (due to postage costs, the Chapbook is only available to US and Canadian residents). Sign up for this special offer to email subscribers now here ( http://www.undercurrent.org/UCnow/join_2995chap2009em.shtml ).
Learn Why Divers Die – And How To Prevent It: Every year, we publish our “Why Divers Die” series, relying heavily on Diver Alert Network’s annual report on dive fatalities and incidents. Now DAN wants to bring that information straight to you, divers, and get you involved in the discussion on how to reduce dive-related deaths. It’s organizing a “Dive Fatality Workshop,” for April 8-10 at the Durham Hilton in Durham, NC. Five half-day sessions will cover topics including dive death investigations, legal issues, factors most associated with dive deaths in various countries, and the role of training and cardiovascular fitness. To get details, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call DAN”s research department at 919-684-2948.
Read the Entire July Issue Online: Subscribe now and read about: Komodo Dancer in Indonesia’s Flores Sea: how the diving rates in the Alor Archipelago . . . Puerto Rico diving: reports from opposite ends of the island . . . why a female dive instructor was jailed for being alone with her boss . . . can saunas prevent DCS? . . . a good way to go diving where no other diver has gone before . . . where Hawaii’s fish are ending up . . . are you using enough sunscreen? . . . passport tips for divers. . . reasons why a dive shop may not honor the warranty on your dive gear . . .. . . and much more.
Ben Davison, editor/publisher