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Updated July 8, 2008
|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 these news alerts and special offers like these once a month or so.|
Poseidon's BCD Recall
Swedish dive gear manufacturer Poseidon recalled a batch of its W50 wings last month because the seam holding the two bladder halves together can easily break, deflating the BCD. The faulty bladders are marked with batch number 5445 and were sold between September 2007 and June 10, 2008. Poseidon W50 wing users can check the batch number by opening the zipper between the two "legs" of the wing to reveal the inner bladder. Between the bladder's two legs is a tab with article number, batch number and manufacturing year. If you see a '5445,' take it back to your dive shop for a free replacement.
As a sidebar to our discovery of a dive operation on Belize's Tobacco Caye, we reported on how to use those frequent-flyer miles. "Plan 10 to 11 months beforehand, because most airlines open frequent flyer reservations about 330 days in advance. I use Northwest miles, which also work on Continental and Delta, two airlines with lots of Caribbean and Latin American flights. When I fly Continental or Delta, I put the miles on my Northwest account so they are concentrated in one pot. By booking close to that opening gate, I've been able to get the exact or approximate dates to the Caribbean locations I want, using 35,000 miles. If I have to cancel or change a trip, Northwest charges only $50 to get my miles back. By booking way ahead, I haven't paid for a ticket to the Caribbean in years." And if you can travel at the last minute, underbooked flights get freed up for frequent-flyer use about two weeks before takeoff. Undercurrent is filled with great tips like this. Become a subscriber now at https://www.undercurrent.org/secure/UCnow/UserNewSub.php.
If you're holding tickets to anywhere in the Caribbean, reconfirm those flights right up to your departure day. The rising cost of jet fuel will seriously affect the Caribbean because floundering American Airlines controls much of the market; for example, it will cut daily flights out of San Juan from 93 to 51. Spirit Airlines will close its San Juan hub, and Continental Airlines will soon announce destination and flight cuts. Smaller islands are asking LIAT and Air Jamaica to increase flights and coordinate schedules to fill the gaps. On the bright side, JetBlue plans to add daily flights to Puerto Rico this fall, and Virgin Atlantic may also add extra U.S. flights to the Caribbean.
If you're planning your next dive trip, you need some good ID book for fish and corals. We've got the best ones, covering the Caribbean, Indonesia, Fiji, Hawaii, Mexico and other points. Go to Undercurrent and click on "Diving Books and Guides." You'll get the best price Amazon.com has to offer, and all of our profits go to save those fish and coral reefs you'll be reading about on your next trip.
Go to Undercurrent to read "Last Word on Dive Tipping," in which I, Ben Davison, the lifelong publisher of Undercurrent (33 years now) sets the rules for tipping on your dive trip. I explain why tipping 15% of a liveaboard trip is often outlandish; where $10 a day for your dive guide is right, and where it's just throwing money away. You'll find it in our July 2008 issue, on the Web, free to nonsubscribers.
* Get a seven-month trial subscription to Undercurrent for only $29.95, and in addition to your seven issues delivered by mail, you'll receive the all-new 2009 Travelin' Divers' Chapbook as soon as it's off the press;
Ben Davison, editor/publisher
Note: Undercurrent is a not-for-profit organization. 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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