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The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
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October 2022    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 48, No. 10   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Flotsam & Jetsam

from the October, 2022 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

A Driftnet in Sipadan. Named by Cousteau as one of the world's best dive sites, Malaysia's only truly oceanic island, Sipadan, has been strictly controlled by authorities to limit the number of divers. Sadly, on September 24, divers discovered a 1000-foot-long driftnet draped across the coral walls, from Barracuda Point to the Hanging Gardens. Eighteen different species had been trapped and died. Sabah Park rangers arrested a man who arrived in a local boat and admitted owning the net. Twenty-five volunteer divers registered with Sabah Parks worked overnight to remove the net.

Grey Sharks in the Caribbean? Subscribers who post reports sometimes call Caribbean sharks "gray sharks," which is what one of our writers recently did when describing a sighting on a Cayman trip. Long-time Undercurrent member Lee Jones (San Leandro, CA) points out that the Caribbean guys in the gray suits are certainly Caribbean reef sharks and that grey (the accepted British/Aussie spelling) reef sharks are endemic to the Indo-Pacific region. We could say our writer was referring to the color, but that could mean he may have seen a mako, a bull shark, or even a great white shark. We don't think so.

Salty Scuba Chick. Connie Wickstrom and a group of friendly divers are using their passion for scuba by combing the bottom of the Salt River and so far have found and returned more than 100 functioning cell phones, as well as wallets, keys, sunglasses, and other cherished items that people tubing along the Arizona river accidentally dropped. Check her out on the Salty Scuba Chick Facebook page and get some tips on doing the same in water near you.

Ocean Atlas - Large underwater statue in Bahamas

Have You Seen the Largest Underwater Statue in the World? It's in the Bahamas, near Nassau on New Providence Island. Eighteen feet tall, it weighs 60 tons out of the water. Ocean Atlas appears to be holding up the ocean on her back. Famed British sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor was commissioned by the Bahamas Reef Environmental Educational Foundation to create Ocean Atlas in 2014, expecting it to transform eventually into an artificial reef. Taylor has created several underwater museums and placed hundreds of statues underwater.

Another Old Record Broken? San Antonio (TX) resident Arthur Graf, Jr. is more than 100 years old, but he expects to beat the Guinness record for oldest divers, currently held by another centenarian, William Lambert (Rockford, IL). He became the world's oldest diver at 98 in 2019 and repeated the feat at 100. Graf's passed both his DAN medical exam and his cardiologist's, so it looks like nothing will stop him this November. Graf says he's been in the water since he was three years old. He's made more than 700 dives, with his most recent last fall.

Fascinating Free Diving Film No Limit on Netflix. A French-made film inspired by the tragic fate of world-record free-diver Audrey Mestre tells the story of a beautiful young and prodigiously talented free diver who strikes up a toxic and destructive romantic relationship with her egotistical diving trainer and guru. The film stars Camille Rowe as Roxana and Sofiane Zermani, who plays Pascal Gautier, loosely based on the Cuban free diver "Pipin." Despite a couple of technical diving errors in the production, it makes gripping viewing.

Veteran Shark Diver Valerie Taylor's Advice. If a shark attacks you, says the Australian who dominated shark diving for three decades, understand that "The pain from a shark bite doesn't kick in for 10 minutes. So stay as calm as you can and wait for the shark to realize it has made a mistake and let go. Don't thrash about. Sharks don't have hands to feel with. They feel with their teeth. When the shark realizes it has made a mistake, it lets go. The biggest problem is a wound. Blood doesn't congeal in water. Get out to a dry place as quickly as possible to prevent bleeding out." Good advice; we hope you'll never need it. Sydney Morning Herald

3000-year-old Canoe Found in Lake. Tamara Thomsen was giving a scuba lesson in Wisconsin's Lake Mendota when she spotted the remains of an ancient canoe peeking out of the sand. Archaeologists from the Wisconsin Historical Society, where she worked, determined by carbon dating that it was around 3,000 years old. What's even more remarkable? It's the second one she's spotted underwater, though the first was much younger, 1,200 years old. Carved from a single piece of white oak, it may be the oldest canoe discovered in the Great Lakes region. It shows what you can discover by scuba diving close to home.

The Undercurrent Website was Out of Action for a few Days before September 28. It was due to some technical problems. We apologize to all who could not access the site then and hope you will report any issues you discover with it in the future.

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