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Underwater World Articles
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Diving And The Web
I was recently reviewing some sales statistics compiled from several sources. We found some interesting facts. Many people believe that they can find cheaper airfares on the web. Studies show something different. For instance, Topaz International did a study from January to June, 2002. It studied over 19,000 itineraries on various internet sites including Orbitz, Expedia, Travelocity, and the airline sites. They found that the average travel agency booked fare was $116 lower than the average internet fare. Thatís not what the internet companies want you to believe, is it? Topaz is an auditing firm so is not prejudiced one way or the other.
In a different vein, I recently had a customer tell me that he could get a Scubapro regulator off the web cheaper than we were selling it for. We explained to him that the regulator he was purchasing did not come from an authorized dealer and did not come with a Scubapro warranty. Although he was told it came with a warranty, a little further research showed it was not the manufacturerís warranty. It came with a warranty by the on-line company. Instead of a limited lifetime warranty, you get a 14-day satisfaction warranty which reads in part "Equipment must be returned in brand-new condition, with no wear at all (if it is used even once, we canít take it back.)" So you canít try it before you decide if you want to keep it. It further states that returned items "must be in original factory condition, including all packaging materials, inserts, and manuals, warranty cards (not filled-out) and all accessories with a shipping carton. Do not write anything on the item or box. We will charge for replacement of damaged, altered, missing, written on, or taped contents. We reserve the right to refuse and such returns. Equipment that has been assembled will incur a $25 disassembly fee. " Are these the people you want to buy your life-support equipment from? It is a little different if you buy from Underwater World. If you are not happy with it, we will take care of you. And you will have a manufacturerís warranty. This will save you real money when you have your equipment overhauled. For instance, a warranted Scubapro computer has a lifetime battery replacement policy. If it is not covered, it can cost you big time. We just got back a computer the cost us $88 for the battery replacement. Then we had to add on our charge. These are the deals that the web has to offer. We do an outstanding business with thousands of customers who have figured this out. You donít want to spend too much money on something, but if saving a few bucks today cost you more in the long run, then you havenít saved anything. If it sounds too good to be true........
by Larry Bleiberg - The Dallas Morning News
It is easy to stay at home
As a new year begins, travelers face continuing economic uncertainty and security concerns. Many wonder if it is worth the expense and challenge of venturing to unfamilar places
Just in time, Arthur Frommer, the man who helped invent modern travel with his book, Europe on $5 a Day, has reasons we must set aside our doubts and go see the world.
"Travel is not mere recreation," he said at a conference in New York's Hudson River Valley area. "It is not trivia. It is education and perhaps the most important education."
Frommer, 75, had returned from his first trip to China just 36 hours before speaking. He was fighting jet lag, but the former lawyer made a clear case. Travel teaches seven important lessons, he said.
Read his list and feel the pull of the road.
1. Travelers learn that all people in the world are basically alike.
We all care about family and protecting our loved ones. Frommer said. During his trip to China, he and his wife met an elderly woman. She didn't speak English, but when she saw Frommer's gray hair, she insisted they wait while she ran to get something. She returned a moment later with pictures of her grandchildren.
He recalls sitting in a mud hut years earlier and hearing a young African mother confide her wish to learn to read. She wanted to understand government pamphlets about health care so she could protect her children.
"Aside from all the exterior differences, we all share the same basic urges and concerns," Frommer said.
2. Travelers discover that everyone regards himself or herself as wiser and better than other people in the world.
Once while visiting Amsterdam, Frommer spoke to a friend the day after a nationwide telethon had raised 60 million guilders (about $27.5 million) for cancer research.
"Only in Holland!" the friend bragged.
Frommer resisted a smile.
"When you travel, you get rid of smug chauvinism," Frommer said. "All people believe themselves the best."
3. Travel makes us care about strangers.
A famine or disaster is not distant, abstract suffering if you visited the region. "We become concerned for other people," Frommer said. "Travel makes it impossible to pay no heed to others."
4. Travel teaches that not everyone shares your beliefs.
In issues small and large - from child-rearing to politics - a traveler learns that there are many ways of thinking. "You become a larger person when you confront your opposite", Frommer said.
5. Travelers learn that there is more than one solution to a problem
Whether it is the surprise of learning about Asian medical practices in Hong Kong or seeing Scandinavia's liberal social policies at work, a traveller discovers that there are many ways to address the issue.
6. Travel teaches you to be a minority.
While traveling in Africa, Frommer was keenly aware that he was different. Even African-Americans are a minority in Africa, he said.
Finding yourself suddenly the odd man out is healthy and eye-opening, Frommer said. "You become fully aware of whatever racist impulses exist in your own subconscious."
7. Travel teaches humility.
"You become a quieter American as a result of travel, and in my opinion a smarter and even, perhaps a more thoughtful one," Frommer said.
Travel, he said, is something we all must do. "It is key in developing a civilized society."
It is a worthy goal for a new year. May the coming year open new horizons for all of us.
Cairo to JFK - 11 Hours; Philly - Houston, Houston - Guam - 18 Hours; Philly - Atlanta, Atlanta - Bonaire - 7 hours. And that's only one-way. Ironically, the most dreaded part of most trips in the journey itself. That should be part of the fun. Remember when we were kids, taking car trips with our friends and having a ball. Today, we are smarter and wiser and yet we dread the journey. It is time to put our thinking cap on and reverse this process.
Packing For The Trip
Packing For The Journey.
Being There Ah!! This is the goal. The easiest way to make this effortless is to let us do it for you. Join us on an Underwater World trip. Most destinations that we use know us and take good care of us. They will give us preferential treatment and go out of their way to make our trip enjoyable. They will discuss with us the dives planned each day and make our requests the plan of the day. This all adds up to less work for you and a more enjoyable and memorable trip.
Ten Commandments of Traveling1. Don't Expect to find things are they are at home. You left home to find things different.
2. Don't take anything too seriously, for a carefree mind is the beginning of a vacation.
3. Don't let other tourists get on your nerves, for they, too are paying good money to have a good time.
4. Remember your passport and know where it is at all times. A man without his passport is a man without a country.
5. Take half the clothes that you think you need, and twice the money.
6. Do not Expect to stay in one place. If man were meant to be permanently planted, he would have been created with roots.
7. Do not worry. he that worries has no pleasure. Few things are ever fatal.
8. Do not judge the people of a country by one person with whom you had trouble.
9. Do not make yourself so obviously a foreigner. When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
10.Remember that you are a guest in a foreign land. If you treat your hosts with respect, you will be treated as an honored guest.
Diving and Digital CamerasAs the digital revolution has descended upon us, we get more and more questions about digital underwater cameras. Unfortunately, the dive industry has been a little slow embracing the new technology. But that is all changing now. First of all, let me say that you are unlikely to see a true digital underwater camera, ala the Nikonos. The technology changes too fast for a company to invest that much R & D into that kind of a product. But what we are seeing is some nice housed cameras coming out in smaller and less expensive housings. Housings are generally available from Ikelite, Light and Motion, and Amphibico for a number of cameras on the market. Sea Life has had a digital camera (1.2 mp) out for just over a year and they are about to come out with two more versions, a 2.3 and a 3.3 megapixel. And Sea & Sea has a very nice camera and housing, 3.3 megapixel, which we now have in the store. Obviously, prices vary depending mainly on the number of megapixels. You can get into the Sea Life Digital for just over $400. That is a pretty good deal. Since it is a housed camera, you can take the camera out and use it for anything.
The big question, of course, is how many pixels do I need? The generally accepted answer is that a 1.2 megapixel will be fine for 4 x 6 inch prints. You would want a two megapixel for 5 x 7 prints. A three megapixel does 8 x 10 prints best. Now you can do an 8 x 10 from a one megapixel camera and you may not notice the difference, but if you were to crop that picture first and then try to take it up to 8 x 10, it is going to start to fall apart. The truth is, though, most people have most if not all of their pictures printed as 4 x 6. Look around your house. How may enlargements do you have of pictures that you took? (Donít count the kids photos from the school photographer.) The point being, donít spend too much extra on capability that you probably are not going to need.
How about getting prints of your digital images? It has gotten much easier than it was a very few years ago. You can actually take your camera or storage card to K-Mart and get prints for about 35 cents each. Or you could come here and we can get them printed using Sea Processing which is the way to do it for underwater images.
Whether you are ready to embrace the new technology or want to stick with film we have what you need and can help you make the right choice. Come on in.
Nitrox - A PrimerThere are many misconceptions about Nitrox, especially with new divers. Let me attempt to clear it up a little for you. First of all, Nitroxd is just air with a little extra oxygen add to it. In doing so you are reducing the amount of nitrogen in the mix. Many people believe that this would allow them to dive deeper. In reality, it makes deep diving impossible The real use of nitrox is to extend our diving time at our normal diving depths. It is true that by reducing the nitrogen in our air, we are absorbing less nitrogen, and therefore can dive longer. And you would think that you could dive deeper also. The proble arises with the oxygen that we add to the mix. Too much oxygen causes oxygen poisoning. This is a real possibility when the mix is too rich (i.e. too much oxygen) or is used too deep. As we go deeper, we must reduce theamount of oxygen in themix. We may be diving a 36% mix on a 90-foot dive, but by the time we get to 130 feet, we want the mix down to about 30%. Eventually you reach a point where it now longer makes sense to pay for a special mix. (Of course, 130 feet is the limit for sport diving anyway.)
So does diving make sense? It is great for diving on a live-aboard, where you may be making four or five dives a day. It works well above 130 feet to extend your bottom time without decompression or to shorten your required decompression stop. It is sometimes used as a decompression gas in mixes as rich as 50/50. But a mix like this can only be used in shallow water. Of course, this requires a computer capable of handling two different gas mixtures on the same dive. This can be done with computers such as the Suunto Vytec, which is what I use.
Another advantage of nitrox is that many people believe do not feel as tired after using nitrox although there is some dispute in the medical community. As nitrox becomes more available, wse see more and more people interested in it. Let me give you a couple of statements to remember.