|CLASSIC DIVE BOOKS
Caves, caving, blue holes, freshwater.
|Please note: The books are listed for interest only, and not offered for sale.|
GLIMMERING IN THE DARKNESS
Edited by: Duncan Price
Published by: The Cave Diving Group, UK in 2007.
Printed hard covers with 273 printed pages. Dimensions: 23.5 cms tall by 16 cms wide.
Although the author is listed as Graham Balcombe, it is a collaboration between himself and the British Cave Diving Group. The book contains a collection from the principal records in the “archives” of Graham Balcombe on the events leading up to the foundation of the Cave Diving Group. Apparently all the details were found in notebooks in Grahams home after his death in March 2000. The notes span his life in cave diving from around 1934 to the mid 1950’s and include the help he received from Sir Robert Davis at Siebe Gorman & Co (there was a dive in Wookey Hole caves in the UK in standard equipment but the hoses were too restrictive). There is a note in the front of the book about the title, it is in appreciation to Martyn Farr’s book on the history of cave diving – “The Darkness Beckons”. [pt]
CAVE DIVING - A BLUEPRINT FOR SURVIVAL.
Although small, this book contains a great deal of relevant information on safety and survival. Fourteen accidents are reviewed. Well worth reading by all cave divers.
Softcover, 46 pages, mono, 145x220mm.
The Deadly Descent Into the World's Most Treacherous Cave.
William Stone and Barbara Am Enden, with Monte Paulsen.
The Huautla cave in Mexico is probably the deepest system in the world. Shafts rach down to enormous depths, with huge stadium-sized cvrns. The author's 44-member team entered the sinkhole at Sotano de San Augustin, the first camp being 2328 ft below ground level. The second camp was established at the jinction of two sunterranean rivers met. Nobody had gone further and survived, excepot for Bill Stone and Barabara Am Ende, who forged on for no less than eighteen days. Dr. William Stone is the engineer who invented the Cis-Lunar rebreather, a life-support backpack that allows divers to stay underwater for up to 24 hours. Dr Am Ende is a geologist. Paulsen is a Pulitzer Prize winner.
MEASURELESS TO MAN.
Sheck Exley has earnt his place in the history of diving the hard way. His achievements in cave diving, particularly deep, long penertrations, earned him a well deserved reputation as the master cave diver. Unfortunely he stretched himself too far and lost his life in 1994 whilst attempting to reach a thousand feet - a nice round number he stated before the dive. He made it to 906 feet. He was forty-five years of age and had thirty years experience behind him. It is fortunate that Exley wrote this book - like a posthumous autobiography I suppose - as it documents some incredible and hair-raising dives. These are beyond the skills, resources and perhaps interest of most divers, but anyone who have dived a sinkhole or penetrated a cave, be it in freshwater or at sea, will thoroughly enjoy this book. It would appear that at times Exley tried too hard to be a writer, but get over the first few paragraphs and you will be hooked. Hardcover and softcover, dustjacket, 325 pages, index, sixteen colour plates.
AND CAVE DIVING.
Guy de Lavaur.
Translated by Edmund J. Mason from the French ‘Toute la Speleologie'.
Hardcover, dust jacket, 175 pages, no photographs, several drawings and charts.
First publsihed in Great Britain by Robert Hale (company), no date recorded. My edition Scientific Book Club Edition, no date - probably mid to late 1950s.
Perhaps the first specialist book on cave diving. Covers potholes and underground rivers - the Nautical Expedition of 1929; sumps and Vauclusian Springs; the evolution of speleology. Although I hqve dived Mount Gambier, a dedicated cave diver would be better reviewing this specialist book, but gathering by the demand I have had for the book, it is very popular amongst the enthusiasts.
DIVING IN AUSTRALIA
Ian Lewis and Peter Stace.
Self published, South Australia
First edition 1980, second edition 1982. ISBN 0 9594963 0 0
A most valuable book and sadly outof print for many years.
Provides a detailed description of the many freshwater caves and sinkholes in the Mount Gambier district of south-east South Australia, one of the famous freshwater caving regions in the world.
Softcover, 174 pages, sketches of cave and sinkhole profiles, history, level of expertise required, equipment, access.
INTO BLUE HOLES
Published by Unwin Hyman Limited; copyright 1989.
Andros is one of the largest islands in the Bahamas and one of the least explored. Beneath the sea's surface its rocks are riddled with caves which present the ultimate cave-diving challenge.
It was not until the late 1960s that a diving team, led by George Benjamin and filmed by Jacques Cousteau, ventured into these caves for the first time. They explored passages and discovered that, owing to the presence of stalactites and stalagmites, these caves must have once stood above the level of the sea. In 1981 British cave-divers returned to Andros to launch an ambitious expedition to set the wheels of exploration turning once more. Their work was continued in 1987 by the setting up of the Andros Project which, using new underwater technology, made stunning discoveries. It is the spectacular Blue Holes they found, with their unique collections of creatures and beautiful corals, on which this book focuses. Rob Palmer describes how, over a succession of dives, he and his team explored this maze of caves reaching subaquatic depths of over 300 feet (90m). He reveals not only the excitement and magic of diving long and deep into the unknown but also the danger, drama and fear which must inevitably be a part of pushing through one of the last true frontiers of exploration.
Palmer is one of the world's foremost underwater explorers, a director of the Andros Project. A freelance writer, diver and photographer, he has also helped produce three films on Blue Holes for the BBC and National Geographic television. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and Explorers' Club, and was awarded the first Colin McLeod Prize for outstanding contributions to international diving activities by the British Sub Aqua Club. (Ebay description).
Beneath Rock, Under Ice, Into Wrecks.
Softcover, many exceptional colour photographs throughout, 126 pages, index, glossary.
Oh dear! Whatever happened to the quiet dive off the end of the jetty in twenty feet of calm warm waters. Thats about all I can handle, but as long as there is a place for my zimmer frame, then I'll give it a go. Is Martin Farr crazy? All this equipment, just to dive some of the most exciting and challenging sites in the world. Well, I guess I've answered my own question. Farr is no stranger to exotic and technical diving at its most competent, and his latest book continues his reputation as a top author. And its good to see Aussie divers and dive sites mentioned. It is difficult to categorise this book as it covers so much - part equipment and technique, part dive location, part adventure- and a very sensible ‘final comment' from such an experienced diver - covered in twelve chapters. The book is predominantly "under rock", ie cave and sinkhole diving, with a section on ice and wrecks. Superbly produced, with full colour throughout, Diving in Darkness will educate and encourage the diver in a very specialist and most rewarding aspect of diving. The stress is always on safety - indeed, there is a valuable chapter just on ‘Stress' - and will no doubt lie next to Farr's The Darkness Beckons as one of the finest books on specialist diving. A must for all cave and wreck divers, and anyone interested in something different and challenging in a dive. Oh well, back to the jetty for me.
|DIVING INTO DARKNESS - A True Story of Death and Survival. See Raising the Dead below.|
THE DEAD - A True Story of Death and Survival
Several editions: Hardcover published by Harper Sport, an imprint of Harper Collins, London, 2008. Hardcover, dustjacket, 310 pages, 28 colour plates, index, appendix. (left top image)
Softcover, also published by Harper Sport, 2008. (left bottom image)
A true story of death and survival in the world's most dangerous sport, cave diving. Two friends plunge 900 ft deep into a water-filled crater in the Kalahari Desert to raise the body of a diver who had perished there a decade before. Only one returns. Unquenchable heroism and complex human relationships amid the perils of extreme sport. On New Year's Day, 2005, Australian diver David Shaw travelled halfway around the world on a journey that took him to the Kalahari Desert of South Africa, to a site known locally as Boesmansgat: Bushman's Hole. His destination was nearly 900 feet below the surface. On 8 January, he stepped into the water. He wore and carried on him some of the most advanced diving equipment ever developed. Mounted to a helmet on his head was a video camera. David Shaw was about to attempt what had never been done before, and he wanted the world to see. He descended. About fifteen feet below the surface was a fissure in the dolomite bottom of the basin, barely wide enough to admit him and his equipment and the aluminum tanks slung under his shoulders. He slipped through the opening, and disappeared from sight, leaving behind the world of light and life. Then, a second diver descended through the same crack in the stone. This was Don Shirley, Shaw's friend and frequent dive partner, one of the few people in the world qualified to follow where Shaw was about to go. In the community of extreme diving, Don Shirley was a master among masters. Twenty-five minutes later, one of the men was dead. The other was in mortal peril, and would spend the next 10 hours struggling to survive, existing literally from breath to breath. What happened that day at Bushman's Hole is the stuff of nightmarish drama, juxtaposing classic elements of suspense with an extreme environment beyond most people's comprehension. But it's also a compelling human story of friendship, heroism, unswerving ambition and of coming to terms with loss and tragedy. (From fishpond.com.au sales blurb, similar to book fly. [ps]
USA edition: Published as DIVING INTO DARKNESS - A True Story of Death and Survival.
Hardcover and paperback published by St. Martins Press, New York, 2008. Hardcover image left below; USA softcover on right. The British and USA editions are identical in content.
Robert F. Burgess.
"Cave divers are a breed apart - and this is their story - of pushing the limits of technology and human endurance, a journey from pioneering descents into submerged prehistoric caves to the most recent record-setting expeditions. Locations covered include the Bahamas Blue Holes, and deep penetrations in Florida and Mexico. Although no mention of Australian caves, this is nevertheless a most interesting book for those interested in "pushing to the inner and outer limits" of diving.
Softcover, 290 pages, mono and colour photographs, bibliography, index.
Subtitle: The History and Development of Cave Diving
Forward written by: Bill Stone.
Published by: Diodem Books, London; first published in 1980. This reviewed second-edition 1991.
Hard cover, black boards with dust jacket; 280 printed pages. Dimensions: 25 cms tall by 20.5 cms wide.
This book tells the history of cave diving and its development from the first know cave dive in France in 1878 thrugh to the development of the Cave Diving Group in the UK when Graham Balcombe, Jack Shepherd and others started cave diving in primitive equipment in 1936. It goes on to show the spread of cave diving through the world but the book is written from a British perspective. It is divided into three sections: “Origing”, “Cave Diving in Britain and Ireland” and “International Diving. The three sections are subdivided:
1-1 The Challenge of Cave Diving. 1-2 The Beginnings of Cave Diving. 2-1 Pre-War Cave Diving in Britain. 2-2 The Oxygen Phase. 2-3 The Cave Diving Group. 2-4 Aqualung or Mixture Set. 2-5 The Transition to Air. 2-6 The Current Approach. 3-1 Mainland Europe. 3-2 North and Central America. 3-3 Southern Hemisphere. 3-4 Future Possibilities.
Extremely well illustrated throughout with old photographs (some in colour) and diagrams. [pt]
'The History and Development of Cave Diving'. This is the second edition of the acclaimed book published in 1980. It covers the international scene with quite a bit on Britain and Ireland. Australia gets a good mention with the Nullarbor caves (Pannikin Plains and Weebubbie), and Mount Gambier. Other fascinating systems in Zimbabwe, New Zealand, USA, Mexico, Southern Africa and Europe are also described. The equipment used is mind-boggling. Are these guys (and girls) brave or just crazy? Excellent reading, even for one who thinks Pics is just fine.
Hardcover, dustwrapper, 208 pages. With colour planes and mono photos.
ESSENTIALS OF CAVE DIVING
(Adapted from the blurb:) Cave diving has been called the "most dangerous participatory sport" in the world. It doesn't have to be. With proper training, experience, and guidance, you can be a skilled cave diver, and enjoy this challenging and rewarding activity, for a lifetime. With decades of technical diving experience, including world record cave dives, and paradigm changing underwater exploration, Woman Divers Hall of Fame member Jill Heinerth has prepared this contemporary guidebook. Generously illustrated, "The Essentials of Cave Diving" contains practical, twenty-first century underwater knowledge, including side mount techniques and the latest rebreather technology. Encompassing all levels of cave diving, from entry level to expert,this manual is an essential tool; appropriate and relevant to all cave training disciplines.Chaptes include: What is Cave Diving; Training; Accident Analysis; Geology and Hydrology; Conservation and Landowner Realtions; Equipment Configuration; Techniques; Planning; Special Issues. Includes also a glossary of terms.Although written by an experienced USA based cave diver, the book is still rfelevant to Australian techniques and issues. Softcover, perfect bound, 7 x 10 inches, full colour throughout, 200 pages.
GREAT CAVING ADVENTURE
Subtitle: The Story of His Major Caving and Diving Expeditions
Published by: The Oxford Illustrated Press, UK in 1984.
Hard back, black covers with DJ – 229 printed pages. Dimensions: 22.5 cms tall by 14.5 cms wide
Martyn Farr is one of the most experienced cave divers in the UK, if not the world. This book tells some of the stories behind some of his major diving expeditions in the UK and the rest of the world including the Bahamas where he achieved a world record dive for the time. A book of exciting pioneering exploration, tinted with hardships, disasters and tragedy, it is divided into 12 chapters:
“A Near Disaster”, “The Luck of the Irish”, “Success and Tragedy”, “The American Odyssey”, “A Free Trip to Iran”, “”The Ramshackle Expedition to Iran”, “Explorations in the Peak District”, “The Mysterious Blue Holes of the Andros Island” and “A World Record at Conch Blue Hole”.
Martyn was famous for his other book “The Darkness Beckons” which he wrote in 1980 and this is described as being in the “Great Adventure Series”, book number 2. Other books issued in this Oxford Illustrated Press series are “The Great Railway Adventure”, “The Great Travelling Adventure”, “The Great Walking Adventure” and “The Great Climbing Adventure”. [pt]
Publishers and Distributors
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Phone (03) 5182 5108 International 61 3 5182 5108
homepage, link on graphic.