|CLASSIC DIVE BOOKS
World Dive Locations and dive travel guides.
It is appreciated that there are literally hundreds of world dive
location guides in and out of print - I wont try and list them all!!!!
Those in print are sold by a number of specialist distributors around the
world. I'll list those that have been advised to me, and a few of the older
ones of interest as I come across them. As time goes on some of the commercial
detail changes of course, with dive shops under new management for example,
but generally the diving locations remain stable - but not always. As this
webpage grows I may have to separate it into continents or countries but
for now I'll lump them all together.
Please note: The books are listed for interest only, and not offered for sale.
DIVES OF THE WORLD.
Oxford Illustrated Press, 1987.
Quarto hardcover, 151 pages, maps, B&W and colour photos. Dives in the Pacific, Indian, Atlantic Oceans, North Sea, English Channel, etc.
- THE ULTIMATE GUIDE
SIXTY OF THE WORLD'S TOP DIVE LOCATIONS
Folded laminated card cover, around A4 size, 318 pages, full colour, charts.
A magnifient book coving the div sites that you, no doubt, would like to visit - and I would if I won Tattslotto. Commences with an overview of The Ocean, with brief discussion on currents and temperature, and several pages on diving technique and equipment which perhaps is superfluous. The world map showing the best dive sites is useful and the ‘Best Time To Go' chart equally so. And then we launch intothe destinations, each providing a map, full ddescription of the major dive sites within the location, and sidebars showing visibility, getting there, visa, money, water temperature, dive centrs, diving organisations, recompression, hospital, and any downsides. Many colour photograph. Of the Australian sites, includes Ningaloo Reef, the Yongala, Great Barrier reef, Coral Sea and Dangerous reef in South Australia.
|DIVING THE WORLD
Beth and Shaun Tierney.
A very well put together publication , providing over two hundred dive sites - and includes a bit of sightseeing on those ‘drying out' days - or if the non-diving partner tags along. Of course, thse are warm-water dives - the temperate sites don't get a look in. The main countries are Australia, PNG, Solomons, Indonesia, Philippines; and the Pacific islands, and Micronesia. Egypt and East Africa is included. The entries include diving conditions, and services available, including live-aboards. This is not a large ‘coffee-table' book; it is compact, 190 x 210 mm, yet is full colour throughout and well laid out. Includes ‘essential' dive-travel information - a very useful publication.
Softcover, 350 pages, maps.
WORLD'S CORAL REEFS.
Editor Jack Jackson.
What a superb book. The photography is excellent, and the text lucid and informative. So where are thse top coral reefs. Sections include The Caribbean, Indian Ocan, Red Sea, eastern and western Pacific, the Great barrier Reef of course, Melanesia, Hawaii. Authors include Michael Aw, Bob Halstead, Angie Belcher, Ann Storrie, all of whom are familiar to Australian divers. This is a large format book, 176 pages, full brilliant colour throughout. Apart from being an exception book to own, for inspiration and memories, it would also make a wonderful gift for any diver, irrespective of experience.
|TOP DIVE SITES OF THE
Consultant Jack Jackson.
I hate reviewing books like this - it makes me realise what I have missed over the years.This is a most magnificent book, beautifully produced with superb photographs and the finest maps I have seen for a long time. It covers the Caribbean, Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea, Indian Ocean, Indo-Pacific, and Pacific Ocean with particular interest to us Aussies the sections on the Great Barrier Reef, Papua New Guinea, Micronesia, Indonesia, Philippines and the Maldives. The quality off production has not been compromised and I could only estimate that there must be some 500 full colour photographs in the book. The writing is descriptive as expected, but it is the photographs that do justice to the dive sites mentioned. Of course, a book like this should be called Some Of The Top Dive Sites as it invites criticism of why the publishers have no included your favourite destination - like Rangiroa, Walindi and Rabaul, and, shame of all shames, no mention of the Solomons. And why is it that temperate waters don't get a mention, considering the greater diversity of marine life. It looks as though we are growing into warm water wimps! But I digress. This is a superb book, one of the finest I have seen.
Hardcover, dust jacket, large square ‘coffee table' size, 168 pages, full colour. This book would make a wonderful gift for the diver and anyone interested in the underater world. $64.00
Sorry no longer available.
ATLAS OF THE WORLD An Illustrated Reference to the Best Sites.
Editor: Jack Jackson.
This is a monster of a ‘coffe table' book - 260 x 325 mm - and needs to be to cover the huge range of world dive sites, complete with photographs and maps. The only thing I can do here is list out the locations, and give the book opur highest recommendation. In the Atlantic we have east coast of th USA, the UK, and South Africa. The Mediterranean is mainly Spain, south of France, and malta. The Red Sea is covered of course. The Indian Ocean includes Africa, the islands of the Seychelles, Maldivbes, Chagos, Mautitius, and Mozambique, as well as the Andaman Sea, and Western Australia. The Pacific Ocean covers Malasia, Indonesi, The Phillipines, Micronesia, Melanesia (Solomons, Vanuatu), PNG, eastern Autraliaa, New Zealand, Canda and west coast USA and the Caribbean. (No Isle of Pines which is surprising). The best dive sites in these locations are detailed, with excellent maps and icons showing wrecks, reefs, airport access etc. The appendix includes the best time to travel, climate and how to get there, visibility, general depth, and water temperatur. There is a dive glossary, but no index. Just the book for anyone who has, or wishes to dive the best locations in the world.$62.00. Sorry no longer available.
THE RAINBOW REEFS
Adventures of an Underwater Photographer.
Paul S. Auerbach, MD.
The author is better known in the USA for his excellent photography and other publications.
This is both an inspirational small coffee table book covering several mjor dive region in the world, the marine animals and terrain, expressed with fine photography and text. Eight chapters cover: Apo Reef (Pgilippines), Truk and Pohnpei, The Caribban, the Red Sea, Galapagos Islands, Fiji Islands, Palau, and our own Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. The marine life is covered well in each area, woth single page photo-text essays. Certainly the region covered have some of the finest diving in the world. This would make an excellent gift, a guide to future diving dreams, or a souvenir of places visited. Hardcover, dustjacket, 236 pages, full colour on gloss art paper.
Lisa Eareckson Trotter.
Softcover, 114 pages, full colour photographs and maps, glossary, further reading.
I am sure that this excellent book will not be bought up in bulk by Australian dive-tour operators, but that does not diminish its fascination. Why dive in the freezing cold waters o Antarctric Peninsula and South Georgia? Because its there - it is a challange, with enormous rewards for the skilld and persistent diver. The book covers dive locations and marine life, and includea a comprehensive chapter on diving in Antarctica - the equipment, the skills required, the opportunity to dive and ‘how to get there', and the dangers. Even if diving in these pristine waters is but a dream, as I dream, it is well worth a read. And maybe it will inspoire you to seek out one of the ‘last frontiers on earth'.
MALDIVES. A Guide to the Maldives Archipelago. 3rd Edition.
This new edition is once again beautifully produced, providing a detailed historic and geographic description of the major atolls, the resorts, protected marine areas, shipwrecks and marine life. The general location maps are clear and the dive sites drawings excellent; 135 maps in all. The colour photographs show some the exceptional marine life in the islands. Thirteen chapters cover all the island groups, including 24 protected marine park areas. Two indexes, of fish and invertebrates, and of dive sites, are useful This is the ideal book for the potential visitor to decide where to go, or as a reminder of a visit. Softcover, A4 format, 180 pages, full colour, many photographs, dive site drawings, and charts.
OF THE MALDIVES
A Reference for Travellers, Divers and Sailors.
The twenty-six maps cover all the atoll groups and provide greater detail than those covered in Dive Maldives, and thus is a great supplement to Dive Maldives (above), or a useful guide on its own. The marine parks are included, and several aerial shots. A brief nackground and topography of the island nation is also included. Softcover, A4 size, 56 pages, full colour.
A most informative general guide. Mentions diving but not a specific diving guide.
Softcover,190 pages, colour.
Dive Sites of the MALDIVES.
Sam Harwood and Rob Bryning.
These New Holland 'Dive Site' guides are excellent and strongly recommended. The series of 'comprehenssive coverage of diving and snorkelling' guides are extemely well produced, with full colour throughoutand and excellent site maps. They are superbly produced, and written by divers who know their regions intimately.Each site is coded to indicate access (boat,shore), and experience required; and include a 'star rating' system giving some indication to the interest of the site. Typical visibility and depth is shown. More important however is the brief but informative site description, and the photographs that accompany the regions. The guides are exceptionally well produced, of some 180 pages, many with full page colour photographs. Size is medium format - 165x245mm.
GUIDE TO THE MEDITERRANEAN WRECKS.
Amsler, Ghisotti, Rinaldi, Trainito
Softcover, medium format 210 x 290mm, full colour, 168 pages.
SEA - GUIDE TO UNDERWATER LIFE.
I am constantly amazed at the excellent detail and the superb production of these fine books. The colour drawings, particularly of underwater wrecks and reefs, is exceptional, giving a marvellous view of the underwater scene. The colour photography is excellent and the text informative. I now appreciate how rich in wrecks and marine life is the Mediterranean Sea - submarine, aircraft, ships and a diverse variety of sub-tropical and temperate species. The Mediterranean underwater life guide is exceptional for its coverage.
Softcover, medium format 210 x 290mm, full colour, 168 pages.
|PAPUA NEW GUINEA.|
DIVER SCUBA GUIDE - PAPUA NEW GUINEA.
Bob Halstead and Telita Bates.
Written by the doyen off PNG dive guides. Including site maps, accommodation and live-aboards, marine life, wrecks, geographical and travel information. The PNG guide gives an excellent indication of the diving available.
Full colour, softcover, 192 pages,130x185mm, site maps.
AND SNORKELING PAPUA NEW GUINEA.
Bob Halstead and Tim Rock
It took a while before a book on PNG diving was published - now there are three or four excellent books. Several years ago Lonely Planet took over the US based Gulf Publication's Pisces series of dive guides. This book is one of the first to emerge under the new design format. You couldn't find two a more authorative author on PNG than Bob Halstead, so this book is off to aa good start, and Tim Rock is well known for his excellent work on Micronesia. The colour photos are excellent, although reproduced rather small to conserve space I suppose. The major dive destinations are included of course, toigether with a brief marine life identification section. The maps are adequate to give an indication of the location of the sites. Softcover, 176 pages, full colour, maps.
TO FREEDOM - The Fall of Rabaul.
Oceans Enterprises, Yarram, Australia
Claimed as the definitive work on the invasion of Rabaul, Papua New Guinea in January 1942, and the subsequent events that led to the bombing of the harbour, Hostages to Freedom - The Fall of Rabaul is one of the most comprehensive books on World War 2. Chapters of interest to divers are devoted to identification and diving the shipwrecks in the harbour, and aircraft wrecks in the vicinity and elsewhere in New Britain and New Guinea. A significant section covers the post-war salvage of ships, aircraft and war surplus. This is truly a remarkable book and has been exceptionally well reviewed. Whereas it is predominantly a war history, it is also one of the most thorough publications documenting the loss of ships and aircraft in WW 2. ISBN 0 646 24124 9 Not a specific dive guide.
Hardcover, large format, dust jacket, 598 pages, gloss art paper, maps, charts, 560 photographs, extensive appendix, index and bibliography.
See full details under Oceans Enterprises Publications.
NEW GUINEA DIVING GUIDE.
Franco Banfi .
Covers some of the major dive regions in this fascinating country - Milne Bay, Walindi (Kimbe Bay), Rabaul, Kavieng. Superb photography by an internationally accredited photographer and diver.
Softcover, A4 size, full colour, 168 pages.
A White Star Publication.
Monica Foster and Peter Stone.
Oceans Enterprises, Yarram, Australia
Rather prophetically titled, this excellent book gives a detailed description of the fifteen major war wrecks in Rabaul Harbour. Several of these may never be dived again - the Hakkai and the Kensin were buried during the 1994 eruptions. The book commences with a brief war history before launching into a detailed hold-by-hold description of the ships, and aircraft - and the crane off the Kokopo Road. Detailed drawings and photographs are included.
Softcover, medium format, 158 pages, mono and colour plates.
See full details under Oceans Enterprises Publications.
CORAL REEFS OF PAPUA NEW GUINEA.
Bob and Dinah Halstead.
Those of you who have visited Papua New Guinea will know Bob and Dinah Halstead, and many would be familiar with their excelent articles in dive magazines, and dive guide books. Their latest title, The Coral reefs of Papua New Guinea, is a superb book. It may well have been published with the assistance of aid funding for the International Year of the Coral Reef (1997), and the International Year of the Oceans (1998), but the end result is more than just an ecological awareness promotion. This is a magnificent book, very well designed, and made exceptional by the surperb photography of the three authors ( the other is the Italian Sergio Sarta). The marine life illustrated in the book is unique; the authors know how to capture a subject and do it such a manner that the end result is a beautiful photograph, combining art with technique. The text is concise and relevant. If you have dived anywhere in Papua New Guinea, this is a wonderful momento. If you are into superb photography, then it deserves a place in your library. And look at the value. Sorry no longer available.
Hardcover, dustjacket, quality art paper, full colour, half and full page photographs, 208 pages. Review
|THE LAST NEW GUINEA SALVAGE
Oceans Enterprises, Yarram, Australia
At the end of the Pacific war, the islands north of Australi were littered with thousands of tons of Japanese naval and merchant ships. Some readily accessible ships were legally salvaged for their non-ferrous materials soon after the end of hostilities. However, hundreds of vessels remained untouched, or just superficially salvges, in the sixties and seventies, tempting private salvors to seek their fortune. Some did so legally, some without salvage rights, and others did it both ways. Fritz Herscheid was such a person, a young, adventurous man who arrived in Rabaul in 1967 as a diesel mechanic, learnt to dive - and the rest is now documented history. This is a fascinating biography of literally death-defying dives at depths far below the accepted level on air, of encounteres with marine life that protested at the intrusion into their environment, of legal and illegal salvage of propellers and condenser tubes and anything else of value in an often hositile and competitive environment. Many of the vessels mentioned will be recognised by sport divers who have, later, visited Papua New Guinea, particularly to Rabaul, New Ireland and New Hanover, and mainland northern PNG. The book gives a down-to-earth personal account of some fifteen years of constant danger with with explosives, dive equipment, salvage vssels and bureacracy - and the many encounters with sharks, both in and out of the water! It chronicles th determination and fierce rivalry between salvagers, the risks and gains, of stupidity and intuitiveness, and the actual and close calls with death in remote locations rarely visited by the white man. No book has ever covered such a topic. The book also provides a comprehensive shipwreck reference of known diveable wrecks in PNG waters. A remarkable book and a wonderful contribution to our documented maritime and military knowledge of the Pacific. Hardcover, dustjacket, 496 pages, mono and colour prints. Not a specific dive guide.
AND REEFS OF PORT MORESBY.
An extremely well presented and well researched book and very interesting even if the reader has not been to Port Moresby, Papua new Guinea. The war-time wreck history is particularly interesting, with details on the Macdhui, Pruth, Japanese submarine RO33, many other ships and aircraft. With some colour, and excellent maps. Includes a comprehensive history of recreational and commercial diving in Port Moresby. Hardcover, dust wraper, 264 pages, large format.
SEA CORAL REEFS
Gunnsr Bemert and Rupert Ormond
Kegal Paul International, Londona and Boston. 1981
Hardcover, dustjacket, medium-large format (near A4), 192 pages, index.
About the marine life of the Red Sea, with one chapter on Diving the Red Sea, and Underwater Phoptography. Other chaptes inclide: The Red Sea - geography and histiory; the Coral Gardens; the Coral Animal; the Diversity of Fishes, Danger - sharks and venomous animals. A very well presented book with excellent descriptions of the reef formations, and the marine life that occupy them. Not an identification guide as such - more of a comprehensive description of the marine lifein this remarkable habitat. [pjs]
Dr. Peter Vine.
Immel Publishing, London and Jeddah. 1985.
Hardback, 128p, 305x128p, 198 colour photographs.
An historical, geographical, biological, cultural and commmerciakl look at the Red Sea. A marvellous overall introduction to this incredible world region, abundant in marine life and cultural ddiversity. Chapters include: Red Sea History, The Intertidal and Shallow Waters; Coral Reefs. Island of the Red Sea; Red Sea Bords; Fish Life; Maritime Traditions; Navigation and Red Sea Wrecks; the Future of the Red Sea.
|SOUTH-WEST PACIFIC OCEAN - VANUATU, FIJI, NEW CALEDONIA,TAHITI.|
LADY AND THE PRESIDENT -
The Life and Loss of the SS President Coolidge.
Diving the S.S. President Coolidge at Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu..
For a full description, link to The Lady and the President.
How did the statues get there? Where they carved on the island or brought in by ship. This book will not give the answers, but it certainly shows the fascinating landscape.
Limited copies. Not a diving text.
Hardcover, dustjacket, full coplour 128 pages.
Not a diving guide.
AND SNORKELLING TAHITI AND FRENCH POLYNESIA.
Shark Diving Capital of the South Pacific.
Jean-Bernard Carillet, Tony Wheeler.
Softcover, 128 pages, full colour throughout, many maps, photographs.
National Geographic Society .
'Exploring in the Wake of Captain Cook'.
Takes us on a journey through the Pacific, 'into uncharted seas', covering the three voyages of Cook. The text is not so much historic as contemporary, with an insight into the peoples of the various lands visited. Excellent reading. Not a diving text.
Hardcover, dustwrapper, 216 pages, full colour.
Not a diving guide.
|BENEATH SOUTHERN SEAS
The Story of Skindivers' Exploration of Southern African Seas.
Published by Findiver - South Africa's Skindiving magazine. No date, but suspect early 1970s.
Hardcover, justjacket, 288 pages, colour and mono prints.
The author seems to have an identity crisis - either get out there and kill whatever you can find (the larger the better), or see what you can scavenge on a shipwreck. There is a lot of spearfishing and sharks in this book, and the photograph of the attractive young lady holding up a very dead Spotted Moray with a smile, (on the girl, not the moray), is not particularly appreciated. But overall, it is a great record of the early days of diving in southern Africa. [ps]
|LAND OF A THOUSAND ATOLLS.
|THE BLUE HOLES OF THE
|SINAI DIVING GUIDE
Published by: Geodia, Verona, Italy in 2005.
Soft Printed covers, wire comb bound; 243 printed pages. Dimensions: 24 cms tall by 17.5 cms wide
This is arguably one of the best dive guides for the Northern Red Sea in Egypt. It covers the area of the Sinai including Tiran, Sharm El Sheikh, Ras Mohammed, Gubal and Dahab. As well as the reefs and wrecks of the area, there is a lot of other information given like the origin of the name, its history as well a fish and coral guide. There are 50 dive sites covered including reefs and several well known wrecks including the Thistlegorm, Ghiannis D, Carnatic plus many more. All the dive guide pages are “pull outs” making the guide pages almost double the size of the book with some really informative diagrams and detail. Extremely well illustrated with countless coloured photographs, tables and drawings. An invaluable dive guide to the area. Not the easiest book to find but well worth the effort. [pt]
|THE SKIN DIVERS TRAVEL GUIDE
PAN AM's guide to Snorkelling and Scuba Diving in Bermuda, the Bahamas, the Caribbean, and the Mediterranean.
First published 1967, by Doubleday ? Co, New York.
Hardcover, dustjacket, 338 pags, mono prints.
'By Pan Am jet clipper in just 6 hours.... ' No longer, I'm afrid as Pan Am went down the tubes back in the seventies. Still, thgis could be a rather interesting book for someone who has been to the islands, and the Mediterranean.
|UNDER THE INDIAN OCEAN.
Al. J. Venter.
First published in 1973 by Nautical Publishing Company, England.
Hardcover, dust jacket, 220 pages, mono and colour photographs.
Covers preedominantly the western Idnian Ocan (I don't see the Maldives mentioned, nor Western Australia). Chapters include Shipwrecks of the Seychells, Madagascar's West Coast islands, Mombasa's Santa Antonio de Tanna, Agulha's Tanker Graveyard (fascinating), Mocambique reef, East Africa's Marine Parks.
Editor. Al. J. Venter.
First published in 1971 by Purnell ? Sons SA (Pty) Ltd, CapeTown et al.
Hardcover, dustjacket, 164 pages, colour and mono prints.
Twenty chapers, by twenty authors, covers the exciting wreck diving off the ASfrican coast. This is no a travel guide, but more of a compendium of expereinces, some quite dangerous (The Savage Shark), guesome (The Body Hunters), commercial (Day in the Life of an Undersea Miner), and exotic (Top Secret Dive). A great read.
Publishers and Distributors
303 Commercial Road, Yarram, Vic 3971, Australia
Phone (03) 5182 5108 International 61 3 5182 5108
Fax (03) 5182 5823 Internationl 61 3 5182 5823
homepage, link on graphic.