|CLASSIC DIVE BOOKS
|Please note: The books are listed for interest only,
and not offered for sale.
These books are, generally, of more recent issue, within the last thirty years. Most would not fit into the category of being a real 'classic' diving book, but in their day they were useful references, and who knows what their 'collector' status may be in years to come. Indeed, some of the books are still useful references for the qualified diver, or the diver under professional instruction.
It is probably important to note at this time that such texts should not be used as the primary source of recreational diving instruction. For one thing, techniques and equipment change over the years but even if the book itself is technically current, under no circumstances should you learn to scuba dive simply from a book. Diving takes you into an alien environment which can lead to a dangerous and life-threatening situation if you are not professionally instructed to don an air tank and enter the water. If you are a a non-diver and are interested in taking up what must be one of the most rewarding recreational activities you could choose, seek advice from a professional dive school.
And at the risk of being branded pedantic, note that I refer to 'recreational' diving, not 'sport' diving. To me, scuba diving in not a 'sport'. It is not comptetive, except within yourself. It is a recreation that gives extreme pleasure, and the only 'competition' should be within yourself - to learn as much as you can, to seek knowledge of all or some of the many facets of diving, be it the marine sciences, shipwrecks and maritime archaeology, underwater photography, or just being a better skilled and safe diver.
Subtitle: An Advanced Guide to Physiology, Procedures and Systems.
Bret Gilliam and Robert Von Maier
Published by: Watersport Publishing, San Diege, USA in 1992. Revisaed printing 1995. This is just one of a series of excellent books on diving by this publisher. Later editions of some of the Watersport publications were published by Aqua Quest Publications of New York.
Card covers with 255 printed pages. Dimensions: 21.5 cms tall by 14 cms wide.
Illustrated with diagrams and monochrome photographs throughout.
As with all this type of book, the publisher has started with a disclaimer to cover his back with such a hazardous subject and this is further re-enforced with a dedication on the next page to “Parker Turner who lost his life while diving in 1991”. The book is broken down into 13 chapters, each being a chosen subject for diving deep: “History of Deep Diving”, “Physiology and Mental Preparation for Deep Diving”, “Stress”, “Nitrogen Narcosis”, “Oxygen Toxicity”, “Staged Decompression”, “Deep Diving Equipment and Self Sufficiency”, “Dive Computers and Deep Diving”, “Scientific Applications of Deep Diving”, “Nitrox”, “An Overview to Mixed Gas”, “Dive Tables” and “Decompression Sickness, Theory and Treatment”.
Two small appendixes exist with a glossary of diving terms and the usual bibliography.
Subtitle: Explore the Wonders of the World Beneath the Sea.
Consultant Editor: Graeme Gourlay.
Published by: Eagle Editions Ltd, Royston, UK in 2001
Hard back with dust jacket, illustrated boards printed same as dustjacket. Very well illustrated with many colour photographs and diagrams; 112 printed pages
Dimensions: 30 cms tall by 22.5 cms wide.
The book is a result of a combined effort from several contributors. Names acknowledged are Colin Doeg, Steve Warren, Siski Green, Matt Crowther and
Simon Rogerson, as well as a contribution from Graeme Gourlay who was “Consultant Editor”. The book is divided into 6 chapters: 1 Introduction to SCUBA.
2 Is SCUBA for me? 3 Equipment. 4 Top Diving Around the World. 5 Underwater Activities. 6 Aquatic Realm. This isn’t a manual as such but meant as an aid to training, taking the diver from early steps through to more advanced SCUBA. [pt],[ps]
Subtitle: The Essential Guide to Equipment and Techniques
Published by: New Holland Publishers, London in 2001. Hard back with dust jacket, illustrated boards printed same as dustjacket. Very well illustrated with many colour photographs and diagrams; 96 printed pages. Dimensions: 27.5 cms tall by 20.5 cms wide
The author is described as an advanced BS-AC diver who involved in running a sport diving operation in the the Sudanese Red Sea for twelve years as well as a fellow of the “Royal Geographical Society” and a member of the British Society of Underwater Photographers (BSoUP). He has been involved with twelve other books including “Top Dive Sites of the World” and also a consultant for “The Underwater Photography Handbook”
This seems to be a useful manual although it is not dedicated to any training organisation. The author mentions recognised scuba training organisations in the first section. The book is divided into 8 very well illustrated sections: 1 Try It First. 2 The Science of Diving. 3 Diving and the Body. 4 Equipment. 5 Bacic Training. 6, Sea training and Dive Planning. 7 Safe Diving. 8 Types of Diving. There is a single appendix in the back, before the index, that explains “the transfer of heat in water”, “the transfer of light in water” and “the transfer of line underwater” in more detail. [pt]
Published by BBC Books London in 1991.
Hard cover with dust jacked and 240 printed pages. Dimensions 25.5 cms tall by 19.5 cms wide. Illustrated throughout with many colour photographs, some full page.
The book was published to accompany the BBC series of the same name. The program featured the author (Martha Holmes) and Mike deGruy in those Lama “fish bowl” type diving helmets. The book is divided into5 parts to follow the series:
1 The Galapagos Islands. 2 The Californian Kelp Forest. 3 Australia's Great Barrier Reef . 4 The Carribean Sea. 5 The Hawaiian Islands
In the series, the presenters used the Lama helmets which gave them a full 360 degree view and all commentary was made from the presenter by underwater radio. A wonderful series at the time. [pt]
A Complete Diver's Handbook To Mastering the Skills of Wreck Diving
Aqua Explorers, Inc., East Rockaway, N.Y., 1991. Trade Paperback. (ISBN: 096161675X / 0-9616167-5-X)
Color and B&W Photographs. 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall; 88 pages.
Editorial Reviews: Shipwreck Diving is a complete how to book about the sport of wreck diving. This book is packed with information and heavily illustrated with over 80 sensational color photographs. Daniel Berg, a noted wreck diver, instructor and author of ten shipwrecks related books, describes all the basics of wreck diving. Topics include everything from equipment modifications, communication, and wreck penetration to artifact preservation. Dan also tells how to navigate on a wreck and be able to return to the anchor line after the dive. Why some divers find more artifacts and explains how to catch lobsters. Shipwreck Diving also covers such diverse topics as shipwreck research, photography, spear fishing and how to use an underwater metal detector. This exciting book tells all the tricks of the trade that untill now have only been learned through years of experience. Shipwreck divers of all caliber will find Shipwreck Diving informative, rewarding and entertaining.The author, Dan Berg, has also been the operator owner and Captain of the local dive boat 'Wreck Valley'. He has lots of experience in potentially dangerous wreck diving and shares his techniques here.
|THE COMPLETE SCUBA DIVING GUIDE
Dave Saunders. Photography by Mike Portelly
Published by: A&C Black London in 1987.
First edition:Hard printed cover and 144 printed pages.
Although a “guide” and not a diving manual as such, the book takes the reader through the stages of learning to dive and beyond in 1987. It is split into 9 parts:
1 How Diving Developed. 2 Equipment. 3 Physical Laws and Their Effects on Divers. 4 Pool Training. 5 First Open Water Dive. 6 Completing Basic Training.
7 Types of Dive. 8 Associated Skills 9 Diving Around the World.
As you would expect with photography by the award winning underwater photographer Mike Portelly, the photos, drawings and illustrations are excellent. [pt]
THE COMPLETE SCUBA DIVING GUIDE
|THE DIVERS HANDBOOK
Published by New Holland Publishers, London in 1996.
Illustrated card covers with160 printed pages. Very well illustrated with many colour photographs. Dimensions: 28 cms tall by 21.5 cms wide
Written in 9 chapters, this book is intended as a manual and guide to diving equipment. It states that it is a guide to which training courses are available, mentioning PADI, the British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC) and NAUI. Chapters in the book are set out as follows:
A Brief History of Diving, The Natural Laws of Diving, Equipment, Training, Health and Safety, The Sea and its Many Moods, Reefs and Their Fascination, Dangerous Marine Organisms and Diversify Your Diving. In the back of the book is a useful glossary of terms and acronyms. In all, quite a good, useful guide as some of the subjects covered are not included in the basic training manuals – they are always at extra cost these days! [pt]
My comment: This is an exceptionally well produced book, full of colour on virtually every page, and gives a great background to sport diving. Although not an instruction book, it is nevertheless a book full of detail and educational material. Chapters as above - and an excellent chapter on various types of diving and diving activities. Would make a brillliant gift to any diver, be they a novice or experienced. Interesting reading and well worth having. [ps]
|THE DIVER'S UNIVERSE
Subtitle: A Guide to Interacting With Marine Life
Annemarie & Danja Kohler
Published by New Holland Publishers, London, 1997. And in 2003.
Illustrated card covers with160 printed pages. Very well illustrated with many colour photographs. Dimensions: 28 cms tall by 21.5 cms wide.
Written in the same series as “The Divers Handbook” from the same publisher, the book covers the marine life the diver is likely to encounter in the tropics, maybe the authors didn’t like diving in cold water? The book is split into 5 chapters: Life Beneath the Surface, Seeking the Sea’s Creatures, Habitats and Homes, Small Worlds of the Blue Universe and finally Mankind and the Marine Environment. The authors claim the book includes around 200 colour photographs of fish and many fact panels plus fascinating anecdotes drawn from the authors years of experiences (in warm water that is).[pt]
|THE GOLDEN SEA
Joseph E Brown
Subtitle: Man’s Underwater Adventures.
Edited by Bradley Smith
Published by: Cassell & Company Ltd, London in 1974. (Printed and bound in the USA)
Hard back with blue boards and dust jacket, 214 printed pages. Dimensions: 32.5 cms tall by 21.5 cms wide.
This book is described as not being about the creatures under the sea but the extent of mans involvement under the sea. It covers mans involvement exploring, mapping, charting, farming, cleansing, policing, discovering and befriending the wonders of the sea. It is divided into 13 chapters: The Dark Sea, The Dangerous Sea, Danger, Cameras Underwater, The Unseen Sea, The Golden Sea, The Drowned Cities, The Sea of Submerged Civilisations, The Sea of Lost Ships, The Treasure Ships, The Sea and Survival, The Tomorrow Sea and finally The Challenge of the Sea. The book is well illustrated with many colour photos and diagrams, some full page. [pt], [ps]
|THE UNDERWATER MAN - A Complete Diving
Emmanuel E Papagrigorakis.
Translated by Philip Ramp – presumably from Greek?
Published by: Dymock’s Book Arcade, Sydney in 1980. Illustrated hard cover with matching dust-jacket; 334 printed pages.
It says that the aim of the book is to describe simply and clearly the mechanics of diving with and without the use of breathing apparatus. It is divided into twelve chapters covering a lot of subjects: “Introduction to Diving”, “Physics of Diving”, “Physiology and Anatomy of Diving”, “Problems and Dangers of Diving”, “Diving Equipment”, “Dangerous Situations”, “Dangerous Inhabitants of the Underwater World”, “General Safety Measures”, “The Dive”, “Free Diving or Snorkeling”, “Spearfishing” and “Training, Maintenance and Organisation of the Diver”. Extremely well illustrated with colour and monochrome photographs along with many excellent line drawings. The section on diving equipment is extremely well illustrated with all manner of equipment shown however for 1980, the content seems a bit dated as there is an aweful lot of twin hoses about (as there is throughout the book) and only a US Divers Calypso single hose photographed. On the other hand, it does show re-breathers! Seems to be a totally independent book as it makes no reference to any training organisations just that some are developed in certain countries. [pt]
PS comment: Being an Australian publisher, it could be assumed that author Papagrigorakis was an Aussie diver but not so; with respect, I have not heard of him and the material in the book gives no indication that it is parochial to Australia - and if he was an Aussie he would not need an interpreter, obviously. I suggest that Dymock's have picked up the Australian rights from a European publisher - but I have never come across a European edition of the book. No doubt there is a Greek edition. If this is what has happened, Dymock's Book Arcade did not do their market research too well, nor did they examine the manuscript with any diving knowledge; at the time, as is now, independent 'how to dive' books are not popular sellers in Australia as the certified diving agencies such as PADI provide their own manuals for certified instruction. I never stocked the book with Oceans Enterprises as I thought it would never sell. I think I was right.
CLASSIC DIVE BOOKS HOME
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.