The books below are my favorites about diving in this part of the world All books are available at a significant discount from Amazon.com; just follow the links. -- BD
Reef Creature Identification: Tropical Pacific
Paul Humann and Ned Deloach have done it again, releasing a definitive identification guide to 1600 extraordinary reef creatures of the Tropical Pacific. with this 500+ page softbound guide, you get upwards of 2000 exceptional photos of shrimp and crabs and stars and worms and lobsters and nudibranchs and slugs and squid and bivalves . . . well, all those invertebrates that move along the reefs of this region without fining, so it seems. There are several photos of some creatures to help you identify them during different life stages, and about ten percent of the book is descriptive copy so you can tie down your identification. Even if you have no plans to go to the tropical Pacific, just to thumb through the pages, gawk at the complexity and uniqueness of these animals, and read a thumbnail sketch will give any serious diver vicarious thrills for endless hours.
Reef Fish Identification: Tropical Pacific
At last, here's a comprehensive fish ID guide covering the reefs of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. The generous 500-page text, displaying 2,500 underwater photographs of 2,000 species, identifies the myriad fishes that inhabit the warm tropical seas between Thailand and Tahiti. The concise text accompanying each species portrait includes the fish's common, scientific and family names, size, description, visually distinctive features, preferred habitat, typical behavior, depth range, and geographical distribution. This is an essential book for every diver traveling westward. 6x9 inches. Order through us, get Amazon.com's best price and a good hunk of the profit will be donated to preserve coral reefs.
Dive Sites of the Great Barrier Reef
With 2900 reefs in 220,000 square miles, the enormous Great Barrier Reef has incredible dives -- and some very ordinary ones. If you're contemplating a trip, Neville Coleman's Dive Sites of the Great Barrier Reef and the Coral Sea will help you ensure you pick the best. This 176 page book, with good maps and scores of colorful photos, describes the significant sites, the topography and the critters, then rates and ranks them so you can pick the best. Don't even consider a trip to Australia without consulting this. $24.95
Indo-Pacific Coral Reef Field Guide
I was trying to pack light for a change. Surely the Solomon Sea would have good identification books aboard. Not so; the only book on the boat belonged to a fellow passenger. It was one that I had not seen before, the Indo-Pacific Coral Reef Field Guide, by two of the best fish guys around, Gerry Allen and Roger Steene. The problem was this fellow passenger kept it in a plastic baggie most of the trip and I had to beg to see it. Great book, good traveling size, and it covers everything from fish, shells, marine plants, mammals, corals, and invertebrates to sea birds and more. Now I've got my own, and it won't do you any good to beg me to borrow it. This is one of two books that I will not travel to the Pacific without. Good for travel to the Red Sea, East Africa, Seychelles, Mauritius, Maldives, Andaman Sea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Australia, Micronesia, Polynesia, and Hawaii, it has 1,800 color illustrations in a 6x8 1/2 paperback format with 378 pages. $39.95.
There's a Cockroach in My Regulator
The Best of Undercurrent: Bizarre and Brilliant True Diving Tales from Thirty Years of Undercurrent.
You might find some other books of interest in our Editor's Book Picks section.
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