Looking for a well-written book
with a powerful story about the
underwater world? These books are
available through Undercurrent, which will deliver you
Amazon.com's best prices and send
a hunk of the profits directly to the
Coral Reef Alliance.
Fire in the Turtle House: The
Green Sea Turtle and the Fate of
the Ocean, by Osha Gray Davidson.
In the mid-1970s, scientists and
divers see tumors on green turtles,
first in Hawaii, then Florida, then
elsewhere. While the tumors at first
seem superficial and can be
removed, they soon spread into the
turtles' organs. Turtle populations
plummet. And the race begins to
find the cause. What's in the water?
Why aren't fish seemingly affected?
What does this portend for our
seas, as the problem expands and
continues today? Journalist Osha
Gray Davidson has written a medical
detective story that will fascinate
any diver who has ever seen a turtle
beneath the surface. Davidson gives
us an inside look at the Cayman turtle
farms -- and the history of
Cayman's turtles and turtle fishing
-- and dives with turtles at Maui's
Turtle House. He tells us what was
behind the big Caribbean sea urchin die off a decade ago, what's
happening in the dying waters of
California's Monterrey Bay, and
Alaska's sea cow slaughters.
Davidson's keen eye produces a
marine biologist's thriller for the lay
reader, while touching on plenty of
topics dear to a diver's heart. While
you may not be aware of the plague
facing our turtles, Davidson makes
it apparent how it's a serious indicator
of the threats to our oceans and
its critters. A well-written, informative,
and suspenseful book.
Fatal Depth: Deep Sea Diving,
China Fever, and the Wreck of the Andrea Doria, by Joe Haberstroh. In
the summers of 1998 and 1999, a
65-foot dive boat from Montauk,
N.Y., lost five divers in separate incidents
on the Andrea Doria -- about
one diver in every four trips! Diver
error? Captain error? Bad luck? A
continuing, unaddressed problem?
Joe Haberstroh, a reporter for
Newsday, explores each death in
detail, explaining the divers' motivations,
their training, and what happened
on their fatal dives. The
divers are ordinary guys, some
trained better than others, but each
diving below 200 feet in search of
Doria trophies. What happened on board the Seeker? What was the captain's
role? Could the accidents be
prevented? Here's a real look at
technical diving, the sport divers
who take it up, and the bizarre risks
they'll take to claim a piece of Doria pottery. A fascinating book, any serious
diver will find it difficult to put
down. I read it in a day.
The Last Dive, A Father and
Son's Fatal Descent in the Ocean's
Depths, by Bernie Chowdhury.
Arguably the most exciting book
about diving in the last several years.
Bernie Chowdhury, the founder of
Immersed, the international technical
diving magazine, has written a
suspenseful and haunting tale. It's
the story of Chris Rouse and his
son, Chrissy, only 18 years apart in
age and locked in a sophomoric
relationship that played itself out
every day and in every dive. Their
maniacal devotion to diving leads
them into more complex dives, progressing
from Pennsylvania quarries
to Atlantic wrecks, and eventually to
the Andrea Doria. All in four years.
Chowdhury's research leads him to
his own voyage of self-discovery, as
he learns painful lessons about what
diving, in the context of his life,
means to him. His gripping account of a dive gone wrong, his
own terror, and a bends hit that
takes him near death is a cautionary
tale for all of us. As a back-story, he
tells how sport diving metamorphosed
into technical diving as
adventurers unsatisfied with
look/see dives to 130 feet push into
extreme conditions of deep caves
and wrecks. The Last Dive is a
grand adventure, a remarkable
book. Paperback, $11.16.
Beyond the Deep: the Deadly
Descent into the World's Most
Treacherous Cave, by William
Stone, Barbara am Ende, and
Monte Paulsen. In 1994, in the
most dangerous diving expedition
ever, Dr. Bill Stone led his team into
what is probably the deepest cave
complex in the world -- Mexico's uncharted Huautla cave system.
This new book explores the adventure
and danger that illuminate
tech divers' obsession to tackle
whatever exploratory challenge
they can find. At record-breaking
depths, Stone and Barbara am
Ende, the team's least experienced
diver and only woman, found
themselves in a life and death struggle,
virtually cut off from help.
Their exceptional adventure is
chronicled in 318 pages -- a harrowing
and heroic page-turner.
Down Time, Edited by Ed,
Casey, and Jim Kittrell. Famous writers
recount their most memorable
underwater adventures. Dave Barry
does battle with a lobster ... James
Jones is awestruck in a coral cathedral ... Robert Stone faces down
fear with his air running out ...
Clare Booth Luce discovers the
reef's true treasure ... Tim Cahill
tracks the zombie of the deep ...
James Hamilton Patterson tries to
make high frequency noises underwater
by squeaking condoms.
Thirty-five passages by winners of
the Pulitzer Prize and the National
Book award, novelists and journalists,
explorers and film makers.
(You won't find Jacques Cousteau
here; his family refused reprint permission.)
Thrilling, funny, and original,
this is terrific writing ferreted
out with careful research --
thoughtful book for intelligent
divers. Paperback, $15.
Order at Undercurrent