Saturday, 18 December 2010

Scottish Diver Book Review of Wrecks and Reefs of Southeast Scotland

Here is a review of my book as featured in this months Scottish Diver. For more reviews and comments pleas see Mikes Book on the Main Page of my website
A Dive
With A
received a dive guide to review let alone
one as good as this. There are other
guides available for parts of this area
notably St. Abbs and Eyemouth but here
Mike has chosen to review a wider area
stretching from Burntisland to the Isle of
May and south to Holy Isle.
Mike lives in Musselburgh almost in
the centre of the area covered and it is
clear that 25 years experience diving the
area have gone into this book. Mike is
passionate about his diving and photography
and it is obvious, that this project
has been a labour of love.
The hundred dives Mike has chosen
reflect his development in diving with
dives varying in depth from 8m-58m.
He begins with all the usual thanks and
acknowledgments, a ‘how to use this
guide’ section, and some observations
about the tides in the area which is essential
in my view.
Another excellent addition is the
BSAC Divers Code of Conduct, given
the problems divers are having around
Loch Fyne and elsewhere it is a timely
reminder that if we want to enjoy access
to dive sites we have to behave accordingly.
Dive number one is indoors, yes
indoors and not a swimming pool. It
is Deep Sea World, like all the dives
Mike gives essential information name,
location, depth, conditions, access, diver
experience and then details of what to
expect. This is where the book comes
alive. Even in Deep Sea World he provides
the reader with plenty of interesting
background information.
For instance I was not aware they no
longer kept congers as their life cycle
requires them to spawn in the Sargasso
Sea and when that time comes they get
agitated and will die if they can’t make
that final journey. That is research above
and beyond the call but it is what sets
this dive guide apart.
Every dive in the book gets the full
treatment; if it’s a wreck you can be sure
you will get the history, how it went
down and if appropriate - why. Plus all
the details you expect about how to do
the dive. Some dive guides take a scatter
gun approach and cram in as many dives
as possible with little information, just
some co-ordinates which often turn out
to be inaccurate.
Others choose just a few, normally
wrecks and tell their full story. This
guide has struck the right balance of how
to dive the site with enough background
information to be both informative and
Some of the dives like the SS Exmouth
will, for me anyway, be an armchair dive.
Mike has done it for me, his description of
the wreck and his dives on it are as close
as I need to get. However there are many
dives in this guide that have my juices
flowing and I fully intend to be visiting as
many of them as I can over the next couple
of years.
Indeed one of the criteria I use to judge a
dive guide is, does it make me want to go
out and do the dives? The answer in this
case is, yes. Not just because of the descriptions
but also the photographs which
are of the highest standard as you would
expect from Mike.
It’s not often a dive guide is both useful
and entertaining but in this case Mike
has put his heart and soul into it and has
raised it from just a dive guide to another
level. Like all the members of Conger Alley
who have written their own reviews I
would like to join them in recommending
this book to anyone who is thinking about
diving the Wrecks and Reefs of Southeast
Wrecks & Reefs of Southeast Scotland
Mike Clark
Whittles Publishing
ISBN 978-1-84995-010-7
Jack Morrison reviews regular
SCOTTISH DIVER contributor, Mike
Clark’s new dive guide - Wrecks &
Reefs of Southeast Scotland ...
Mike is passionate about
his diving and
photography and it is
obvious, that this project
has been a labour of love.

No comments: