Saturday, November 29, 2008

Book Review - "Cool Waters - Emerald Seas"

As mentioned in a previous post , I met an old diving buddy (John Collins) from my Trinity days at the Cahill May Roberts weekend in Adare Manor a couple of weeks ago. While catching up on old times - we're talking the late 80s/early 90s, John mentioned that he had written a book featuring many of his photographs. 

I bought the book from Amazon and really enjoyed it - especially the photo of Calliostoma zizyphinum (the painted topshell) on page 60. John and I as members of the Dublin University Sub-Aqua Club (DUSAC) dived together several times - no doubt he collected many of the topshells I used in my PhD studies.

I have written a review at Amazon and gave it five stars. The text of the review is also below:

5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Collection of Photos29 Nov 2008
By EFMOL "eugeneol" (Dublin) - See all my reviews
This is a most enjoyable book for everyone. If you ever wanted to get up close to what's under the sea, John Collins'wonderfully photographed book will take you there. This is both a work of art and a work of love by the author. The excellent photographs combined with the author's own written contributions, plus quotations from diving's pioneers works extremely well. 

The book is well edited and I'm sure it was a huge task for Collins and his editors to select the final photos from what was no doubt a massive collection. It is divided up into several sections like "Undersea Journeys" and " Sea Dreams". My favorite section was the "Face to Face" where Collins gets up close and personal with wonderful fish, dolphins, seals, and sharks. 

I also like the fact that the author does not use each organism's taxonomic full title - the common name "Painted Topshell" (p 60) sounds much more interesting than the more formal "Calliostoma zizyphinum". 

This book is like a collection of the best photographs from the National Geographic, with a personal touch added. It makes you want to put on a wetsuit, learn how to dive, and jump straight into the ocean to see the plants, creatures, and wrecks that are out of sight for us landlubbers. If you like a glimpse of the undersea world, you will not be disappointed with this book. 

Maith an fear tú féin John.

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