By: Tim Warnock
Publisher: The Chauncey Simpson Press
Publication Date: June 2011
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: August 4, 2011
A ‘dive log’ may sound quite ordinary to readers out there. In fact, a dive log is a record of dives, which is quite ordinary. It is a book that divers use to record date, location, depth, and “bottom time” of each dive they make. But after readers get their hands on this book; after they begin reading about the most amazing locations that this world of ours has to offer; and, most especially, after they view the monumentally stunning photographs that have been placed among the words - that highlight almost every page - readers will soon see that this particular author has turned his ordinary “dive log” into one of the most extra-ordinary works you could possibly imagine.
When this author first began diving it soon went from recreation to an obsession. This is not an overstatement. After seeing these locations, I don’t now how anyone could not be obsessed. The passionate writing explains everything from the sand chutes, to the eagle rays with their wings extended as they ascend to the surface, looking as if they are actually soaring through the wedgewood blue sky that surrounds the diver. The author articulates, with serenity and wonder, the symphony of millions of different kinds of fish that he swam through and beside on his adventures. The emperor angelfish, the eels that carouse the deep after dark, the sea urchins…everything is absolutely spoken about as if an artist was painting these incredible pictures for the rest of the world to enjoy. And the life above the sea is told with just as much verve and magic.
This author tells of the enchanting caves, lagoons, sunsets, canyons and beaches - and the amazing luxury that the “upper world” provides while you sip a martini and take it all in. In fact, these pages will make most readers’ imaginations go wild, as they begin to wish with all their hearts that they were there! They will crave a journey to every amazing place on this planet, where they can come close to a coral reef filled with eerie looking species like the spotted burrfish (there’s a full-color photo of this guy, and he’s creepy!)
Readers are taken to shipwrecks where they can get up close and personal with the dangers of the deep, while watching schools of fish dart in and out of cargo-hold doors. In fact, the prose is told so well, the reader can almost feel the slight chill in their veins and smell the old rust and metal “wreck” that was once going somewhere, only to find their final resting place under the sea.
A favorite will be ‘Robert’s Wall,’ where hammerhead sharks swim. Most are disinterested in the divers, but the heart will pound and the pulse will race as you begin to hear that famous John Williams' music in the background as Jaws rose to the surface and embarked on his Hollywood career. There are also stories of lemon sharks - a lovely name - but still a master of the deep. Black-tipped sharks, gray sharks - the whole gang arrives and forms a beautiful, slightly deadly, aquarium inside your mind.
In the end, readers should “see” some very key points that can be taken from this beautiful book. Such as: After Hurricane Ivan struck, the author speaks of how things “came back together.” It will amaze and astound readers to know that an ocean filled with billions of life forms can evolve and begin again without missing a step. Readers will also see the beauty of our environment, and how we should all be striving much harder to keep that environment intact.
Fantastic things come in small packages, and although this work is not the grandest of tomes, it is certainly one of the most incredible collections of stories you will ever read. There is a place in the book where the author speaks of Post-Impressionist painter, Paul Gauguin, where he quotes him as saying that all Paul wanted was, ecstasy, calmness, and art. And that is exactly what this particular book gives to one and all!
Quill Says: This is beauty personified. A book you will buy, keep, share, and stare at for many, many years to come! Enjoy!