Book Review Date: March 18th, 2019
The ocean makes up 70 percent of Earth’s surface—and yet there is still so much left to discover: rarely visited reefs, astonishing schools of fish, unexplored caves. For generations, the sea has sparked our sense of adventure.
That’s where this remarkable guide comes in. Whether it’s your first time in open water with a tank on your back or the hundredth entry in your logbook, here is the perfect way to plan your underwater journey. From polar to temperate to tropical, and from wildlife to wrecks to denotes, this is the ultimate bucket list for beginners, experienced divers, and aspirational travelers alike.
Here are the world’s most spectacular diving destinations. Swim by night with giant manta rays in Kona, Hawaii, or join schools of hammerheads in Costa Rica. Explore caves in Belize or dive beneath the ice floes of Antarctica. Featuring stunning National Geographic photography and tips from celebrated National Geographic divers like Brian Skerry, Jess Cramp. And David Doubilet, this exquisite book explores the magic of our world’s oceans—from your armchair or with you scuba gear in tow.
My main takeaway from this book is the discovery that I do not have any desire to scuba dive. I never really thought about it one way or the other before, so when I was offered this book, I was really excited to dive (haha) into it. I love the images I see of these amazing underwater locations, like the image featured on the front of the book, for instance. So I was really most excited to look through the photos and just be blown away by all the cool things I’ll probably never see in person. But some of the images really surprised me. They gave me this weird chill down my back and one even made me feel a little claustrophobic (and it wasn’t one you’d expect, like a tunnel. It was just cloudy green water). Apparently, the idea of diving underwater freaks me out. Especially the ones where they talk about drop-offs with just untold distance below you. I’m not afraid of heights. At all. But it appears that I am if I imagine myself underwater. Which honestly makes no sense. But there you have it.
All that said, this book was still fascinating! Some locations spanned a few pages, but most of the locations were a single spread featuring a description on one page that reads a lot like a guidebook for divers (in a good way) with tidbits of local knowledge and important info if you go, as well as what you’d see when you go diving at that particular location. On the other page there is a photo. Sometimes of what the description mentions, but oftentimes not. This was maybe the only thing I didn’t like about it. I was reading some amazing descriptions of some really cool places, but I was seeing a picture of the surface or a certain fish instead. Sometimes, the surface or fish view was totally worth the single accompanying photo, and sometimes I felt a little cheated. But, that’s where the internet comes in handy. So I suggest, if you never plan to dive in your life and you want to see what they are talking about on some of the pages, keep google handy! It really added to the story being able to look up what they were talking about and see some of the beautiful places they described.
The good news is, that while the photos were a little bit hot or miss for me, the stories and descriptions were really interesting, even to a non-diver! I loved reading about how the wrecks were formed, or what it took to dive in really cold places, or the different experiences with underwater life people could have in these locations. It was a really cool book, and definitely worth the read, especially for someone who doesn’t read a ton of non-fiction. It’s fun to keep learning about the world, since I don’t have a science class to get that info anymore!
Oceans have historically been something that has separated us
- The more we see, the more we realize what we don’t know.
- It filled me with joy, knowing that places like this still exist
- Once you become aware of the issues, solutions will present themselves. Everything is connected. Everything really matters and we can no longer look at things in a vacuum