Non-Fiction Book Log
Flight of the Cormoran February 2007
For many, the SMS Cormoran is just the little wreck next to the Tokai Maru, a massive World War II wreck that draws divers to Guam’s
Apra Harbor. But exploring the World War I German light cruiser and documenting its crew and the people of the region was the author
Herbert T. Ward’s life passion. He took a job in the Guam in the 1960s and pioneered wreck diving just to explore the wreck, which
ultimately claimed him in an accident in 1975. The ship had a fairly undistinguished service in the South Pacific before it was ignominiously
scuttled in the harbor. But Ward’s narrative reminds readers that crews on warships come from all walks of life, and have needs and wants
and dreams, and that tending a ship is hard, tedious work. The book also gives insights to early days of scuba, and of the creativity of
explorers and the dangers they faced to pursue the quest for knowledge. Several pages of black and white photos vividly show what life
was like in the heyday of the Cormoran as well as in the 1960s when Ward visited the wreck at 120 feet daily on a double-hose scuba.
Originally published in 1970, the 175-page book was recently reprinted by his daughter through Thomson-Shore Inc., and is available in
soft- and hard-cover. ISBN: 0-9753861-1-5. www.smscormoran.com.
Shipwreck Hunter July 2007
Wreck divers have a must-read book on their list with Gerald Volgenau’s Shipwreck Hunter: Deep, Dark & Deadly in the Great Lakes.
After blazing through the 200-page hardcover from Ann Arbor Media Group pass it on to non-divers to help them understand the allure of
the sport. Veteran journalist Volgenau relates the story of Danny Fader, one of wreck hunter David Trotter’s first-string explorers until an
accident while diving the Detroit derailed his diving career and nearly cost him his life. Fader’s personal development from carefree days to
focused determination to heal and the devotion of loved ones serve as a matrix to explore the motivations that drive some to go beyond just
casual recreational diving to becoming obsessed with putting lost ships on the map. Along the way, readers get insights into personalities
they see presenting programs at dive shows throughout the country. They also learn details about Great Lakes wrecks directly from the
divers who discovered them as a hobby from their day jobs. Site maps, historic drawings and color photos of wrecks in situ add
immediacy to the text. ISBN: 978-1-58726-430-6. www.annarbormediagroup.com.
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Runner Aground March 2007
Adam Grohman, whose Non Liquet book debunked theories behind the wreckage of a submarine off Bayville, N.Y., has returned to those
Long Island Sound waters again to tell the story of the William T. Bell. The Bell was a prohibition-era rum-running schooner that crashed
ashore at Oak Neck Point, near Bayville in 1927, driven by a nor’easter that also claimed the Coast Guard cutter that was pursuing it. Unlike
the cutter crew, the Bell’s crew survived yet disappeared nearly as fast as they could be pulled from the water. Rescuers soon found why
when they found the doomed ship to be full of booze. The 156-page soft cover book from the Underwater Historical Society Research
Society balances between describing the wreck and its era with descriptions of the research needed to glean the facts from newspapers and
local residents. Dozens of photos show the wreck and its salvage, contemporary boats and the site today, where the remains are little more
than wooden beams mostly buried in shifting sands. Besides presenting an interesting slice of history, this is a good book for budding
researchers ISBN: none. www.uhrs.org.
Just the facts January 2007
No matter what draws divers together, sooner or later the talk gets around to someone presenting an unbelievable fact and a chorus of
everyone else saying, “oh yeah?!” But where can anyone turn to get the facts on arcane dive trivia to solve the dispute? The Diving
Almanac & Yearbook 2007 is where. Jeffrey Gallant has compiled more than 550 pages of facts, figures, charts and illustrations on diving,
divers underwater sciences. It covers the gamut of sport, commercial, scientific and military diving. Looking for records? The book nails
down 235 of them. Got questions on dive training and medicine or organizations worldwide? Answers are there along with descriptions of
diving available in more than 150 countries and territories. Periodicals and other media are described and brief bios 320 diving personalities
are presented. ISBN: 0-9781078-0-2 www.divingalmanac.com.
Dive into a mystery December 2006
Get a taste of what goes into solving a maritime mystery by reading Adam Grohman’s Non Liquet: The Bayville Submarine Mystery. This
140-page soft cover from the Underwater Historical Research Society is Grohman’s first-person account of his effort to identify wreckage
in Long Island Sound north of Bayville, N.Y. The popularly thought that it was a British World War I era submarine didn’t make sense to
the author, who set out to determine what was really down there. Along the way he learned a lot about the history and residents of his
neighborhood, and gained a better appreciation for his family and dive buddies. Spell-check errors throughout give a down-home touch to a
book on historic research. No ISBN. www.adamgrohman.com.
Life after Death's Door February 2007
Door Peninsula extends along the northwest edge of Lake Michigan protecting Green and Sturgeon bays from the wrath of lake storms.
This natural harbor has been in continuous use for commercial shipping since pre-colonial days. Heavy ship traffic created lots of
shipwrecks, especially during the age of sail when captains relied on dead reckoning and sailing skills as they sought refuge through shoal-
studded waters. Great Lakes historians and divers Cris Kohl and Joan Forsberg extensively researched the hundreds of wrecks and the eras
in which they occurred to pen Shipwrecks At Death’s Door. The 32 chapters of this 288-page soft cover book from Seawolf
Communications highlight especially known wrecks and geographic features that led to the doom of lesser ones. News accounts of the day,
quotes from survivors and hundreds of images, woodcuts and photos of the vessels above and below water bring life to the often
harrowing stories of sailors battling for their lives against angry seas. The extensive bibliography points readers to more sources, and the
index makes it a good reference book as well as a good read. ISBN: 0-9679976-8-2 www.seawolfcommunications.com.
Fine book on treasure November 2005
John C. Fine invested many years in research, interviews and on-site exploration for his latest book, Treasures of the Spanish Main, a
hardcover from Lyons Press. It was worth the wait for readers who yearn for untold stories of the treasure seekers.
As the author points out, few treasure hunters could match the ups and downs endured by the late Mel Fisher in his 17-year search for the
Nuestra Senora de Atocha. His battle with the state of Florida and loss of his son, Dirk, in an accident at sea, reveals the heartbreaking
realities of the quest. Fisher’s $400 million discovery of the Atocha’s motherlode was the culmination of a dream and made Fisher a
Fine presents others who have great tales of adventure, like Burt Webber who, with the help of researcher Jack Haskins, found heaps of
treasure from the Conception, a Spanish galleon lost in 1641 off Hispaniola.
Bob Weller, nicknamed “Frogfoot” from his days as a U.S. Navy Underwater Demolition Team officer, gleaned many treasures from the
renowned Spanish Plate Fleet. He also played a major role in Fine’s interviews, recalling the early days of diving on the 20 ships of the 1733
fleet that sank in a storm off the Florida Keys, leaving behind treasures bound for Spain. Weller recounts discoveries by the late Art McKee,
Marty Meylach, Craig Hamilton and a host of other pioneers.
The San Pedro, San Ignacio and El Infante are just a few of the many 1733 wrecks covered in chapter 7, one of the most detailed and
captivating components of the book. Another chapter, The Shipwrecks off Jupiter Beach, is just as intriguing in its disclosure of a
John Fine captures the frustration, perils, anxieties and exhilaration of the treasure salvors, both past and present in the 192-page book. His
photos are topnotch, depicting some of the greatest treasures from the golden highway of the Spanish Main.
ISBN: 1-59228-760-3. Learn more at www.LyonsPress.com or John Fine at email@example.com
– Ellsworth Boyd
Get High on diving August 2006
William (Bill) High’s Beneath The Sea isn’t the newest dive book on the shelf, but the 300-page hard cover from Best Publishing Co. is one
of the more engaging ones. High settled into being president of PSI, the cylinder inspection training company, capping a lifetime of
adventures that date to witnessing the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and probably before. A skydiver, field medic, hunter and fisherman,
High’s an avid water lover who’s logged more than a year of bottom time hours as a commercial and recreational diver. And his enthusiasm
lets the reader know that his best dive will be the next one. “Beneath The Sea” is a collection of vignettes of his adventures over the years.
They tell of lessons learned through diving and give insights into notables from John Wayne to Jacque Cousteau. Instead of a coffee-table
book this is a toilet tank topper, because the quick takes are good short distractions. His first-person narratives give a sense of an
adventurer sharing his tales over a beer at the neighborhood dive bar. ISBN: 0-941332-67-6. Learn more at www.bestpub.com.
Fatal Forecast August 2007
Although it’s not about diving, Fatal Forecast is a page-turner for everyone who loves being on the water, and is awed by the power of
nature and the breadth of human endurance. In his 220-page hardcover from Scribner, Michael J. Tougias puts readers aboard the Fair
Wind, one of several lobster boats that were working the Georges Bank, 130 miles off Cape Cod in late November 1980 when an
unforeseen storm churned 60-foot waves as icy rain blowing horizontally blurred the difference between the sky and the sea. As the 50-
foot boat joined countless others on the bottom, the ordeal was just beginning for its lone survivor, Ernie Hazard. His experiences, those of
his rescuers and the lives of fishermen who toil so perilously to put food on our tables are intimately told by Tougias. An epilogue brings a
sense of closure to the true tale with survivors, victims’ families and principals in the rescue describing their lives in the wake the deadly
storm. ISBN: 978-0-7432-9703-5. www.michaeltougias.com.
Postive look at 'Neutral' book September 2007
Tim Ecott’s Neutral Buoyancy: Adventures in a Liquid World is a good paperback to hand off to non-divers after giving it a good read.
Ecott is a reporter / producer for British Broadcasting Corp. who discovered diving as a not-so-young man and became infatuated with the
sport. He earned dive master certification and traveled the world to compile notes for the dozen chapters, each offering vignettes on
destinations, various aspects of diving, and profiles of notables such as Austrian pioneers Hans and Lotte Haas. In “Diving Free,” for
example, he explores breath-hold diving; “Advanced French” marks the advances of French inventors; and “Organic Gold” focuses on
sponge diving. Ecott is a professional storyteller whose articles have circulated in “National Georgraphic” and “Esquire” among many well-
read magazines. Diving technology is described in laymen’s terms. Although he gets somewhat preachy on marine ecology and is quite
opinionated about some divers, especially thrill-seekers, Ecott’s colorful prose can draw interests of divers and non-divers alike. Published
by UK Penguin Books, the paperback can be found readily through web sites, book and department stores.
ISBN: 978-0802139078. www.penguinbooks.uk.
Treating the blahs September 2007
The Art Of Diving is a great book to have on hand when vagaries of topside life push the serenity of diving aside. The 272-page hardcover
from Lyons Press is a cross between a coffee table book, travel guide and compilation of dive stories and profiles of diving pioneers. British
Broadcasting Corp. wildlife photographer Alexander Mustard, PhD., brings the beauty of undersea life alive with vivid color photos taken
around the world. British guidebook author Nick Hanna provides the text that weaves science, nature and aesthetics of diving with
observations by Jacques Cousteau, Howard Hall, Sylvia Earle, Emile Gagnon, Hans and Lotte Haas, Jacques Mayol and a host of other
notables. In eight chapters, it describes the allure of the underwater world’s landscapes and creatures, how to watch fish, diving
techniques, freediving, the spirit of the sea and poses ideas about the future of our oceans. An index helps guide readers to specific topics
and names. References and organizations listed in the back give leads to learn more about diving and conservation. Readers are provided
with a password to learn more as well through the book’s Website. IBSN: 978-1-59921-227-2. www.artofdiving.com.
Navy secrets surface October 2007
Navy buffs won't be able to put down Naval Forces Under The Sea: The Rest of the Story. The 404-page hardcover from Best Publishing is
a compilation of stories and marine research that grew out of a March 2001 symposium to prepare for the Naval Experimental Dive Unit's
75th anniversary in 2002. The meeting drew together many of the pioneers who made diving history that's just now coming to light, since
much of it was classified at the time. Military and governmental projects and milestones from the early 1900s through year 2000 are
presented, including the launch of the U.S.S. Holland, the Navy's first sub, daring salvages in World Wars I and II and the Challenger space
shuttle and the evolution of rebreather technology. The dozens of contributors are a Who's Who of diving, each contributing his observations
of technology of the day as seen through older and wiser perspectives of today. Three indices, on general topics, people and ships, ease
finding and cross-checking references. Accompanying the book is a compact disk of interviews that give listeners a sense of the
personalities of the Navy personnel who contributed to this book. ISBN: 1-930536-30-5. www.bestpub.com.
A dive in the country October 2007
Wipe away the mid-winter blahs by sitting down to American Waters, the 194-page coffee-table book of images by National Geographic
underwater photographer Alex Kirkbride. A 1997 Aqua magazine assignment to dive across America got Kirkbride started on a personal
quest to log meaningful photos in all 50 U.S. states. The results are a surprise, "a pleasant one," Jean-Michel Cousteau notes in his forward
to the book from D&C. Some show tranquil beauty like the Lake Michigan wreck of the Eber Ward, marine biology like mating crawfish in
North Dakota, resplendent color like the day-glow coral on Florida's Duane wreck, portraiture like the trout in Gilboa quarry or humor like
the taxi seen from below a puddle in Kirkbride's hometown of New York City. Each image is accompanied with notes about the site that
give insights into the top-flight pro photographer's thoughts. The entries also note dive details, including the date, depth, water temperature
and visibility. Whether strictly a warm-water resort diver or a drysuited northern wreck fanatic, this book has images for everyone. It
closes with a simple index of photos by state, so the only way to find specific topics is to flip through the pages and dream of diving. ISBN:
13-978-0-7153-2751-7. www.alexkirkbride.com or www.fwbookstore.com.
Just the facts December 2007
Just when it seemed like the Dive Almanac Jeffrey Gallant introduced last year would be the definitive argument stopper at dive club
gatherings for years to come, he brings out a 2008 edition that makes the premiere issue seem so last year. His latest from Porbeagle Press
adds 150 profiles, bringing the total to 500, and 100 records bringing the total to 350. The 5.5- by 8-inch book grew to 620 pages. Two
full-color sections showcase images by renowned underwater artists and photographers, adding some serious eye candy to the book. Travel
divers will like the new blue-pages directory that gives handy stats on the world's dive sites, like the climate, currency, electricity, health
advisories and other data by country. Like the original, it's chock full of interesting vignettes that are fun little reads. Historical Diving
Society president Leslie Leaney's foreword adds a sense of perspective to the issue. This might join the Olde Farmers' Almanac as a
must-buy annual reference. ISBN: 978-0-9781078-90000. www.divingalmanac.com.
Have a blast diving March 2008
Anyone who's ever been affiliated with a military underwater demolition team or had the desire to enlist in one will not be able to put down
Diver by Tony Groom. In the 338-page soft cover from Sheridan House, Groom describes his 10-year stint on a Fleet Clearance team of
the British Royal Navy. Much of the time was spent training; traveling the world, blowing things up and salvaging odds and ends without a
thought of any real conflict interrupting peace. And then, Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands, thrusting Groom into battle to do the job
he was trained to do. Although he survived, he will never forget the 255 who did not, and had insights into why another 264 Falklands
veterans committed suicide as they struggled with the scars of war. Much of his first-person narrative is a candid look at adventures,
relationships, personal triumphs and failures of a man whose job is to install or defuse explosives in cold dark waters. It demands nerves of
steel, since one slight error would be the last error. Admiral Sir Jonathan Band, First Sea and Land Chief of Staff, sets the tone with a
tribute to UDT personnel in the foreword. Color and black and white photos give readers a taste of the hard work and hard partying that
builds camaraderie among these special forces. ISBN: 978-1-57409-269-1. www.sheridanhouse.com.
Get pumped up on oil April 2008
Now that filling the SUV's tank with gasoline requires a modest bank loan it's a good time to leave the behemoth parked in the driveway and
read a good book. One that will give a reader an appreciation for the high prices at the pump is the History of Oilfield Diving by
Christopher Swann. This 864-page hardcover from Oceanaut Press traces one of the dangerous jobs in the oil industry from its start off
California in the late 1950s to modern times. Along the way divers pushed the limits of commercial diving from a few hundred feet to more
than one thousand, in some of the world's most brutal diving conditions in the North Sea and Alaska as well as the politically volatile Middle
East. Pioneers who survived describe their close calls and accidents that occurred as they extended the frontier of diving. Swann spent 19
years researching the book's 64 chapters. It ends with a glossary, conversion tables, a chronology, general index and index of people, plus a
sources list for further reading. More than 400 historic photos and illustrations, including eight color pages, put the reader right on the dive
platform. ISBN: 978-0-9797891-0-6. www.oceanautpress.com
Book solves galleon mystery January 2008
John Amrhein Jr.'s new book from New Maritime Press, The Hidden Galleon, is a culmination of more than 25 years of research.
Beginning in 1980 as a salvor searching for a treasure-laden Spanish galleon, Amrhein became a reputable maritime historian who
meticulously documented the location of a Spanish warship that “experts” had misinterpreted.
In attempting to separate fact from fiction, he encountered con artists, a devious state’s attorney general, fraudulent affidavits and federal
officials who ignored him. Amrheins became consumed, no longer by treasure but by the fascinating history of La Galga, a vessel whose
valid records had been lost or misconstrued for over 200 years.
Assateague Island, starts at Ocean City, Md., and extends 27 miles south to Chincoteague Island, Va. Both barrier islands – declared years
ago as state and federal parks – are refuges for a variety of wildlife. But it’s Assateague’s wild ponies that add intrigue to the legend of their
origin, which appears to be connected to La Galga.
Many learned of the ponies through Marguerite Henry’s Misty of Chincoteague, a fictional story based on the real life annual penning and
sales of ponies rounded up off Assateague Island. Every year, thousands of people flock to Chincoteague Island to see the auction and learn
about the original ponies purported to have survived from a Spanish ship wrecked offshore in 1750.
In 1997, Ben Benson, a New Hampshire entrepreneur, came to Assateague and found a wreck offshore that he believed was the 1750
treasure galleon, Juno. He also found another ship which he thought was La Galga.
The Commonwealth of Virginia gave salvor’s rights to Benson for the Juno, but the federal government stepped in and allowed the Kingdom
of Spain to claim the wreck. Virginia made a feeble attempt to defend the claim, but the U.S. Justice Department prevailed. Although Spain
owns rights to the wreck, it has neither the personnel nor the resources to attempt any salvage.
Meanwhile, Spain also claims La Galga, but has no idea where it is. Author John Amrhein is the only person who knows where La Galga
rests and he tells all about it in his fascinating tale of "The Hidden Galleon". www.thehiddengalleon.com.
– Ellsworth Boyd
Highlights from 'The Very Depths' July 2008
For most divers, Peter Bennett, Ph.D., is synonymous with Divers Alert Network, the diving research non-profit organization and insurance
provider that he founded and led for decades. To The Very Depths, the memoir he penned for Best Publishing, makes him much more than
the talking head and controversial figurehead as his days at DAN drew to a close in 2003. It's tempting to skip ahead to his insider's view of
his ouster. However, don't overlook chapters on early days that led to his entrepreneurial career path as diving technology shifted to civilians
from the military. They are filled with surprises, starting with his parent's, when he popped into the world after the birth of his equally
unplanned identical twin brother, John. Vivid recollections of bomb raids on his native Portsmouth, England, and subsequent move to
Bombay, Indian, where the family sought safe haven, give insights into civilian life during World War II and of the latter days of British
colonialism. Over 230 pages of anecdotes and snapshots leave a reader feeling like he's met a warm, energetic friend and family man who
has loved his wife, Margaret, for more than 50 years. ISBN: 978-1-930536-47-0. www.bestpub.com
Claim a shipwreck book August 2008
Divers visit only a few of the 11 shipwrecks Adam Grohman covers in Claimed By The Sea – Long Island Shipwrecks but it's a book that
would be enjoyed by wreck divers and maritime history buffs alike. The 242-page soft cover from the Underwater Historical Research
Society focuses on the grandeur of the ships in their day and the perils of the sea to which they succumbed. Some wrecks disappeared
without a trace but for their compelling legacies. The SS Savannah, for instance, first used steam power in a trans-Atlantic crossing before
splinting in the surf off Fire Island. The General Slocum took more than 1,200 members of New York's Lutheran community to their deaths
in a fiery disaster. Grohman tapped news accounts of the day and extensively researched archives for details, and his sources are noted in
footnotes throughout the book. Besides wrecks, he offers tips on getting more involved in maritime history and suggests books for further
reading. Several organizations and historians are profiled in appendices, which also include a glossary of terms, locations of known wreck
sites, specifications of the wrecks and a handy index that cross references the content. www.uhrs.org.
A blizzard of emotion September 2008
An overriding sensation while reading Michael J. Tougias' nerve-wracking, gut-wrenching Ten Hours Until Dawn is that you wish it were
fiction, but it's not. In the 324-page soft cover from St. Martin's Griffin, the award-winning author tells the tragedy of the crew of the Can
Do. The 49-foot workboat typically ferried harbor captains to mighty ships entering Gloucester, Mass., harbor. But when the February
1978 blizzard stranded and then foundered the tanker Global Hope just outside the harbor, the humble boat and its seasoned crew raced to
the rescue as the nearest vessel to the stricken ship while the Coast Guard dispatched help from more distant harbors. Equipment failures
aboard the Can Do amid towering icy seas turned the rescuers into victims despite giving their all to save lives including their own. Through
his research including extensive interviews, Tougias crafted a deeply personal book that leaves readers feeling as if they knew the victims,
survivors, and their friends and families. It instills a deep appreciation for the fury of the sea and the souls of those who try to master it.
Lowdown on diving March 2009
The Diving Almanac & Book of Records just keeps on getting bigger and better. At 750 pages, the soft-cover book of argument stoppers is
up from the 2008 edition's 620 pages. Personality profiles have grown to 600, up from 500, and record entries total 500, up from 300. The
new edition sports a Diving Business Directory section and a Year In Review chapter that documents events between September 2007 and
December 2008. Underwater photogs get advice on shooting still shots and videos from Alex Mustard, Ph.D. Handy sections from prior
years are back such as the directory of world dive destinations with info on climate, currency, electricity and other data that are helpful in
planning dive trips. The almanac kicks off with a foreword by Hillary Vidders of the Women Divers Hall of Fame and Academy of
Underwater Arts and Sciences. Best of all, it is packed with short informative items that are great little reads for moments when you want a
little diversion. Keep this handy reference on the "library" shelf, right next to the toilet tissue and air freshener.
ISBN: 978-0-9781078-2-6. www.divingalmanac.com.
A Great Lakes ship book June 2009
A book titled Buckets and Belts sounds like one only hard-core wreck divers could tolerate. Yet authors William Lafferty and Valerie van
Heest turn the Evolution of the Great Lakes Self-Unloader into a compelling story. The 304-page soft cover from In-Depth Editions is filled
with story upon story of not just the ships, but life in their day, and the crewmen, who dedicated their lives, and sometimes lost them, to
moving cargo on the waters of the nation's freshwater seas. Divers who discover, explore and salvage the ships that sank are woven into
the story as well. The authors know them well as divers themselves and through the Michigan Shipwreck Research Associates, which
found many wrecks. The tale begins in 1902 with the Hennepin, which became the first self-unloader when machinery to offload its bulk
cargo was added to a vessel originally named the George H. Dyer. The mechanism revolutionized shipping, allowing the vessels to service
lesser ports that lacked off-loading cranes and to deliver cargo closer to final destinations. As commerce grew on the lakes, so did the
ships, evolving into the modern 1,000-foot long vessels. The use of black and white photos throughout is fitting since the dark depths
where many wrecks lie is monochromatic anyway. The book ends with a comprehensive index, a list of every self-unloader built and its
fate, plus a bibliography for further research. ISBN: 978-0-9801750-0-4. www.in-deptheditions.com.
Think freely about dive safety September 2009
You don't even have to go to the bookstore or spend a penny for the most comprehensive study on diving safety and incidents. Divers Alert
Network has its DAN Annual Diving Report – 2008 posted on-line, and it's accessible to all who want to read it, even non-members. The
140-page report is based largely on 2006 and 2007 data on diving injuries, fatalities and breath-hold incidents. The lag time allows time for
the data to get reported and analyzed by the organization. There also is a chapter on information gleaned from DAN's Project Dive
Exploration, which allows divers with compatible computers to upload dive data to DAN. This provides a growing base of data on the 99
percent of typical dives that do not result in an injury or fatality. In appendices individual injuries, fatalities and breath-hold incidents are
described and analyzed in further detail. This is a handy reference for those interested in diving safety, and what diver shouldn't be. Printed
versions of the report can still be purchased, but the PDF version is available free of charge by clicking to