The Caymans are a unique part of the Caribbean region in that a largely marine culture developed there. These three small, flat and remote islands between Jamaica and Cuba were not suitable for the sugar plantations that dominated the other islands. They did sustain a large number of crocodiles, and a great abundance of sea turtles. The islands were uninhabited before European discovery, and initially served as navigational landmarks, places to take on water and careen vessels, and sources of turtle meat for the Spanish, French, Dutch, and British. After 1655, they came under the control of England, and were settled in the early eighteenth century. The settlers made their living hunting turtles, first in their islands, later off the south coast of Cuba, and finally on the Miskito Bank of Central America. This endeavor also spawned a ship building industry and rope making. The Caymans are surrounded by reefs and, being low, are almost impossible to sight at night, therefore there are, as the author states, a "disproportionate number of shipwrecks." Islanders looted and salvaged wrecks as part of their livelihood. This book is an outstanding, comprehensive account of this maritime history and heritage, which was largely replaced by massive tourism in the late twentieth century. It is, most importantly, an authoritative account; the author is a marine archaeologist who has studied the islands for twenty years. His research includes underwater and terrestrial archaeological surveys and excavations, archival research, oral histories, ethnohistory, and ethnography. Yet it is also a pleasant, entertaining, and well-illustrated read, equally suitable for the scholar and the casual reader.