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The Darkness Below [Kindle Edition]

Rod Macdonald
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: £9.59 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Book Description

From the best-selling author of four classic UK diving books comes The Darkness Below – a collection of absorbing adventures gained from a lifetime in diving. Rod takes the reader on a spellbinding and gripping journey from first beginnings as a novice scuba diver. Told in intimate detail with a beguiling sense of self-deprecating humour, he recounts epic dives on some of the most fabulous shipwrecks around the world. Terrifying first explorations of virgin shipwrecks far offshore, lost in time and enshrouded in darkness, cram the pages.


Product Description

Review

'This has got to be the most enjoyable dive book I have read in a long time. ... Rod weaves a golden thread through his diving career, picking out wrecks, characters and events that are all interlinked in their own ways. They all form part of a fantastic story, leaving you wanting him to write another volume so that you can continue to follow the tale. ... Rod is a legend in Scottish diving... If you love diving, wrecks or just like a well written, true life adventure written with passion and attention to detail, this is the book for you!' Scottish Diver '...that's the real thriller of 'The Darkness Below'. Rod not only reveals the facts of lesser known and enduringly fascinating wrecks in locations I'm familiar with, he goes even further; exposing the history of other maritime classics I would never have known about. That's why this book is so different. ...a refreshingly great read. ... The many illustrations combined with Rod's in-depth descriptions and the wealth of both historical and anecdotal information doesn't leave the reader wanting. ... It truly is an excellent and informative read and a book you'll find yourself returning to repeatedly for another fix. ...is like a fusion of the most exciting presentations I've watched on National Geographic or Discovery; and reminiscent of the pioneering explorations of Cousteau. ...the late great Monsieur Cousteau may have been your idol Rod, but your equally trail-blazing an awe-inspiring path yourself.' DiversInc '...Rod's memior of his many astonishing diving exploits... ...a collection of bite-size ripping yarns. ...The Darkness Below deserves to become a classic. ... There are some real stand-out gems as "Into the Corryvreckan Whirlpool" (your hands will start to sweat as you read this one), but all of them are compelling... ...is a futureclassic: the quality and quantity of the dives described. ... It's action packed from the get-go and doesn't let up all the way through.' Conger Alley '...a breathtaking first-hand account.' Scotland on Sunday 'If you want to know what 'real' scuba diving is all about, look no further! ...this is one of the most intense and exciting books about Diving I have ever had the good fortune to read and when someone of my experience finds himself saying "Wow!" it must be really good. ... After yet more exciting wrecks from both world wars, the author describes his indoctrination into 'Trimax' - a system of mixed gases which permit divers to venture even deeper, after which he visits the Correyvrecken Whirlpool - one of the largest whirlpools in the world.' Ned Middleton '...anyone from a novice diver all the way up to mixed gas rebreather divers will find something interesting (and probably new!) Tech Diving Mag 'Rod Macdonald's book of his stand-out wreck dives updates his previous Into the Abyss, and it's a terrific read. ...he has a real gift for taking the reader with him on his dives. The descriptions of the wrecks themselves are as good as any you'll read, enabling you to picture easily what his underwater lights reveal. ...what's most enjoyable about the book is that Macdonald communicates so effortlessly the excitement of the quest. ...in the chapter on diving the Corryvreckan whirlpool, you can almost feel the vicious currents... For a picture of British deep wreck-diving and of how technical diving has developed as a means to a useful end, The Darkness Below doesn't disappoint.' Divernet '...we are repeatedly taken on voyages past 50, 60 metres into freezing, pitch black water, often with little or no visibility and entrapment hazards all around. ... Particulary thrilling are a descent into the Corryvreckan Whirlpool in Scotland, a natural maelstrom fraught with dangerous downcurrents that, frankly you'd have to be mad to consider diving. ... The Darkness Below is an adventure story, but it's also a humble and honest account of one man's passio. And by making inaccessible places accessible to all. Rod Macdonald has made a huge contribution to understanding our maritime heritage.' British Diver 'Macdonald is a Scottish diving legend... This is one of the best diving books I've ever read. If divers like Rod Macdonald are shaping the future of the sport, and establishing the ethos and ethics of wreck exploration and discovery, I'm very happy to be involved.' Learn to Dive Today Blog

About the Author

Rod is the best-selling author of four classic UK diving books, Dive Scapa Flow, Dive Scotland's Greatest Wrecks, Dive England's Greatest Wrecks and Into the Abyss, diving to adventure in the liquid world. He has had numerous articles published in the major diving magazines including Diver, Dive and Scottish Diver and has been featured on many TV and radio programmes.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4649 KB
  • Print Length: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Whittles Publishing (23 April 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CHK2HCA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #173,967 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Rod's diving career started a very long time ago in the early 1980's - before even Wham were popular. Within a few years he had developed a particular interest in shipwrecks which was to take him all over the world from Scapa Flow to Truk Lagoon to the South China Seas.
The paucity of information for divers about the scuttled German WW I High Seas Fleet wrecks lying at the bottom of Scapa Flow led to the publication of his first book, Dive Scapa Flow in 1990. This book has been updated and expanded over the years as the wrecks decay and fall apart and is now in its 4th edition.
Rod has written for most dive magazines and has been involved in several TV productions such as Timewatch:The Death of the Battleship and Equinox: Lethal Seas.
He is a keen sailor and crewman and lives in Stonehaven, a small historic fishing town just to the south of Aberdeen where is a crewman on the local MRI Stonehaven Lifeboat.


Customer Reviews

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4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Ned Middleton HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
If you want to know what `real' scuba diving is all about, look no further! Speaking as a diver of almost 40 years experience with an abiding interest in shipwrecks, there are many I have visited and a great deal more which are still on my `Bucket List.' This diver has already visited several of both the former and the latter.

Of all the books I review, I reserve my hardest comments for those about shipwrecks and diving. Being the two subjects I study in the greatest of detail, I frequently find too many would-be authors put pen to paper without understanding either subject. Thankfully, Rod Macdonald is one of that rare breed who knows these subjects most thoroughly and fully understands how to put that knowledge into a readable and engaging style of writing. In short, this is one of the most intense and exciting books about Diving I have ever had the good fortune to read and when someone of my experience finds himself saying "Wow!" it must be really good.

In this work, this author takes us through his personal experiences of visits to some of the world's greatest shipwrecks - a number of which are designated `War Graves' (the formal term is a `Protected Place' under the provisions of a British law called `The Protection of Military Maritime Graves Act 1986.'). It is important, therefore, to point out that, whilst all vessels are designated are (by law!) with some being out-of-bounds, this author had all the necessary permissions for his own visits.

Let me be quite clear, this is no collection of small albeit exciting shipwrecks. On the contrary, we begin with an account of the 32,000 ton White Star Liner `Justicia' lost off Northern Ireland during WW1.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting and Informative - A brilliant read 12 Aug. 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a must read for anybody interested in diving and is a brilliant read for those who aren't. The author's writing style is very approachable whilst incredibly informative. Technical terminology is explained relevantly to the situations the author recounts and the reader is always kept turning the pages following the limit pushing excitements. I could not not put this book down and together with "Into the Abyss" a great deal of history is recorded and recounted.

The pace of the book is fast and the themes vary cleverly from inspiring excitement to moving human tragedy. The first hand account of diving the Corry Vreckan Whirlpool where the sense of foreboding laid out on paper is equal to the tidal forces being described keeps the reader on the edge of the seat. While the moving description of a ships sinking retold by the author from first hand accounts given by WWII survivors is thought provoking and emotional.

A great book which I will no doubt be reading again.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for any diver 5 Nov. 2011
By Gordon
Format:Paperback
This has got to be the most enjoyable dive book I have read in a long time, for some reason I missed out on his first book, Into the Abyss, but Rod covers this period by starting the book with a précis of his early days of diving. This section certainly brought back memories of dives using home made wetsuits and very rudimentary dive equipment. Rod then effortlessly moves us through deep air dives, his introduction to technical diving and finally into his move to rebreather diving, where naming Ewan Rowell's rebreather "Kato" brought a smile to my face.

Rod weaves a golden thread through his diving career, picking out wrecks, characters and events that are all interlinked in their own ways and all form part of this fantastic story, leaving you wanting him to write another volume so that you can continue to follow the tale.

Rod shares the joy and elation of his diving as well as letting you feel the apprehension of some tense moments inside deep, dark wrecks. Rod never over dramatises but I certainly could remember a few similar experiences when diving in cold, dark conditions in the same Scottish waters.

For wreck detectives, this is a fantastic tale of search and discovery, guesswork and deduction as Rod turns information from fishermen and marks on charts into dives on virgin wrecks and then the painstaking work of proving the name and history of the wreck. As always, the wreck drawings are detailed and give you all you need to prepare for a dive on the wrecks.

I took the book on holiday, looking forward to dipping into it between sightseeing but opened it on the plane, was instantly gripped and read it cover to cover during the flight.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Wreck Diving Book Ever! 30 Oct. 2011
Format:Paperback
Even the name of Rod McDonald's latest book has the air of a thriller novel; and if you're a dive junkie like me, then that's exactly what it is.

Although I'm not a techy, I love wreck diving within my limits and like many other devotees, I've made pilgrimages to dive wrecks in Scapa Flow, the Sound of Mull, the North Atlantic and a few more exotic locations around the globe.

And that's the real thriller of `The Darkness Below'. Rod not only reveals the facts of lesser known and enduringly fascinating wrecks in locations I'm familiar with, he goes even further; exposing the history of other maritime classics I would never have known about. That's why this book is so different.

Like many other commentators, Rod could have chosen the easy path and concentrated on the more commonly known wrecks. But he'd just have been delivering re-hashed information presented from his perspective. Because Rod refuses to do that, it's what makes `The Darkness Below' a refreshingly great read.

The book itself is excellently arranged. The many illustrations combined with Rod's in-depth descriptions and the wealth of both historical and anecdotal information doesn't leave the reader wanting.

Often I'll read a book on wrecks only to find myself disappointingly asking very obvious questions due to the lack of basic information. You won't find that in `The Darkness Below'. It challenges and pulverises the senses with information. It truly is an excellent and informative read and a book you'll find yourself returning to repeatedly for another fix.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
Very informative and interesting, enjoyed the straight to the point read with good detail about diving but not too much. A great book to read for anybody who loves the sea.
Published 1 month ago by Richard
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent read.
Published 2 months ago by Dr Duncan
4.0 out of 5 stars By divers for divers
Great experience of technical diving
Well told stories bring alive the development of the sport, but for those involved it is a passion more than sport
Published 5 months ago by Julia House
5.0 out of 5 stars Diving story
If you love diving, you'll love this book, scary stuff and true. Makes you realize don't be complacent and don't take chances.
Published 10 months ago by pauline chinn
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book
Great book real page turner . As a BSAC diver myself I've found it very interesting . I particular like reading about the wrecks and the tech diving .
Published 14 months ago by A T Gill
4.0 out of 5 stars Divers book
Reasonably well written, history of how ships became wrecks interesting but to get most from book you would need to be a diver.
Published 15 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent read!!
Great for divers with immerses the reader on every wreck dived by him. I learnt a lot about basics of technical diving and am actually interested in learning more about it!
Published 18 months ago by chirags2005
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting and well written if you like diving and are...
Really enjoyed this. Written in a very engaging way, gives good diving overview, excellent detail about the wrecks and adds in the human aspect.
Published 18 months ago by Alex
5.0 out of 5 stars a great read.
Really enjoyed this book about Rods adventures diving some of the UK's most elusive shipwrecks. Going to start his other book tonight. 'Into the abyss'
Published 19 months ago by Stewart Sanderson
5.0 out of 5 stars the darkness below
this book was a very good read very exciting I could not white to turn the page he must be a very brave man as well I think I must read all is books
Published 21 months ago by Margaret Burrows
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