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Wrecks & Reefs of Southeast Scotland: 100 Dives from the Forth Road Bridge to Eyemouth Paperback – 1 Oct 2010
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'The author has dived all the 100 sites and wrecks, and as a professional underwater photographer has provided truly atmospheric images of these wrecks and reefs. ... Clearly, this book is an absolute "must" for divers visiting the area.' The Nautical Magazine 'The book covers a hundered dives and full of historic details, including newly-found important shipwrecks with photographs and maps and GPS co-ordinates.' Tanked Up Click on the following to see some great reviews! Finstrokes, Edinburgh Evening News, YD Scuba Community, Conger Alley Scottish Scuba Forum. '...stunning photographs of wrecks he's uncountered there, in a fascinating book which reveals a seabed in rich colour.' Edinburgh Evening News 'This is a well-written and useful addition to the UK dive-guide canon.' Diver.net '...provide the reader with a potted history of some very interesting wrecks. They also provide a useful and informative tourist guide to the area.' Ausmarine
About the Author
Mike Clark is a British Sub Aqua Club Advanced Diver and Instructor, a professional underwater photographer and journalist with articles in Diver, Dive and Sport Diver, etc. www.underwater-photos.co.uk
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Being a shipwreck addict, I was immediately drawn to the following from the book's back cover; "These wrecks include an aircraft carrier, a German light cruiser...." Whilst I was already aware of the identity of the carrier (HMS Campania), I knew nothing of the light cruiser and immediately sought the index for further details only to find there is no index at all. The only way to find the details of these - and any other site which may be of specific interest to the reader, is to start at site number one and work your way through the book.
Having found the two wrecks, the author's description of SMS München (Dive site No 14) as a `boat' instead of ship and also as a `pre-Dreadnought light cruiser' leaves a lot to be desired. Pre-dreadnought is a general term used to describe battleships built between the mid-1890s and 1905 and is quite separate from light cruiser.
Having exposed these shortcomings, I would still recommend the work because it really is a useful guide to the area. The very fact that Clark knows these dives very well is also very important. A more descriptive contents page, the addition of an index, increased number of photographs and some much-needed research into all the wrecks included (never use `any' data, description, name, date or nautical term until you have checked your facts and understand what is meant!) would do much to improve a book on which I am quite certain local divers will come to rely.
The guide is split into sections based on geographical area & gives useful information about each area including accommodation, diving services & suggestions on entertainment for any non-diving companions so that you can relax and truly enjoy the fabulous diving that this area of Scotland has to offer. This is well backed up by some great underwater photographs of the marine life in these waters.
Mike has dived each of the sites and gives a good description of what to expect and some great hints & tips based on his personal experiences. The style of the writing makes it very easy to read & it feels as though you have a friend talking to you about the sites. The site descriptions are so vivid that many of them evoked great memories & for a number of sites I can picture exactly what or where he is referring to - Mike does a great job of bringing the sites to life! I can't wait to use the guide to dive sites that are new to me.
I would highly recommend this book to any diver wishing to explore dive sites in Southeast Scotland & I think almost everyone will find something new for them in this book.
Yes I want to know details about the history of a wreck, the marine life on a reef and the topography, but I don't want to read all that, only to discover at the end of an article that there's little or no information about how to get there; tides; coordinates; type of dive; skill level; entry points; dive centres; parking and amenities. Fortunately Mike's book delivers all that. It really has a fresh perspective. It not only provides updated information on many well known sites, it also includes information on numerous other locations, which are not commonly known to divers unfamiliar with that coastal area. So for a West Coaster like me, this book really delivers.
At least a couple of times a year some buddies and I will charter a boat either from Burntisland, Dunbar, Eyemouth, or St. Abbs. We usually stick to the main dives including Bass Rock, Craig Leith, Isle of May, Weasel Loch and the Campania. But in truth that's only because these are the main locations of which we have any real knowledge. `Wrecks And Reefs Of Southeast Scotland' definitely expands that knowledge.
What I particularly like about this book is the number of shore dives covered. As someone who frequently dives mid-week, it's not always practical to charter a boat or journey with a rhib, (especially if I've to return for the school run). The inclusion of these many great shore dives, which are less than a couple of hours drive from Glasgow, have significantly added to the alternatives in my locker.
Anyway, getting back specifically to the book. Mike is foremost known as one of the UK's leading dive photographers, and gratefully this does not escape `Wrecks And Reefs'. Each of the 100 dives featured is accompanied by a picture taken by Mike and all of these illustrations clearly underline the book's expectations. What I like about Mike's photographs is that they are cleverly brilliant but never contrived. They manage to highlight in a `matter of fact' manner what a diver is likely to see, (with a little patience and Scottish weather permitting).
But the big bonus about Mike's book is that it combines as both a reference and guide. I have numerous books on dive sites along the Scottish Coast, but generally, these concentrate on the history and topography. They are great as a reference, but more often than not fall short and I have to look elsewhere for information on how to actually get there, where I can charter a boat, what the diver requirements are, etc., etc. And this is what makes `Wrecks and Reefs of Southeast Scotland' stand out.
It really is a book you can throw in your dry bag and take with you with the confidence that you can actually rely upon it like any other integral piece of your dive kit.
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