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Customer Review

HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERon 20 December 2010
The best local diving guides always come from those with extensive knowledge of the region in question and Mike Clark certainly puts his own experience of diving the Firth of Forth and Southeast Scotland to good use in this book. That said, more research into the shipwrecks would not have gone amiss. With descriptions of 100 individual sites, I was surprised by the inclusion of "Deep Sea World" (a local aquarium!) and another described as a "dry dive" because it requires no diving at all (now that is a first). The latter relates to the rusting remains of two WW2 training X-Craft which are fully exposed at low tide requiring a 1.5 mile walk. Both items should have been included under "other items of interest."

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.

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