This book could be re-titled ‘Everything you wanted to know about diving but were afraid to ask’. As I started reading my mind immediately jumped to the Monty Python song ‘Always look on the bright side of life…da dada dadadadada’.
Having known Nick for a few years now I was expecting a book that would be informative, emotive, honest and funny. It didn’t disappoint. For those of us who have been diving for quite a few years now, it evoked great memories of our own experiences, whilst for those who are relatively new to diving it will entice you to make your own adventures.
The Diver’s Tale cuts to the essence of diving, the rough and the smooth, the charm, the adventure, the romance, the pitfalls and the tragedies. It looks at the hard truths, the sheer fun and a few of the scary bits too.
There is a delightful honesty to this book as Nick takes us on a random journey through his diving days from the very beginning in the 80’s to today, and in doing so, highlights the true definition of the British Diver who was typically in the past the man who had his shed at the bottom of the garden and could make everything from wire coat hangers to rocket engines but who now is happily joined by the entire family.
He writes about equipment, medical science, boats, on board toilets, dive companions, weather. He describes beautifully the difference between a dive holiday and dive expedition and it’s not what you would expect. He covers hotels, B&B’s and self catering with the pros and cons of each. He looks at conservation, salvage and the perils of underwater photography and many other aspects of getting wet.
The story concludes with the loss of his great friend Paul in a rebreather accident just off the beach. It is a sad part to a wonderful tale but brings forth a great feeling of humanity and love.
About Nick (in his own words…)
I was passionate about the sea from an early age, inspired by the films of Cousteau. I was a keen snorkeller from the age of 7 and had my first dive aged 18 in 1981. I have over 4,000 logged dives and hold qualifications from several agencies, primarily BSAC where I’m an instructor trainer. I was a columnist for Scuba Magazine for 7 years and still write for them. I’m about to relocate to Orkney with Julie (also a diver) to Skipper the dive boat Valkyrie.