Review by Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown
If you are a fan of muck diving, rooting about in tiny crevices, scouring the bottom of the sea, or even looking for some of the larger critters, then this book is an absolute must for you. The book is really well organised and Nigel has managed to break down his guide to readable bite-size chunks. He talks initially about the different kinds of muck diving and their histories and then looks at the different kinds of animals that you may be looking for next time you go muck diving. He talks about invertebrate muck critters, muck fish and muck reptiles, describing them all, and even including a few statistics and a little bit of science. In one chapter, he also delivers a muck diving bucket list of destinations, including the usual suspects and one or two others that a few people may never of heard of.
I particularly liked the short chapter on muck diving techniques, where he emphasises the need for buoyancy control, fin control and correct use of scuba pointers, i.e. these rods should not be used to harass, manipulate or poke the critters. It is refreshing to note that the images in this book show these species in their natural habitat, rather than the manipulated shots you see regularly online.
Also included in Nigel’s manual is a short chapter on muck diving photography. This is not a photography guide, but Nigel looks at some of the main issues of this style of photography, such as backscatter, lens choice, night photography, capturing behaviour, etc.
This book, however, is essentially a guide to the numerous critters, fish and reptiles that you can find in the muck diving environments of the world. The book is a paperback with a useful plastic protective cover, so that you can take it out on the boat with you when you are diving, and not worry about the odd splash. It contains some great images of all the amazing creatures you can find whilst muck diving, making it a book that you will want to leaf through on a regular basis. It is packed with useful information. As Nigel describes all these different destinations, there is a fact box for each region, which helps to describe how to get there, best time to visit, visibility, diving conditions and water temperature… what more could you possibly need?
Muck Diving by Nigel Marsh is published by Reed New Holland at £15.99, paperback, and available from all good bookshops or online via www.amazon.co.uk or call 01206 255777. It will be published in May 2017.
Or you can enter our competition to win a copy here!