Neutral Buoyancy

Neutral Buoyancy : Adventures in a Liquid World

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This title includes a brilliant mix of vivid reportage, history and science. Historical diving bells, Greek sponge divers, world war two frogmen and record-setting breath hold divers compete for space with misunderstood sharks, weeping turtles, smiling dolphins and erotically shaped sea slugs. From Ireland to Florida, Papua New Guinea to Vienna and the Bahamas to Seychelles, "Neutral Buoyancy" is travel writing of the most fascinating, readable kind; providing a window - or a view from a glass bottomed boat - on a rich, unfamiliar and unique destination. Travel writing of this quality makes "Neutral Buoyancy" a must for all armchair travellers, not just divers.

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Product details

  • Paperback | 384 pages
  • 130 x 194 x 26mm | 281.23g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 8pp b&w illustrations, bibliography
  • 0140287302
  • 9780140287301
  • 324,933

Table of contents

Healing waters; clutching at air - Fiji, South Pacific; organic gold - Tarpon Springs, Florida, Desroches Island, Amirantes; straightening the bends - County Down coast, the Irish Sea; advanced French - Freeport, Bahamas, Farquhar Island, southern Indian Ocean; flickering images - Vienna, Austria; in the shadow of the fire god - the Mismarck Sea, western Pacific; chariots of war - Long Beach, California, Perevil Ledges, Dorset; habitats - Conception Arena, Seychelles; hell's teeth - the Bahamas, western Atlantic; diving free - Santa Teresa di Gallura, Sardinia; meeting of minds - Brissare Rocks, Seychelles.

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Review Text

This is described on the cover as the 'Fever Pitch of scuba diving', and one can only hope that this means that every possible sport has now found its Nick Hornby. As for scuba, while this book lacks the football equivalent's charm and humour, it makes up for it in its robust scholarship and lyrical prose. Ecott is in love with diving and he wants us to be too. He is fascinated by its history, from the Greek sponge divers, through to Edmund Halley's exploits in Pagham harbour, as much as he is drawn to comets, and Jacques Cousteau, who brought scuba diving to the masses in the 1960s with his enthusiasm and ludicrous accent. And interspersed with all this is the author's own experiences. He comes across as the wise old bird on the beach, hair bleached, at ease with his scuba gear, telling stories of past dives and escapades in faraway lands. And thus he can verge on the hippy - in love with the weird world below the waves, aware that we're not supposed to be there, and occassionally justifying it all with some cod philosophy. His enthusiasm wins through and we're left with an engaging account of a pursuit that seems more like a calling. (Kirkus UK)

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About Tim Ecott

Tim Ecott joined the BBC World Service as a producer and correspondent in news and current affairs. A specialist on Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean he spent two years based in the Seychelles where he developed a parallel career as a dive leader. He lives in Richmond, London.

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