Most of us who have a passion for diving will feel envious of experienced husband-and-wife team Beth and Shaun Tierney. They have traveled the world, carefully selected, reviewed and photographed some of the top dive sites around and have published “Diving the World” – a 352 page beautifully formed monster of a dive guide!
This book is not only an excellent reference to planning a dive trip, but would also be at home on any coffee table due to its stunning photography that graces almost every page of the book.
The team behind the book, Beth and Shuan, truly seem to have a deep passion for traveling and diving. This shines through on almost every page. Their backgrounds have come in very useful when putting the guide together. Shaun was a studio photographer who eventually turned his attention to Underwater Photography and his expertise shines through with every photo. The other half of the team, Beth, has a background in advertising and consulting which has obviously helped in putting together the research for the guide.
Apart from the stunning underwater photography, the meat of the book describes and compares over 200 of the world’s top dive sites, including Australia, PNG, Solomons, Fiji, Galápagos, Belize, Mexico, Honduras, Egypt, East Africa, Maldives, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, and Micronesia.
Amazingly the text reads more like a novel rather than a dry reference guide. Whilst there are all the requisite essential bits of information like how to get to a country, language, laws, customs, safety, health, currency, cost, and such like, there are also exquisite pieces of prose in the form of the Dive Log.
The Dive Log provides a dive briefing on each region and give not only an overview of the overall area, but also specific “must-dive” sites – complete with information on depth, visibility (although to be hones this is likely to change depending on conditions), boat information and snorkeling details (perfect for the FreeDiver in all of us).
I’ve had to sit an listen to many a dive briefing in my time and can say that the way Beth and Shaun describe each site has to be among some of the best descriptions i’ve every heard. Combined with the photos it makes for very compelling reading.
Despite all my efforts to find some serious fault with the guide I could only find two minor gripes. Firstly the guide contains a number of double page adverts. Whilst these are of dive centers reviewed, they don’t seem to influence the actual review; however it does detract slightly from the overall feel of the guide. Secondly, whilst the book covers most of the world the Caribbean and Mediterranean are not really covered very well. Considering a lot of excellent dive sites are in those two areas I was surprised not to see more in-depth coverage of these areas.
Apart from those two minor (and they are really minor) gripes I have to say that I must recommend this book to any diver of any grade. The combination of compelling and in-depth information and stunning photography makes the guide one of the most useful and beautiful of any bookshelf (or coffee table!)
Also: why not try your luck and enter in our prize draw to win one of two copies of “Diving The World”. Click here for details.