Diving the Pacific, Volume 1: Micronesia and the Western Pacific Islands (Periplus Editions(HK) Ltd., 2001. ISBN 962-593-499-5) has something for everyone from the globe trotting dive fanatic to the armchair traveler. Amidst the finely drawn cartographic masterpieces on each island and the colorful photos of the glorious marine life is a well spun narrative by David Leonard that makes you feel a strong sense of Déjà vu, as if you’d been there before.
The book is broken down into sections on Guam, the Northern Marianas, Lalau,Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei, Kosrae and the Marshall Islands. Each island and chain is dealt with distinctly with beautifully drawn maps that detail dive sites and depths. Leonard has the gift of the gab and showcases his storytelling skills with anecdotes on each island as if he were a modern day Robinson Crusoe.
In the chapter on Palau he describes an attempt at playing Crusoe by camping out on a remote, uninhabited island in the RockIslands. His quest to capture a nighttime nibble of the elusive coconut crab and his eventual encounter with the islands enormous rat population makes for fun reading.
The more than 139 shots that fill this book in glorious blues, oranges, yellow and greens are a visual feast for sad eyes longing for the tropics. Wildlife, wrecks and the flora and fauna of the region share equal billing here as well as a photo of a monument to the twenty-five dogs lost by the U.S.marines at Guam in WW II.
In the practicalities section visas, prices, dive operators, live aboards, accommodations and food and drink are detailed at length for each region that makes up Diving the Pacific, Volume 1: Micronesia and the Western Pacific Islands. Periplus publishing also offers fine volumes on Diving Indonesia, Diving Southeast Asia and Diving Bali as part of their action guides series.
Diving the Pacific
Diving Southeast Asia