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Divers do not enter a competition with each other to provide a set of winners and losers. Consequently, we do not provide victors who become sports heroes, nor Most Valuable Players that are recognizable to the general public. The way divers get recognition is by overall consistent career accomplishments displayed in a body of work and in service. It is here we find our heroes and MVPs. In the pages of this book you will get to meet, via interview, a very select group whose work in the underwater realm has elevated them to MVP status. Let me endorse that they are some of the most interesting creatures swimming in our oceans today. By granting practically unlimited editorial space to each, the interviews have captured not only the history of these careers but also the essence of the subject's character. Each interview provides a personal link in the chain of diving history that connects us all to the birth of our sport, and it also records some of the milestones they created along the way. Perhaps the most appealing element of this book is that it is easy to imagine that you are actually sitting opposite the divers as they tell their story. For me, it felt like I could have been relaxing on the back of a dive boat and watching the sun set listening to someone who has had a measurable influence on the overall culture of diving. Very rare air indeed. This book is unique. It's a time capsule of diving's oral history... straight from the mouths of those divers who made a difference and left a lasting legacy. --Leslie Leaney, President, The Historical Diving Society USA
About the Author
Bret Gilliam is longtime recreational scuba diving industry veteran. This the 27th book that Gilliam has either authored or contributed to since his career began in 1971. Gilliam wanted to help preserve the oral history of diving while the people who shaped the industry were still around to tell their stories in their own words. It proved to be an exhausting task that took him a decade to complete. He started the interviews as part of DeepTech magazine back in 1997 and continued more when he founded Fathoms magazine in 2001. They proved to be one of the most popular sections of both publications and he was constantly asked by readers to expand the interviews into a book. After selling the last of his diving companies including Fathoms in 2005, he decided to do exactly that.
For all those new divers (less than 10 years of activity) this book will really open their eyes to how sport diving, exploring and sharing the underwater world via images came about. Plus diving as a work activity and Bev Morgan's contribution helping commercial divers push the limits of that arena.
If you started diving way back in 1969 like I did, the stories and interviews with names you will recognize make reading this a delight. I practically read it straight through in 3-4 days!
Bret Gilliam may be a bit controversial, but he tells it like many already think including politics, business dealings and more of the underwater world.
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