353 pages, 62 b/w illustrations
Paradise is Underwater presents the life of a marine biologist and fisheries worker in South Australia from his earliest days in the country to the present. After a troubled youth, trapped by strict parents within a cult, he escaped just at the time when diving gear first became available in Australia. He donned an aqualung and was at once inspired for life, enthused with a sublime sense of the mysteries underwater that only increased the deeper he went. Lovers of the sea will be enthralled by these lyrical memoirs, full of astonishing facts about the hidden and fleeting beauties of underwater life. All is woven together into a seductive blend of underwater research, travels to many parts of the world, and diving experiences in all oceans and seas, starting in Australian waters and then in the Mediterranean and Black Sea, the coasts of Mexico, the Arabian Gulf, and Alaskan waters. Mingled with these reminiscences is an account of studies of a marine shellfish – the abalone – and efforts to prevent overfishing of that valuable resource. All is written easily, poetically, with frankness and humour in a mix with history, philosophy and literature – enchanting at every level.
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