The Darkness Below
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From the best-selling author of four classic UK diving books, comes The Darkness Below - a collection of absorbing adventures gained from a lifetime in diving. As one of the UK’s leading Technical Divers, Rod takes the reader on a spellbinding and gripping journey, from first beginnings as a novice scuba diver. Told in intimate detail with a beguiling sense of self-deprecating humour, he recounts epic dives on some of the most fabulous shipwrecks around the world. Terrifying first explorations of virgin shipwrecks far offshore, lost in time and enshrouded in darkness in the silent depths, cram the pages.
A daring expedition into the heart of the feared Corryvreckan whirlpool, the third largest in the world, an open sea encounter with Orca killer whales and an agonizing attack of the bends keep the reader engrossed. The palpable gloom, despair and human tragedy of the wrecks is never far away - the cold and darkness of the depths almost resonating with the cries of those who have perished. The fear of entrapment inside a wreck is grippingly described and becomes almost claustrophobic to the reader unfamiliar with the perils of wreck penetration, when snagged nets sometimes billow unseen above the unwary diver.
However, there are rewards when survivors from wrecks are keen to speak to someone who has seen and touched their ship that had been lost long ago. This is an unmissable book for all divers and anyone interested in maritime history.
- 'This has got to be the most enjoyable dive book I have read in a long time. ... Rod weaves a golden thread through his diving career, picking out wrecks, characters and events that are all interlinked in their own ways. They all form part of a fantastic story, leaving you wanting him to write another volume so that you can continue to follow the tale. ... Rod is a legend in Scottish diving... If you love diving, wrecks or just like a well written, true life adventure written with passion and attention to detail, this is the book for you!' Scottish Diver
- '...that's the real thriller of 'The Darkness Below'. Rod not only reveals the facts of lesser known and enduringly fascinating wrecks in locations I'm familiar with, he goes even further; exposing the history of other maritime classics I would never have known about. That's why this book is so different. ...a refreshingly great read. ... The many illustrations combined with Rod's in-depth descriptions and the wealth of both historical and anecdotal information doesn't leave the reader wanting. ... It truly is an excellent and informative read and a book you'll find yourself returning to repeatedly for another fix. ...is like a fusion of the most exciting presentations I've watched on National Geographic or Discovery; and reminiscent of the pioneering explorations of Cousteau. ...the late great Monsieur Cousteau may have been your idol Rod, but your equally trail-blazing an awe-inspiring path yourself.' DiversInc
- '...Rod's memior of his many astonishing diving exploits... ...a collection of bite-size ripping yarns. ...The Darkness Below deserves to become a classic. ... There are some real stand-out gems as "Into the Corryvreckan Whirlpool" (your hands will start to sweat as you read this one), but all of them are compelling... ...is a futureclassic: the quality and quantity of the dives described. ... It's action packed from the get-go and doesn't let up all the way through.' Conger Alley
- '...a breathtaking first-hand account.' Scotland on Sunday
- 'If you want to know what 'real' scuba diving is all about, look no further! ...this is one of the most intense and exciting books about Diving I have ever had the good fortune to read and when someone of my experience finds himself saying "Wow!" it must be really good. ... After yet more exciting wrecks from both world wars, the author describes his indoctrination into 'Trimax' - a system of mixed gases which permit divers to venture even deeper, after which he visits the Correyvrecken Whirlpool - one of the largest whirlpools in the world.' Ned Middleton
- '...anyone from a novice diver all the way up to mixed gas rebreather divers will find something interesting (and probably new!) Tech Diving Mag
- 'Rod Macdonald's book of his stand-out wreck dives updates his previous Into the Abyss, and it's a terrific read. ...he has a real gift for taking the reader with him on his dives. The descriptions of the wrecks themselves are as good as any you'll read, enabling you to picture easily what his underwater lights reveal. ...what's most enjoyable about the book is that Macdonald communicates so effortlessly the excitement of the quest. ...in the chapter on diving the Corryvreckan whirlpool, you can almost feel the vicious currents... For a picture of British deep wreck-diving and of how technical diving has developed as a means to a useful end, The Darkness Below doesn't disappoint.' Divernet
- '...we are repeatedly taken on voyages past 50, 60 metres into freezing, pitch black water, often with little or no visibility and entrapment hazards all around. ... Particulary thrilling are a descent into the Corryvreckan Whirlpool in Scotland, a natural maelstrom fraught with dangerous downcurrents that, frankly you'd have to be mad to consider diving. ... The Darkness Below is an adventure story, but it's also a humble and honest account of one man's passio. And by making inaccessible places accessible to all. Rod Macdonald has made a huge contribution to understanding our maritime heritage.' British Diver
- 'Macdonald is a Scottish diving legend... This is one of the best diving books I've ever read. If divers like Rod Macdonald are shaping the future of the sport, and establishing the ethos and ethics of wreck exploration and discovery, I'm very happy to be involved.' Learn to Dive Today Blog
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