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Download Neutral Buoyancy: Adventures in a Liquid World epub

by Tim Ecott

An illustrated journey into the world of undersea diving discusses the history of the sport and offers accounts of the author's own adventures around the world.
Download Neutral Buoyancy: Adventures in a Liquid World epub
ISBN: 0871137941
ISBN13: 978-0871137944
Category: History
Subcategory: World
Author: Tim Ecott
Language: English
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Pr; First Edition edition (July 10, 2001)
Pages: 352 pages
ePUB size: 1745 kb
FB2 size: 1181 kb
Rating: 4.1
Votes: 668
Other Formats: lrf docx rtf doc

Even when I am preparing to be a divemaster, the encyclopedia that I read wasn't as informative as this book. It provided me an insight on the evolution and history of equipments and equipment inventions, the explanation of how narcosis and DCS came about - with introduction of terms that are used to define them and was a revelation for me. Besides that, it also show me how different people in the past tried means and ways to break records in depth and equipment invention such that some of them were being sacrificed. A plus point is that the author described the various beautiful places he dived before and it was tempting to want to dive there myself.

Although the book title stated neutral buoyancy, it wasn't entirely about neutral buoyancy. Yes, it did talk about buoyancy control but it was not a big part on that. The book contains the different aspects of diving, from equipments to physics to environments and even decompression theory. And it's really a fun book to read. The more you read, the more you will want to know what's the next content because every chapter is lined up with different stories that the author encountered. After finish reading this book, my knowledge towards diving has certainly increased, especially with historic equipment inventors like jacque cousteau.
What a great read!!!

Tim does an outstanding job covering the history of the development of scuba diving. By the time you've read all our ancestors endured in the pursuit of the "sport" it makes you really appreciate living in these modern times...WOW!!

Really nice reflections on the experiences encountered while in the blue (I'm not certified yet, but will be SOON) and the historical figures he interviewed were FASCINATING!!


By the way, I'd love to dive with you one day, if you'll let me know where you're working...


Houston, Texas (USA)

[email protected]
No doubt Tim Ecott has a treasure trove of diving experience and subject matter knowledge and while reading his book I kept thinking these stories and historical anecdotes would be much more interesting confined to retelling in person or by the author via radio. The book itself is a meandering collection of stories without drama or other particularly compelling reasons to keep turning the pages. I'd love to tune in to the radio show where I'm sure Mr. Ecott does a better job at probing the depths of his passion than the shallow retelling in these pages.
Exactly as described.
When I start reading this book I realized that this wasn't just (another) diving story. It was THE diving story. From the first man breathing below the surface to our days.

For those who like me, want to know the basics, where and how it all began, this is the book to read.
This book has two types of narrative: history related to diving and personal experience. I enjoyed reading the latter and not the former. Also, I found his style rather wordy. It's not one of my favorite books related to scuba diving. Others I enjoyed more were: The Last Dive, Shadow Divers, and Deep Descent.
Slowly writer
Great Deal!
Understanding Neutral Buoyancy requires understanding the author. Tim Ecott is a reporter and producer for BBC World Service and has been writing for numerous prestigious international magazines and papers. He is a certified divemaster and a marine environmentalist. However, unlike the ultimate expert divers that have authored other diving books, Ecott is almost a reluctant diver. His father was a military man, and so young Ecott, a sickly, bronchitic child in his early childhood Wales fared much better in Malaya where his father was stationed for several years. A return to Ireland was a return to "varying shades of grey" for him. Though a lifelong swimmer, he came to scuba relatively late and his first experience was "just, well, fine." That daramtically changed later, but it's clear that this is a man who views diving as an emotional thing much more so than macho daring, socializing, or a scientific quest.

Tellingly, those who picked up Neutral Buoyancy with the anticipation of finding educational or instructional content regarding that important and celebrated aspect of diving will find it described in just one paragraph, an introduction to a chapter. The technical aspects are incidental; this book is really a collection of a wide variety of thoughts on diving, recorded by a deep and different soul, organized by an experienced journalist's mind, and crafted in exquisite language. Ecott, unlike many diving book autors, is a true writer, a professional, a master of language. Journalists and writers master the art of reporting facts and perhaps adapting them to the medium in which they will be published. In this instance, the medium is Ecott's own book where he is free to not just report, but also give his thoughts his personal spin.

Neutral Buoyancy is organized into a dozen chapters that each center on one general aspect of of things under the sea. There's, for example, a 30 page chapter entitled "Organic Gold" dedicated entirely to the sponge. Another deals with underwater habitats. There's "Flickering Images" that centers around Austrian diving pioneer Hans Hass and his wife Lotte, whom he seeks out and interviews. There's "Diving Free" that examines breathdiving record attempts and the whole experience around it. Or "In the Shadow of the Fire God" that describes a trip Ecott took to the Bismarck Sea. "Advanced French" deals with the various findings and advances a number of French pioneers brought to diving, most importantly, though not necessarily in Ecott's eyes, Jacques Cousteau (who he largely sees as a publicity grabbing egotist). There are other chapters dealing with underwater dangers, diving history, underwater warfare, pioneers, all presented in beautifully crafted language.

Ecott is a true citizen of the world. His world only, for sure, but of the world nonetheless. He travels to the places he seeks, delves deeply into them. His research is not just academic, no, he seeks out and interviews the pioneers, visits the places where things took place, and weaves it all into his words and descriptions.

Despite all this, I found the book an acquired taste. During the first half, I was often put off by what I found an overly negative view of things, one dismissive of essentially anything that wasn't old and untouched or at least made in the olden ways. I tired of the endless references on man's cruelty and thoughtless carelessness, and the somewhat manipulative hangdog way those thoughts were presented. That led me to becoming an overly critical reader who approached each new chapter with some bias, to the extent where I began faulting the writer for putting clearly British words like "programme" into an American's mouth. I actually put the book down for several weeks.

Then I picked it up again and I am glad I did. Having accepted Ecott's deeply personal view of the world and his tendency to craft personal biases into his accounts, I was finally able to appreciate the true magic of this book, the wealth of information and experiences it conveys without ever once falling prey to that old authors' vice, that of talking down or showing off, at least not in a technical sense. Neutral Buoyancy can be read and enjoyed by people who do not know diving, have never dived. His skillfully crafted brief explanations of diving basics explain without putting off experts while his gift of describing details, of truly painting with words, of conjuring up pictures and thoughts in a masterful way, will thrill even the most advanced diver.