Another classic from the Florida bookshelf:
Shallow Water Diving For Pleasure and Profit, by Hilbert Schenck Jr. and Henry Kendall
There's a beautiful engraving on the jacket.
As I poked around to find more info about this book, I found a cool website from Australia:http://classicdivebooks.customer.netspa ... index.html
I am in awe as I read these old books, of the innovation and invention and experimentation taking place. These guys back then were pioneering their equipment, and pioneering diving techniques. While the pictures and style of writing are often humorous, as are some of the things they came up with, their excitement, spirit and determination are timeless.
"For a few dollars, the novice can assemble a safe, dependable outfit which opens to him a new and fascinating world, the realm of the undersea."
"The cardinal rule in building the container for the head is: Keep it small...While it may be possible to work up a headpiece from flat stock, a much easier solution is to procure some ready-shaped object and adapt it for the job. A few suggestions are: large surplus low pressure oxygen bottle, ten gallon milk can, a suitably sized hot water tank."
"Diving outfits of this type played an exciting part in World War II and were used by the Italian Naval Forces in their daring attacks against British Fleet Units in the Mediterranean. In these actions, the Italians rode large torpedoes, dressed in suits and recirculating apparatus. The British used similar tactics with equal brilliance against German capital ships in the Norway fjords."
"This world of water has colors of unearthly brilliance and hue, and citizens of unimagined shape and habits. It is an arena of conflict and ferocity, a cloister of solitude and loneliness."
DOES any one else feel like that description also works for San Francisco...
"It is possible in low visibility to swim underwater six or eight feel above the bottom, but this tends to drive the fish ahead and frighten everything off. Better results are had by walking on the bottom. If fish are plentiful, curious, or unsophisticated, good results are possible by just walking around with a six or eight foot spear. When the target is selected, try and work it into a corner, against some rocks. A good, hard jab then finishes the job."
"Reading too many of the adventure books by the boys who make their living telling about the man-eating Kraken at the mouth of the Orinoco can have as bad an effect as being attacked by a twenty foot hammerhead on your first dive. To hear some of them tell it, the diver must fight every shark, devil fish, octopus, moray, etc., he sees. Strangely enough, while he supposedly non-fiction adventure writers drag on for pages about the deadly horror of innumerable undersea monsters, they seldom mention the truly great enemy, relentless, deadly, and capable of doing more hideous damage to a human being than any sea monster created, the sea itself."
"Painting Underwater: If the reader decides to try his hand at reproducing the sights of the undersea in a little more personal way than snapping pictures, he might try some underwater painting. Needless to say, water colors tend to be a little runny, thirty feet down, but oil paints can be used right out of the tube on regular canvas. The only difficulty that might be experienced is with fish that become attracted to the artist's palette by the taste of some of the oil pigments. Lead 'flashing', thin lead sheets used in plumbing work, can be used to weight down a wooden easel and anything else with a tendency to float. Don't let go of any brushes or they may fall up to the surface."
cheers! Remember to keep your head containers small!!