20 September 2013

Book review: Diving Indonesia's Bird's Head Seascape (2011), by Burt Jones and Maurine Shimlock, *****


Home to more than 1600 fish species and three-fourths of the world's known corals, the Bird's Head Seascape, the global epicenter of marine biodiversity, is one of the world's premier dive destinations. This book is a comprehensive guide to 200+ sites where divers can observe this wondrous gathering of whale sharks, manta rays, secretive octopus and never before-seen fish. Detailed information on endemic marine life, the regions cultures, suggestions for land adventures and travel tips make this an indispensable guide for anyone traveling to this enchanted destination.


This is essentially a comprehensive review of the region's dive sites, with lots of detailed data for each, such as depth, coordinates and suggested lenses for photographers. There is also a variety of info sheets on what to do and not to to, conservation, responsible tourism and life on land. Several of the many photograph are outstanding.

This is more a book to prepare a trip (there are many dive areas dovered and one has to choose) or to bring back memories afterwards. I would not necessarily recommend taking it along as it is rather heavy and, once a choice of boat is made, it is rather difficult to have any say in where the cruise leader will go anyway. Unless you have your own boat, GPS coordinates will be of little use.

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