Check out the New "Shelf Review" and new "Odds and Ends!"

The "Shelf Review"

Periodically, I will offer reviews of books that I have come across in my travels and research. Please feel free to send your comments about the books as well. Enjoy.

The Sinking of the Eastland - America's Forgotten Tragedy
By Jay Bonansinga
Published by Citadel Press - Kensington Publishing Corp. Copyright 2004. 280 pages with photographs.
The Sinking of the Eastland tells the terrible story of the capsizing of the Steamboat Eastland while still moored to the docks of the Chicago Waterfront. Thousands of men, women, and children filled the various decks of the ship when it began to list to the port. Within a few seconds, which to the survivors felt like a lifetime, the ship capsized. As it turned, families tumbled into the water, being either trapped or drowned in the doomed ship. The story is told using eyewitness accounts, historical information from the era, and narrative derived by the author to illustrate the story. A terrible story of greed and terrible loss. A tough book to get through due to the nature of the distaster, but an interesting read none the less. As hard hat divers recall thier efforts to penetrate the hull, swigging whiskey from thier flasks between dives, you can only imagine the terrible sights and sounds they encountered as they entered the murky, fill infested waters of dockside. It reminded me of "Ship Ablaze" which chronicled the distaster of the General Slocum in New York around the turn of the century. A solid read from beginning to end. Recommended.

Descent, The Heroic Discovery of the Abyss
By Brad Matsen
Published by Pantheon Books, NY Copyright 2005. 286 pages with photographs and illustrations.
Descent is the story of naturalist William Beebe and engineer Otis Barton. Author Brad Matsen opens up the story with a recent trip to Coney Island. Located in a parking lot under the rumble of the Cyclone Roller Coaster, is a beat up, rusted steel sphere. But this relic is actually a significant piece of historical underwater research, called the Bathysphere. In this ball of steel William Beebe and Otis Barton, descended to a depth of over a half a mile in the early 1930's, but here it sits once again battling the elements for survival. Matson explains the history of the bathysphere from its design and use in the opening of the dark abyss to mankind. He also weaves the story of the two men whose symbiotic relationship verged on self destruction throughout thier involvement in the project, but who also realized that without one an other, they would fail. A page turner of excitement, disappointment, scientific discovery, and courage. The Right Stuff may be used to describe the test pilots and astronauts who braved the boundries of the earth, but it most certainly applies to these two underwater explorers/daredevils. Anyone who is willing to climb into a four and a half foot wide steel sphere, attached to a cable that was less then an inch thick in diameter and plunge to the bottom of the abyss over three thousand feet surely posesses the drive and determination of the right stuff. I had a hard time putting this book was pure entertainment from prelude to the author's research notes. Highly Recommended!!!

Frogman Spy - The Incredible Case of Commander Crabb
By J. Bernard Hutton
Published by McDowell, Obolensky, NY 1960.
Originally published in 1960 in London under the title of Frogram Extraordinary.
Rare and hard to find book.
Frogman Spy is the story of Lieutenant Commander Lionel "Buster" Crabb of the British Naval Reserves. The Commander was one of Britians wartime heroes and had been awarded the George Medal for his efforts as a Royal Navy Frogman. But his life would take a peculiar twist when on April 19, 1956, Commander Crabb disappeared after he had slipped into the cool waters of Portsmouth Harbor in England. He was never to be seen again...or so the British Government would tell the World. At anchor in the same harbor where Russian Naval Warships. They had been invited to enter British waters during a good will visit by Russian dignitaries. According to the British Admiralty, Commander Crabb had been testing some underwater apparatus and was presumed dead when he failed to service. Accordingly, the British Government wanted the matter to end with that statement, however, a few years later, secret files were smuggled out of Russia that told a much different story. According to the Russian Files, Crabb had been captured alive during his espionage activities (which the British denied) and had been smuggled back to Russia for torture and interrogation. Also according to these Russian documents, not only had Crabb lived, he had actually taken on a new persona and was serving as a diving officer in the Russian Navy. To help conceal the fate of Crabb, the Russians allegedly dropped a headless and handless body wearing Crabb's equipment in the water near where he was lost a year earlier. Needless to say, this book is an amazing read. To this day, the mystery of Commander Crabb is still unsolved...This book is extremely hard to find, however, I do have a copy for borrowing. Please email me and I will give you the details.

The Bookshelf

Over the years, I have collected a wide selection of books. Most of my "library" consists of books pertaining to History, Military, Nautical, Diving, etc. This page highlights "The Bookshelf". I will add new books as I come across them and add them to the collection. If you have any questions in regards to any of the titles, please contact me and I will furnish additional information so that you can find them and add them to your diving, military, or historical library in your home. I hope to include photographs of each book as time allows. They all offer wonderful insight into the historical nature of the sport of Hard Hat, Scuba, Skin, Snorkeling, Treasure Hunting, and Shipwrecks. Enjoy your visit to "My Bookshelf".

List of Diving Books

The Silent World by J.Y. Cousteau (paperback and Hardback editions.)
World without Sun by J.Y. Cousteau (hardback with dustjacket.)
The Undersea Adventure by Philippe Diole - 1953
The Complete Manual of Skin Diving by A.P. Balder - 1968
The Golden Guide to Scuba Diving by Wheeler J. North - 1968
Best Dives of the Caribbean by Joyce and Jon Huber - 1994
SSI Diver Stress and Rescue by SSI - 1990
Diving Free by Carlos Eyes - 1978
Let's Go Diving Published by U.S. Divers - 1976
Advanced Water Working Techniques by Andy Sabisch - 1995
Deep Challenge by Harris B. Stewart, Jr. - 1966
Deep Sea Detectives by Peter R. Limburg - 2004
The Sea Around Us by Rachel L. Carson (hardback with DJ and Paperback) - 1951
SSI Open Water Diver Manual by SSI - 1995
Men Without Fear.... by John J. Floherty (part about Hard Hat diving) - 1940
Dive - The Complete Book of Skin Diving by Rick and Barbara Carrier - 1955
The Treasure Hunter by Robin Moore and Howard Jennings - 1974
PADI Open Water Diver Manual 1990
Submerged by Daniel Lenihan - 2002
The Pocket Guide to the Undersea World by Ley Kenyon - 1956
Professional Diver's Log Book published by the Best Publishing Company
Andrea Doria - Dive to a Legend by Gary Gentile
Shadow Divers by Robert Kurson - 2004
All About Fish by Carl Burger - 1960
All About the Sea by Ferdinand C. Lane - 1953
PADI Adventures in Diving - 1991
Last of the Blue Water Hunters by Carlos Eyles - 1985
PADI Rescue Diver Manual - 2002
PADI Divemaster Manual - 1999
Saucer in the Sea by Terry Shannon - 1965
Captain Cousteau's Underwater Treasury by J.Y. Cousteau and James Dugan - 1959
The New Science of Skin and Scuba Diving by James E. Young - 1975
The Shark by J.Y. Cousteau and Phillippe Cousteau - 1970
Diving for Sunken Treasure by J.Y. Cousteau and Philippe Diole - 1971
The Whale by J.Y. Cousteau and Philippe Diole - 1972
Three Adventures by J.Y. Cousteau and Philippe Diole - 1973
Spearfishing and Underwater Hunting Handbook by A. Patrick - 1999
Shipwrecks and Legends around Cape May by D. Seibold and C. Adams - 1987
The Forest and the Sea by Marston Bates - 1960
The Lost Fleet by Barry Clifford - 2002
Underwater Warriors by Paul Kemp - 1996
The Amphora by Peter and Mike Stevenson - 1975
Isles of the Caribbean by National Geographic - 1980
A Key West Companion by c. Cox - 1983
The Deep by Peter Benchley - 1976
The Bermuda Triangle by Charles Berlitz - 1974
Men Beneath the Sea by Hans Hass - 1973
The Encyclopedia of Recreational Diving by PADI
The Ocean World of J.Y. Cousteau Volumes 1-4,6-8, 17

The Clive Cussler Collection of Books

Raise the Titanic - Jewel of my collection! 1976
The Mediterranean Caper
Vixen 03
Night Probe
Pacific Vortex Original PB (the first Dirk Pitt Adventure!)
Deep Six
Inca Gold
Altantis Found
Valhalla Rising
Fire Ice
Blue Gold
Sea Hunters
Clive Cussler/Dirk Pitt Revealed
The Sea Hunters II
White Death
Black Wind
Lost City
Trojan Odyssey
Golden Buddha
Sacred Stone

I need the following titles...
Cyclops, Treasure, Serpent in Hardback! E-Mail Me. Thanks.

Some Selections from the "Bookshelf".

Odds and Ends

Here is a bunch of fun stuff that doesn't really fit anywhere else on the website. I hope you enjoy!

Frogmen Comic Book from the early 1960's published by Dell Comics

Plastic Model kit of three scuba divers and zodiac - 1960's by Heller Models

Deep Dive Pub - Bar Sign..."We get down every night!"

1970's Calypso Model Kit from Revell - I will build it over the summer...hopefully!

U.D.T. Dive Team with Mini-Submarine - Recast Model from the 1960's

Frogman on the Beach - 1960's plastic model kit

G.I. Joe Frogman and Sea Sled - 1966

U.D.T. Recovery Team - Apollo 17 Nasa Mission - Sticker

Britains "Deetail" Two Man Submarine with Divers

The Silent World - Cousteau Film Lobby Card 1959

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