Two years ago I reviewed the first part of Chris Holden’s ebook on essential North Welsh dive-sites – now part two has been delivered as promised.
These two ebooks are much-expanded versions of a print book that first appeared in 2003, based on 20 years’ of diving and research. A second print book, Volume 2, South Stack to Colwyn Bay, which was published in 2007, has still be digitised, and so Holden‘s life-work continues, though I get the distinct impression that he’s enjoying the process!
The two halves of Volume One (Revisited) are exemplars of how to write such a reference book – diligent research based on first-hand diving experience, loads of detail, informative maps, good topside and notably good underwater photographs, and helpful refinements such as GPS positions and echo-sounder traces.
Every pain is taken to ensure that if you visit any of these dive-sites you’ll be thoroughly prepared for the experience and equipped to avoid any pitfalls. I also like the fact that where the diving is undistinguished, the author feels no need to talk it up.
The digital format was chosen both for cost-savings and to allow Holden to update whenever necessary, and to provide the updates free to buyers.
Part One of the first volume covered the coast north from Barmouth to near Nefyn, and now Part 2 continues the clockwise journey through chapters 7-13, around Caernafon Bay and on to Anglesey as far as South Stack, the island’s westernmost point.
My only criticism of the first volume was that the wide column-setting and long paragraphs (see also Underwater Photography by Larry Gates) made it harder to read than it needed to be, and I pointed out that in digital format that would be easy to remedy.
I’m proud to note that no notice at all has been taken of my comment!
But this is essentially a generous book, with no short-cuts taken as Holden dives his way north. If you’re diving in North Wales, having it on your tablet or phone would be an eminently good idea. Like Part One, it is formatted for Mac, Android and Windows devices, though not Kindle.
Review by Steve Weinman
eBook, 363pp (Google Play Books version), £11.99