ONE WAY TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA of their content is through excerpts, so in July we published the introduction to Scottish wreck-diver Rod Macdonald’s offering, and in this month’s magazine we sample Welsh cave-diver Martyn Farr’s new offering by extracting part of the Australian section of his book.
New editions of dive-books appear all the time, but the changes are rarely as extensive as in these two.
The Darkness Beckons arrived in 1980, and for that generation of pre-technical cave-diver it was one of the first books written with them in mind.
The title makes it sounds like a philosophical tract, but in fact it was a very practical guide to the story of submerged cave-exploration through the exploits of its personalities, with descriptions of systems in which divers might try their hand at this dark art.
The new version has the same intention, but since the last edition in 1991 expeditionary cave-diving has developed as a global pastime, along with the ambition of the divers. Farr must have had his work cut out to reflect the scale of their progress.
The previous 220-page book majored on UK cave-diving, followed by European and other locations.
Now it’s far bigger in pagination and dimensions to cope with a quarter-of-a-century’s global stories, and is packed with photos, maps and diagrams. It’s as sharply written as ever, and incorporates many extended first-hand accounts by other divers.
No cave-diver should be without this book, and the same applies to wreck-divers and Dive Scapa Flow.