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Top 10 books for scuba divers

While I’ve been locked up in quarantine, and will be for at least another 3 weeks, I´ve had a chance to catch up on all of those jobs that normally get put off to a rainy day. Well were we live it doesn’t rain much either, so I’ve been looking for other things to do too!

I’ve been looking at my diving book collection and also what else is out there and I’ve managed to read all of my “must read” books. I then went looking for more inspiration and managed to find a few more. So, I thought why not create a list of the best diving related books that others can choose from. I have managed to create a list of the “Top 10 Scuba Diving“ related books. Obviously, this only my opinion and I know there are many other quality works out there. These are just the ones I have read and can thoroughly recommend.

  • Neutral Buoyancy, Adventures in a liquid world. Tim Ecott

Tim Ecotts book is a tour of diving history and adventure where he describes early diving attempts from hundreds of years ago, sponge diving and military operations right up to modern day deep diving. He adds stories of his own varied diving experiences making this a fascinating insight into the realm of diving.

  • Into the planet . My life as a cave diver. Jill Heinerth

This is a new book written by Jill Heinerth, a world leading cave diver, film maker and adventurer about her life as a diver and explorer. Its fascinating to read how much one person can accomplish and discover and push the cave diving sport to its limits.

  • Ocean Gladiator. Battles beneath the ocean. Mark Ellyatt

If you´re fascinated by people who push the limits to the extreme, break boundaries and come out the other side smiling, this book is a must. Marks accounts of his diving achievements and stories are funny, exciting and humbling. Covering discoveries of new wrecks, world record deep dives and diving conditions that would make the regular diver stay in bed!

  • Deco for Divers. A Diver's Guide to Decompression Theory and Physiology. Mark Powell

Marks book is a must read for any technically minded diver, tec diver trainee or instructor looking to learn more about decompression theory. Its an informative collection of up to date dive theory that can be used as both a reference book and as a good educational read in a really well presented and simple to understand format.

  • Deep. Freediving, Renegade Science, and What the Ocean Tells Us About Ourselves. James Nestor

This book is a journey into the world of freediving and the sometimes strange goings on that happen in the world of science, there are some interesting stories about frisky dolphins! James Nestor delves into the psychology of freediving and what it means to be a freediver.

  • Jaws – Peter Benchley

Not strictly a diving book, but a favourite non the less. About a rogue shark terrorising the shores of the fictitious Amity Island and the drama unfolding to catch it. It’s a great story, but sadly the movie has been held responsible for a generation of shark haters and people scared to get in the water. Peter Benchley became a total Shark conservation advocate after this book.

  • The last dive. Bernie Chowdhury

This story recounts the history and build-up of events that lead to a final dive on a newly discovered shipwreck of a world war 2 submarine that ultimately ends in tragedy. It’s a great reference of the early days of deep wreck and cave diving and a tragic family story that flows through it all.

  • Deep descent. Kevin. F McMurray

Those familiar with the shipwreck of the Andria Doria from Bernie Chowdhurys book The Last Dive, will be interested in this story that depicts the initial sinking, due to a huge navigational error and the subsequent wreck diving fever that followed. It details the first dives after the sinking and the exploration of what was referred to as the Everest of diving for many years.

  • Into the Abyss. Diving to adventure in the liquid world. Rod Macdonald

Rod Macdonald has written many great diving books, but for me this one is the best for his diving tales and adventures. It details his diving history and trips to many amazing places across the world, from Scapa Flow in Scotland to the wreck grave yard of Truk Lagoon in the Pacific. Wonderful dive sites, scrapes and close calls a plenty, this is a fascinating look into his diving adventures.

  • The last attempt. Carlos Serra

This is another book centred around the world of freediving. It tells the story of Audrey Mestre who was at the time of her death a world record holding free diver. This book written by her husbands close friend and colleague not only describes her life as a free diver but also investigates the supposedly mysterious circumstances surrounding her tragic death and the involvement of Francisco “Pipin” Ferreras , her husband and also a world record freediver..

  • Blueprint for survival. Basic Cave diving. Sheck Exley.

Actually number 11 on the list, but its well worth a read! An oldy but a goody, this book outlines the original safety guide for cave diving. This book by Sheck Exley established the basic safety procedures for cave and technical diving, many of which are still used today.

That´s my top 10 scuba diving related books, I hope you get the chance to read them at some point, and enjoy them as much as I have? Also they make great gifts for diving friends and partners if you ever struggle to find any new dive kit to get them!

Also as a footnote, some of these books include content about diving related accidents and deaths. While my intention is to create an interesting reading list, I want to reassure you that Scuba Diving is actually a relatively safe sport, however a lot of these books do venture into the extreme and cutting edge of the sport where risk is very high.

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