"The Last Dive"...anyone else read it?

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by Beachman, Nov 25, 2000.

  1. Beachman

    Beachman Nassau Grouper

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    I know this book is probably very controversial...but WOW..it must make everyone think!

    If you got more than a few dives, you must know someone (or two) who you identify with in the book. And you have to wonder when you've had a thought or two yourself exactly like one or two thoughts expressed in the book.

    For some reason I feel this should be required reading for divers, but I'm not exactly sure when or where. Maybe AOW, or maybe DM, not OW for sure, maybe instructors?

    One thing is for sure to me, it makes you think...really hard.

    Anyone else have an opinion?

    DSAO
     
  2. Walter

    Walter Scuba Instructor

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    I haven't read it. Who's the author?

    Walter
     
  3. Gerb

    Gerb Angel Fish

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    Agree with Beachman, its a definte Must Read.
    the author is Bernie Chowdhury, publisher HarperCollins ISBN 0-06-019462-6. Amazon has them but I picked up a used copy on half.com might save some bucks there.

    Mike
     
  4. Beachman

    Beachman Nassau Grouper

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    Y'all got to the board for Walter before I did....guess Sunday morning and church came first for me today.

    I got my copy from a guy on another board from Texas. I think the book retails in hard cover for $25 or so. I paid him $15 and he paid postage. I believe you can get the book at discount stores for about $15 or so.

    I figured I got a deal because I didn't have to shop around. He got a deal 'cause he got about $12 back after postage. I'd offer the book to others except that I sent it to my son. Maybe he'll offer it up for $10 because it was FREE for him.

    On the other hand, he may decide to put it in his library as one h*## of a read the second time!

    DSAO
     
  5. caymancase

    caymancase Divemaster

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    Now I know what to get the BF for Christmas! And I'll just have to borrow it from him.
    Dive safe! Case
     
  6. Warhammer

    Warhammer Manta Ray

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    Hi, Beachman. It was me that sold you the book and I bees from MS, not Texas.:) WOW! It must have got your undivided attention for you to read it that fast. Took me a little over a week. Anyway, glad you enjoyed it.

    BTW, I finaaly got your check one day last week, Monday I think.
     
  7. Beachman

    Beachman Nassau Grouper

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    The Commonwealth of Virginia expresses its sincere apology to the Great State of Mississippi for the oversight. (Boy, have I been watching too much election coverage on TV or what?)

    I guess maybe I've had Texas on my mind lately since I locked in a Flower Gardens trip for next August.

    Believe me, no slight intended!
     
  8. Warhammer

    Warhammer Manta Ray

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    Flower Gardens? Going with Dave and the rest of the bunch? Sounds like a good trip.
     
  9. Beachman

    Beachman Nassau Grouper

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    Yup, Warhammer, you guessed it!

    DSAO
     
  10. dsquid

    dsquid Nassau Grouper

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    Excellent book, in my opinion. Great for divers, but I think it'd be a very interesting read for just about anyone.

    Hard to put down once you start...
     
  11. Campana

    Campana Barracuda

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    I read the book in a couple of days. It was fascinating. The Rouses' pride, competition, and their nickname as the Bicker Brothers were all very evident. They did some great dives, but their belief in their own skills, without regard to obvious dangers, was obvious. This book illustrates the importance of rules and limits in diving. Don't push it--you could end up the same way, in much less "glorious" diving than what they were doing.

    Dave
     
  12. redseal

    redseal Nassau Grouper

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    ...intriguing, but the writing style and editing were rather poor. The way that the author kept jumping around and repeating the same segments within the book made for some tedious reading.

    The story about the Rouses and their almost fanatical devotion to one-upmanship in deep diving and wreck diving AND cave diving almost guaranteed their eventual "accident" but I can see how they were absorbed by the sport.

    You're right: the story itself should be a must-read for any diver considering anything more than bright, clear, 20 foot dives without currents.
     
  13. ElectricZombie

    ElectricZombie Deep South DIR

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    I read the book when I came out a while back. I thought it was ok.

    When you read the book, the mistakes made by the Rouses seem so obvious you wonder how they made them. Wasn't their final dive on air to around 250 feet?...Then they couldn't find their deco bottles. (Or am I confusing this with some other book) What were they thinking?
     
  14. Beachman

    Beachman Nassau Grouper

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    It made me think about some things, like.....

    After two years since I read the book and posted, I think that:

    I am more cautious now than then.

    I am more adventurous now than then.

    I've seen a lot more now than then.

    I have more experience now than then.

    I'm scared more often now than then.

    I'm more comfortable now than then.

    I'm going to read the book again, and see how I feel this time when I'm done compared to the last read.

    Thanks for the mental gymnastics!
     
  15. bwerb

    bwerb Hoser/English Translator, eh

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    $6.99 CANADIAN (what is that, like...$1.25 US???):eek:ut:
     
  16. AquaGuy

    AquaGuy Barracuda

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    I just got done reading this book. Read the entire thing in two days (I am usually the type that hates to read!). It was a very good book. The only complaint I have about it was the author did a lot of digressing throughout the book and gave way to many details about the history of each of the various wrecks. I also did not like the fact that the description of the final dive was short (less than 10 pages). I guess it was due to lack of information, but it would have been nice to have more details about the Last Dive......
     
  17. nicodaemos

    nicodaemos Nassau Grouper

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    I read it a couple of weeks ago and I loved it. Bernie did a good job of fleshing out the Bicker brothers and carrying us through from their checkout dives to the U-who. After a while, they seemed like friends and you want to keep turning the page to find out what happened to them next.

    I would definitely recommend this book to anyone diving or even thinking about diving. Too often this sport only talks about the beautiful fish and crystal clear waters and doesn't spend enough time reminding you of how easily you can die. I think it's a good thing if warm water rec divers have a bit of fear in them ... perhaps they will take practicing their skills a little more seriously. Of course this book is about advanced divers and none of them were hurt doing 60' in the Gulf. But seeing that people who are much more experienced than yourself, encounter problems that they are unable to handle underwater reminds you that you can't take the sport lightly.

    For me, what was also cool was learning about the history of certain dive techniques. The part about northeast wreckdivers and florida cavedivers fighting over the best way to penetrate the Doria reminded me of some of the DIR debates on this board. It's fascinating to see how this sport is constantly evolving and that some of the concepts that people take as gospel now, were only developed in the last 5-10 years.

    I enjoyed the book and would recommend it to others.

    As an aside, I happened to read the first chapter of Deep Descent while at B&N the other day. Hearing about suicide clips from various people have taught me to steer away from them -- but mostly in an abstract way. Reading the first chapter about how an experienced cave diver (name escapes me at the moment) died diving the Doria because of his belt of suicide clips gave me a whole different perspective. Now the danger of using suicide clips has become much more tangible to me -- I'm amazed that manufacturers still sell them.
     
  18. John C. Ratliff

    John C. Ratliff Scuba Instructor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
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    I just read the book, which an dive buddy recommended to me. He has bought it for several people, and feels that every diver should read it. I have a background in diver rescue, pararescue, have done some limited cave diving in the 1970's, and very little deep diving. I am also a Certified Safety Professional, and employed in the occupational safety and health field. So this book is of special interest to me.

    Several things struck me about the divers in the book:

    --They would risk deep, highly technical dives simply to get artifacts for bragging rights.

    --They wanted to be macho divers, and almost worshiped Sheck Exley (who himself later died trying to set a deep-diving record).

    --That the lure of deep diving, pushing the limits, continues from the beginning of our sport.

    --That these divers are not much interested in the marine environment as much as what they can bring up to show off to others. It seems something is lacking there.

    --The safety measures were, and most likely continue to be, lacking for these technical divers. They are taught to be "self-contained," but dive with doubles and two additional tank, take two off and leave them outside a wreck, cannot find them on their way out after an almost fatal entrapment situation, and decide that they can surface. They spent 40 minutes at 230 feet. My decompression table states their decompression as 156:50 for total decompression from this dive (USN, 1970) with almost 3 minutes ascent to the first stop, with decomplession starting at 60 feet. My more recent tables don't list this dive profile. Decompression meters, while great tools (I may even buy one soon) don't overturn dive physiology realities. Dives in expeditions diving profiles like this have large bottles with regulators at decompression stages available (at least, the one I dove did, the Warm Mineral Springs Underwater Archaeological Project in Florida, 1973).

    --When they got into trouble, there was no way to get them on-board but for them to climb the ladder. There was no dive platform, and street-clothed crew members had to jump into cold water to assist them. Chrissy was dragged with most of his gear on up, while the crew in the water was successful in cutting his Dad out of his dive gear. They did not ditch, or go through other emergency procedures, in the water (physically, they probably couldn't). There was no rescue diver posted, as is common in expeditions, and no emergency plan made. There was no on-board chamber available for such a hazardous diving profile. Everything depended upon their diving skills and no emergency happening.

    --Worse than all this, neither one really wanted to dive that day. They groaded themselves into a very dangerous situation, with seas 6-8' and marginal conditions that were deteriorating.

    I could go on, but that's as much as I want to post currently.

    SeaRat
     
  19. nicodaemos

    nicodaemos Nassau Grouper

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    Here's a link to pictures of the Seeker (same boat on the fateful trip to the U-who) on a 1999 trip to the Doria. Thinking of SeaRat's comments, if you look through the pictures you can see people triumphantly holding up artifacts. Sadly it appears that there was at least one death on the Doria that year.

    http://christinayoung.com/pages/diving/seeker/doria99c.htm
     
  20. breathe_nitrox

    breathe_nitrox Guest

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    I read the book about a year ago and enjoyed it. For me the most striking chapter was when Berrnie descibed how he got himself bent, very chilling in its detail. The descriptions of just how disfunctional the Ruoses were as a family got alittle long at times, but that may have been a neccessary evil to explain their deaths. The one impression I got is that there entire diving carreer was a tragedy waitng to happen. I actually enjoyed the histories of the wrecks, but then I like to read up on all the wrecks I dive, not that I ever plan on doing this one.Totaly recomend the book and will most likely read it again. As an aside Discover channel had an excelent program on diving that U boat and how they eventually figured out which one it was. I don't remember that the program went into any great detail about the Rouses, but there deaths were covered. It was called something like Hitlers Lost U Boat.

    Deep Descent was another good book in a similar vain in regards as to how ego or "China Fever" leads to dead divers. If you enjoyed the Last Dive you'll as get alot from Deep Descent. Actually Deep Descent in my opinion is better written, and covers the F*** ups of a variety of divers

    I just finished reading Neutral Boyancy, can't remember the authors name, and would recomend it. Completely different then the other two books. This one covers some interesting histories of diving, such as sponge diving, early bronze helmet diving, underwater habitats and free diving. The author throughs in some of his own dive stories to brake things up. A good read and not as somber as the other two.
     

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