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The Cavern Kings

af Jeff Bauer

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingSamtaler
831,808,452 (3.67)Ingen
Josh Jensen is the self-perceived master of the underwater world and knows no fear. Until he almost drowns scuba diving with his friends in the calm crystal clear waters of a beautiful North Florida spring on a warm sunny day. Rattled by the wakeup call and unencumbered by wisdom, he decides to pursue training to master the cold water-filled dark places beneath a ceiling of impenetrable rock.Soon he and his divemates realize this sort of class isn't just an easy lap around the pool. Their overbearing and harsh instructor challenges them to come to terms with life and death with only seconds of air to spare in claustrophobic passages. Josh has to juggle the pending sunset of one romantic relationship with the faintest glimpse of another, irate parents and a troubled boss ready to fire him.A diving tragedy stuns and deeply saddens Josh and he questions whether diving in caverns is too dangerous and even if he should continue diving at all. Dealing with the loss, he discovers a link to a diving fatality that estranged an experienced team of cave explorers in a deep Mexican cave years ago. New discoveries heal old wounds and bring enemies together as Josh struggles to find meaning in death.Few works of fiction capture the essence of cave diving and scuba literature is cluttered with many tedious non-fiction accounts of diving triumphs. Sprinkled with dramatic and realistic dive sequences penned by a real-life cave diving instructor, THE CAVERN KINGS is an adventure filled with dangers above and below the waterline that any reader will enjoy.… (mere)
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Crisp depiction of Florida's diving sub-culture. Lifelong friends and diving buddies expand their skills into cavern diving in Florida's sink holes. Add in a little romantic interest and some mystery the book kept me turning pages well into the night. Quick read and informative insight into diving. ( )
  quilty_girl | Apr 16, 2013 |
The Cavern Kings by Jeff Bauer is an interesting book that looks into the world of diving- specifically cave and cavern diving. As a diver myself, I find myself drawn to the water and (judging by this book) the author seems to feel the same pull.

The story begins in the small town of Wakulla, Florida. Josh is a scuba instructor working at Wakulla Skuba alongside his friend, mentor and boss, Kathy. Together they run the busy, little store and take interested visitors out to see the wonders of the sea. His best friends, Frank and Jon, always join him when they take a class out diving. The three friends learnt to dive together and have gone on every dive together since.

Once a year, they have a celebration in honour of the anniversary of becoming 'legal' divers (basically, getting their certification). Each summer, they choose a spot to dive in the Key. However, this year their plans are complicated by their work schedules. Josh works full-time at the dive shop, Frank is a sales associate and Jon is a computer programmer. Between their three jobs, they find it hard to make time for their annual celebratory dive.

Instead, they come up with the idea to dive closer to home, during the weekends. They're surrounded by natural springs to dive, but never tried them as the open ocean was more alluring. So, they head of to Blue Springs in Marianna, where they come across their first cave. None of them have any experience diving caves, which they soon realise they definitely need if they want to go anywhere near caverns or caves. During their amateur, first cave dive, they discover the allure of overhead diving, as well as the dangers.

And thus we get the plot. The three decide to take a cavern diving course during their weekends off. Their tutor, Drew, was recommended through Kathy and is said to be one of the best. Their small group is joined by one other for the class, Asrid- a Swedish woman with just as much passion for diving as them. Josh is your typical lovably, good guy, Frank is the over-confident prankster and Jon is the quiet voice of reason. With Asrid, they add a kind, though a little intimidating, personality to their mix.

This is more of a slow-read. Most of the book is description, with very little dialogue. But the description is so perfectly accurate of what you experience during diving, that I wouldn't call the slow-pace or basic plot a flaw. In fact the opposite. This is a love letter to diving, focusing more on the sensations and the way divers interact and view the underwater environment. It also acts as a cautionary tale, making sure non-divers and divers alike are all aware of the dangers involved, especially if you're a new diver or diving a new area or skill. Diving has an extraordinary amount of certifications because you need to study each specific skill thoroughly. None of them can be added on to another. Cave and cavern diving bring numerous more dangers. On an average open-water dive, the deeper you get, the more light will fade, the higher the pressure gets, the colder the water is, the more air you breathe. If you're in an area with few landmarks, getting lost can be surprisingly easy. In a cavern or cave, you add the threat that an overhead environment brings. There is no longer a direct line to the surface. Sunlight is completely cut off. That mixed with the lengths and widths that tunnel systems can be, poses an extreme danger in and of itself. All it takes is getting a little lost or stuck in a narrow tunnel. Then it's just a matter of running out of the small amount of air you carry on your back.

Keeping track of time and air is crucial in diving. Underwater, time flows differently. You can check your dive computer and find you've been down an hour, when only 10 minutes seem to have passed. Not being able to see the light changing, makes it hard to tell how much time has passed. This book covers the many aspects of diving, from training, experiencing the first dive, becoming qualified, the first 'legal' dive, the experiences you have with the environment and the loss and tragedies that can and do occur. Sometimes, no matter how safe you are, things can still go wrong. Diving rules are built from the mistakes and misfortunes of others. You can never be too careful, especially when there's a hundred feet of water and solid rock between you and another air source.

Some of the writing can be a little rudimentary, but the book pulls you past the occasional occurrence.
A lovely mix of fiction and non-fiction and an enjoyable book that the diver in me can't help but love.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the author. This is not a sponsored review. All opinions are 100% my own. ( )
  needtoreadgottowatch | Mar 27, 2013 |
If you like caves and diving you'll love the book. ( )
  Vivapdx | Jan 8, 2013 |
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Josh Jensen is the self-perceived master of the underwater world and knows no fear. Until he almost drowns scuba diving with his friends in the calm crystal clear waters of a beautiful North Florida spring on a warm sunny day. Rattled by the wakeup call and unencumbered by wisdom, he decides to pursue training to master the cold water-filled dark places beneath a ceiling of impenetrable rock.Soon he and his divemates realize this sort of class isn't just an easy lap around the pool. Their overbearing and harsh instructor challenges them to come to terms with life and death with only seconds of air to spare in claustrophobic passages. Josh has to juggle the pending sunset of one romantic relationship with the faintest glimpse of another, irate parents and a troubled boss ready to fire him.A diving tragedy stuns and deeply saddens Josh and he questions whether diving in caverns is too dangerous and even if he should continue diving at all. Dealing with the loss, he discovers a link to a diving fatality that estranged an experienced team of cave explorers in a deep Mexican cave years ago. New discoveries heal old wounds and bring enemies together as Josh struggles to find meaning in death.Few works of fiction capture the essence of cave diving and scuba literature is cluttered with many tedious non-fiction accounts of diving triumphs. Sprinkled with dramatic and realistic dive sequences penned by a real-life cave diving instructor, THE CAVERN KINGS is an adventure filled with dangers above and below the waterline that any reader will enjoy.

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