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Welcome to Dive Gear Reviews, a comprehensive guide to scuba diving equipment. Scuba diving is an expensive pursuit, so looking up reviews for a particular article of equipment is a wise precaution before investing any hard-earned money in it. However, consumer reviews may or may not be written by an experienced diver, and magazine reviews could be suspect due to the advertising ties of the publication in question. Dive Gear Reviews provides cross-referenced reviews assembled by an expert, making it possible to see at a glance what multiple sources said about a particular piece of scuba equipment. If one magazine loved a scuba regulator or a dive computer, but the consumers hated it, that information will be found here.

Dive Book Review: “Submerged” by Daniel Lenihan

Written by Dive Gear Reviews Editor. Comments Off on Dive Book Review: “Submerged” by Daniel Lenihan Posted in: Book and Film Reviews

When Robert Kurson’s Shadow Divers was published, it became hit even outside the dive community with its thrilling tale of death-defying adventure and obsession under the sea. A handful of books have been published since then, each attempting to cash in on the popular interest in divers risking their lives, Mount Everest-style. Most of them failed, mostly because the authors were bad storytellers. However, there was one book published before Kurson’s Shadow Divers that has attracted little attention and is even better than the storied best-seller that launched Richie Kohler’s and John Chatterton’s careers as dive personalities, and the book is Submerged.

Submerged is the memoir of Daniel Lenihan, the de facto founder and longtime leader of the National Park Service’s underwater archaeological program. As recounted by Lenihan, he became part of the nascent Florida cave diving scene while attending graduate school in the 1970s, before finding his home with the National Park Service. Lenihan is an able storyteller, and in Submerged he has written a book that has a little something for everyone. If you want a book written by divers for divers, Lenihan knows his stuff and amply demonstrates it. His description of a cold water free-flow accident at Isle Royale National Park is the best I’ve ever seen. Readers in search of pulse-pounding, hair-raising chills will come away engrossed  by his more terrifying experiences, such as when Lenihan recounts recovering a body from a flooded, silt-laden building in a dam reservoir. Shipwreck-lovers have the chance to enjoy the story of a man who dived two wrecks almost no one gets to dive, namely the USS Arizona and the Confederate submarine Hunley. Finally, the book has a solid dose of testosterone-driven, alpha male buddy movie material, with incidents like road-tripping south of the border to Mexican cenote territory in the days before those freshwater caves became a major tourist attraction.

Submerged is an excellent, well-written book that delivers on all levels. Frankly, it’s both stunning and sad Lenihan’s memoir has not received more attention. If you are looking for a dive adventure to read on the plane for your trip to Belize or over the winter when you wish you were in your wetsuit, this is the book for you.