Scuba Diving: A Woman's Guide - Diver's Library

By Michelle Danner

Scuba Diving: A Woman's Guide, by Claire Walter, McGraw-Hill. (212) 904-5951

Scuba Diving: A Woman's Guide, is a practical and inspirational look at a male-dominated sport. According to the author, Claire Walter, only 28 percent of divers are female. This book encourages female divers to get started and keep going.

Walter does a terrific job promoting diving while sticking to the facts. She encourages fun and safety, citing important components to responsible diving. Walter does address female concerns, but focuses more on the excitement of diving. Readers, especially first-time divers, will be anxious to get in the water after reading Scuba Diving: A Woman's Guide.

Skin Diver had a chance to speak with the author about her book. Certified in 1989, Walter has been writing for more than 20 years.

SD: Who is the audience for your book?

CW: This book is directed at would-be and new divers, but it's a great thing for a dive enthusiast to give or recommend to a female friend who's thinking about or just beginning the sport.

SD: What influenced you to write this book?

CW: I write a lot about skiing, and to me, skiing and diving are the same kind of activity. Both are mucho macho, both are equipment-intensive and both are done in exceptionally beautiful environments. I have seen, in skiing, how women differ from men in their learning styles, in their physiology and in their way of dealing with fear. Women-only ski classes and multi-day workshops help many women overcome physical, psychological barriers and "equipment dumbness," for want of a suitable expression, and [they] become better and more confident skiers. I believe that many women new to diving need some of the same support, and this book was my way to contribute to filling that need.

SD: Do you have any advice for female divers?

CW: Dive within your comfort zone. Dive comfortably and enjoy the beauty. Dive with a congenial group. Don't let yourself be bullied or intimidated. And if you have an unpleasant experience, "get back on the horse" and dive again.



Hawaii Underwater, produced by Lew Trusty; Trusty Productions, (808) 396-2980, www.trustyproductions.com

Never experienced diving in Hawaii? Now you can with Hawaii Underwater. Shot and produced by Lew Trusty, an award-winning underwater filmmaker, this 30-minute video engulfs you in the magical underwater world that surrounds the Hawaiian Islands.

Trusty's work has been used by National Geographic, and he boasts an M.A. from USC's film school. In addition, the narration was written by former Skin Diver assistant editor, Chris Trusty. Choosing from more than 1,000 hours of diving footage, the video's main message is preserving and protecting Hawaii's oceans and its inhabitants.

The video takes the viewer through lava caves, shipwrecks and coral reefs. Filled with more than 400 different types of fish, these Pacific waters are inhabited by Manta Rays, eels and octopi. If you're lucky, the video explains, you may spot a Hawaiian Monk Seal or swim with sea turtles. Trusty's underwater voyage in Hawaii Underwater is both beautiful and inspiring. After watching this video, you'll want to get off your couch and dive Hawaii.