Second Edition Brings PADI's
Encyclopedia of Recreational Diving Up to Date
by Ty Sawyer
PADI introduced its first Encyclopedia of Recreational Diving in 1988. It was crammed, cover to cover, with comprehensive, helpful and pertinent information for divers of all skill levels. But technology has advanced and opened new arenas of information, practice and tools for today's diver to explore. So, PADI responded with a second edition of its popular reference book. It features revisions throughout, including new sections on emerging technologies, underwater geography, environmental awareness and careers in diving, among others.
If you have ever been stumped by questions in Dennis Graver's Scuba Quiz column in SKIN DIVER, the answers are probably found within the 300 plus pages of this thorough reference. There are five main sections: The Chemistry and Physics of Diving; The Physiology of Diving; Dive Equipment; The Aquatic Realm; and the Future of Diving. Although each section has a daunting title (the first two anyway), the information is broken down into easily digestible segments that present the topic with clarity and, where appropriate, plenty of accompanying photographs, illustrations, charts and drawings to aid in understanding and retention of the material. If it involves an aspect of sport diving it is here and completely up to date.
The first section, The Chemistry and Physics of Diving, is as in-depth as you want it to be. Everything from the properties of water to the behavior of gases is discussed. Although some of the information gets fairly complex, the book maintains a commendable level of understandability and readability.
The second section, The Physiology of Diving, moves to the human side of the diving equation; the effects of pressure, narcosis, DCI, equipment squeeze and much more. It has also been updated to deal with newer issues of relevance such as oxygen toxicity, which has come to the forefront with the growing popularity of diving with enriched air (nitrox).
For divers with a penchant for toys (some necessary; others; well, also necessary), section three, Dive Equipment, will be extremely beneficial. Besides the inner workings of your first stage, second stage, BC, etc. (and the improvements and refinements the years have brought), this section will tell you the benefits and how-tos of all that other stuff you've accumulated; from locator systems to underwater communications to cameras to diver propulsion vehicles. This section also goes into buying basics, which can be helpful for newer divers looking to buy their first set of equipment. And, each corner of the dive world is presented in overview (including freshwater and polar regions); relating water temperatures, average visibility, typical marine life encounters and dive infrastructure; which is great if you are having trouble deciding where to go for your first or yearly dive holiday.
The final section, The Future of Diving, is fascinating. It covers emerging technologies such as GPS, rebreathers and passive U/W navigation systems, to a growing faction of environmentally aware divers and dive groups, as exemplified by PADI's Project AWARE (Aquatic World Awareness, Responsibility and Education); as well as diving career opportunities as diverse as aquaculture and journalism.
With all the changes taking place in the dive world, the second edition of this easy to understand and in-depth resource could not have come at a better time. For recently certified or advanced divers; or those seeking a diving career; this book is sure to become an earmarked and well-used favorite.
The Encyclopedia of Recreational Diving is 81Ú2 by 11 inches, softcover, and is printed on chlorine free, recycled paper. The cost is $34.65.
For information on this book or any of PADI's dive products or services, call (800) 729-7234.