Andrew Woodburn is proud to have been associated with the release of DIVE SOUTH AFRICA where his work is featured as one of two leading South African underwater photographers along with Peter Pinnock. DIVE SOUTH AFRICA can be found in all exclusive books outlets and at selected diving retialers around South Africa. Authored by Andrew's long time aquaintance AL J VENTER who had published "DIVING in the Indian Ocean and Islands" many years ago. It was an honour to be selected for inclusion in AL VENTER' S books as he inspired me in my early diving career .
Andrew's Portfolio of underwater photos is only based from his African work while Peter Pinnock includes a selection of global photos. Andrew's featured photographic portfolio covers scuba diving on various african dive sites, whales and whaleshark images as well as a selection in black and white. AL's book takes a reader around the country and into the history of ship wrecks and dive sites as well as current happenings inclusive of shark diving in south africa.
Al J Venter - racontuer and author 2009
Book review:Encounter South africa
Dive South Africa is AI Venter`s most comprehensive dive book to date, his eighth on the subject since Underwater Africa was first published in Cape Town 40 years ago. Al J. Venter is a South African-born British national who is a sometime resident of Chinook, Washington, Scotland's Isle of Bute, London as well as Cape Town. He has been a military correspondent for four decades and has had 35 books published.
Dive South Africa will be followed by other books, including a book he is currently working on titled Diving With Sharks, as well as a rewrite of his original Underwater Mauritius. Venter enjoys his diving and it shows. He takes the reader on numerous underwater trips of discovery, and draws on more than 40 years experience.
That said, this is not a history book. Co-author John Visser did much of the ground work and brought the work thoroughly up to date, having covered scores of location along the length of the South Africa coast, from the Mozambique Border to Saldanha Bay.
Dive South Africa contains the biggest chapter ever publish on many of the underwater attractions in and around Durban (Chapter 18). Similarly, Port Elizabeth gets a good showing with 20 pages devoted to what it has to offer the diver. He covers dive spots from Kosi Bay in KwaZulu Natal down the Eastern Cape coast to Hermanus in the Western Cape with invaluable details for the diver not familiar to South Africa.
He has a section devoted to whale sharks, which, he tells us, were found as far south as Table Bay in the early 1800s (Chapter 13).
Apart from the chapters on sharks, he deals with some of South Africa`s notable "wreck hunters", individuals like Peter Sachs who discovered the wreck of the Dutch East Indiaman Bennebroek north of East London as well as Cape Town`s Charlie Shapiro, who found the last resting place in False Bay of the British East Indiaman the Colebrooke. Other wrecks that deserve chapters of their own are the Shaw Saville liner Maori, which sank with terrible loss of life when it went onto the rock at Karbonkelberg, near Hout Bay during a winter gale.
Dive South Africa runs to 560 pages (35 chapters) and contains spectacular underwater images.
Among the most interesting sections are two Appendixes, where Venter traces the reason why there are so many shipwrecks in South Africa (2,000 and counting). The first is headed "The companies that Headed for the East, their Ships and the Men that Manned Them". This chapter provides an intriguing insight to show some of the early mariners did their thing, from Batholomeu Diaz through the full gambit of Dutch and British seafarers who followed.
These were the men who cast aside fear and superstition that they would "fall off the edge of the world" and went on to discover the sea route to India. Venter has drawn on documents in the Portuguese, British and Dutch Maritime Archives.
The second Appendix is taken from the log of one of the officers who was onboard the British ship Colebrooke when it hit a blinder in False Bay. Unintentionally, the diarist provides us with a captivating insight to life at the Tavern of the Seas two and half centuries ago.
Dive South Africa, by AI J. Venter with John H. Visser: Published by Ashanti Publishing, Cape town, 2008; 560 pages, 35 chapters plus two historical appendices, 130 photos, 14 maps. RRP R285 (Inc VAT)