In the tradition of Jon Krakauers Into Thin Air comes a true tale of riveting adventure in which two weekend scuba divers risk everything to solve a great historical mystery and make history themselves.
In the tradition of Jon Krakauers Into Thin Air and Sebastian Jungers The Perfect Storm comes a true tale of riveting adventure in which two weekend scuba divers risk everything to solve a great historical mysteryand make history themselves.
For John Chatterton and Richie Kohler, deep wreck diving was more than a sport. Testing themselves against treacherous currents, braving depths that induced hallucinatory effects, navigating through wreckage as perilous as a minefield, they pushed themselves to their limits and beyond, brushing against death more than once in the rusting hulks of sunken ships.
But in the fall of 1991, not even these courageous divers were prepared for what they found 230 feet below the surface, in the frigid Atlantic waters sixty miles off the coast of New Jersey: a World War II German U-boat, its ruined interior a macabre wasteland of twisted metal, tangled wires, and human bonesall buried under decades of accumulated sediment.
No identifying marks were visible on the submarine or the few artifacts brought to the surface. No historian, expert, or government had a clue as to which U-boat the men had found. In fact, the official records all agreed that there simply could not be a sunken U-boat and crew at that location.
Over the next six years, an elite team of divers embarked on a quest to solve the mystery. Some of them would not live to see its end. Chatterton and Kohler, at first bitter rivals, would be drawn into a friendship that deepened to an almost mystical sense of brotherhood with each other and with the drowned U-boat sailorsformer enemies of their country. As the mens marriages frayed under the pressure of a shared obsession, their dives grew more daring, and each realized that he was hunting more than the identities of a lost U-boat and its nameless crew.
Author Robert Kursons account of this quest is at once thrilling and emotionally complex, and it is written with a vivid sense of what divers actually experience when they meet the dangers of the oceans underworld. The story of Shadow Divers often seems too amazing to be true, but it all happened, two hundred thirty feet down, in the deep blue sea.
THE BOOK OF NUMBERS
Brielle, New Jersey, September 1991
Bill Nagle's life changed the day a fisherman sat beside him in a ramshackle bar and told him about a mystery he had found lying at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. Against his better judgment, that fisherman promised to tell Nagle how to find it. The men agreed to meet the next day on the rickety wooden pier that led to Nagle's boat, the Seeker, a vessel Nagle had built to chase possibility. But when the appointed time came, the fisherman was not there. Nagle paced back and forth, careful not to plunge through the pier where its wooden planks had rotted away. He had lived much of his life on the Atlantic, and he knew when worlds were about to shift. Usually, that happened before a storm or when a man's boat broke. Today, however, he knew it was going to happen when the fisherman handed him a scrap of paper, a hand-scrawled set of numbers that would lead to the sunken mystery. Nagle looked into ...
Kurson brings considerable journalistic experience to his debut book, which combines the derring-do of a great modern-day adventure story with a 60 year old mystery. In other words, it's a book that can be enjoyed by a much wider audience than diving buffs (just as 'Into Thin Air' isn't just for climbers).
(Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
Full Review (301 words).
The partial pressure of nitrogen in compressed air below a
certain depth causes a mental state similar to being drunk, known as nitrogen
Decompression syndrome or nitrogen embolism, also known as 'the bends', is caused because nitrogen bubbles form in the bloodstream and tissues of the body at depth. If a diver surfaces too quickly the bubbles don't have time to dissolve which can cause extreme pain, paralysis and death. To avoid this divers must surface slowly.
Because of issues such as these, deep diving requires mixing oxygen with other gases such as helium. Although these mixes are not without their own issues.
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