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Diving Guide 1
2 3 Island Guide Shipwrecks SCUBA Expeditions Bio
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Women Divers' Hall of Fame
• • Elected President WDHOF • • WDHOF Report
United Nations Environment Program
• • Hurricane Hunting 1 2 • • 2010 Diver Of the Year 12
Dolphin Rescue Articles 1
2 3a 3b 4 • • CSI Whales Alive! • • Explorers' Club 2001 Dinners 200120062010
With the President of the Phillipines
• • Wyland Icon Award • • Press Releases 1 2 3
   
  
Martha Watkins Gilkes' SHIPWRECKS OF THE EASTERN CARIBBEAN Martha Watkins Gilkes'
SHIPWRECKS
OF THE CARIBBEAN

Foreword by Stan Waterman



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Click here for information about this book
  
  

  

From: "The Daily Observer", Antigua, Wednesday February 05, 2003

Diving Into History
A Review by Karen Walwyn

Macmillan Caribbean has recently published a wonderful book, "Shipwrecks of the Caribbean, a Diver’s Guide". This is a beautifully and simply written book, enhanced by wonderful photography of underwater life and shipwrecks.

This is not a book I would normally pick up and read, for I am not a diver. I have an unholy fear of this sport. I figure I was made to breathe out of water not in it or under it. The author disagrees, but this is a discussion that I believe she and I will continue at a later date. The delight in this work, for me, however, was discovering not just about the mysteries of the beautiful Caribbean Sea, but about an interesting woman named Martha Watkins Gilkes.

We are used to hearing her American accent on radio expounding on the rights of dolphins and other animals in Antigua. We are used to hearing her urge Antiguans and Barbudans to clean up the islands and have pride in the islands’ surroundings.

We listen and we wonder who is this woman, who seems to work so tirelessly to make us (Antiguans and Barbudans) more conscious of the rights of animals and mammals on land, and in the ocean? And, who is this woman who desperately wants us to realise what a beautiful country we are privileged to live in? Martha sits in front of me, thanks me graciously for showing an interest in her book, offers me a copy of her first book on diving, "Diving Guide to the Eastern Caribbean", and promptly begins to speak of her great love, dolphins.

"I am a conservationist," she says on a bio sheet she hands to me, "and I believe with every breath I take that to imprison dolphins in captive dolphin facilities, like we have here in Antigua, is morally wrong and I will oppose this as long as I breathe."

"I am especially against the capture of Antiguan wild dolphins. Most must know of the license granted to Dolphin Fantaseas for the capture of 12 wild dolphins annually in Antiguan waters and a number of groups will and are apposing this. I am fighting this to the end."

I blink at this most auspicious start to our interview. This is, however, the same approach she takes to shipwreck diving. Her latest book, "Shipwrecks of the Caribbean, A Diver’s Guide", traces, documents and delves into the remarkable history and tales surrounding the shipwrecks throughout the Caribbean. Each tale is unique and captivating.

Martha’s book has taken her seven years to complete after she has dealt with several hurricanes and various other obstacles that seemed determined to move the shipwrecks to different sites, break them up, hide them and a host of other handicaps all seemingly predestined to keep her from writing about the hidden mysteries behind shipwrecks littering the ocean floor.

Each site is special, says Martha, "and they should be treated with respect."

"This is not about going down for a dive and finding gold coins and taking souvenirs back home. This about understanding the stories of hard-working people, some of whom lost their livelihoods and lives to the sea. The stories are not all wonderful and romantic."

Martha does not give the coordinates of the sites, and says that preserving the grounds is a priority and one has to be sensitive to diving companies and their territories once they decide to educate visiting divers about shipwrecks in the area. Conservation, she insists, is what serious and professional divers are all about.

She speaks of the famed "Christina" also with much respect and reverence. "You notice that I don’t mention that site. That is because it is sacred ground to a lot of families and people who died in that awful accident and they deserve to have their final resting place honored."

As I said before, I am not a diver, but Martha’s book was not difficult for me to read at all. I enjoyed the history behind wrecks in Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, St. Kitts and many other sister islands. Some stories were amusing and some illustrated the dangers involved in such a sport. The photography is amazing and I would love to be able to take such pictures and experience such colour and remarkable beauty.

What has impressed me most about this book however, is that in spite of some technical points regarding diving, which I was not familiar with, it is an easy and interesting read. It also gave me great insight into a woman who has been in the diving business for nearly 30 years and now regards the Caribbean as her home.

Through her work it is clear that her admiration and respect for these Caribbean waters is a life long love affair, which, I hope, will be continuing for many years to come.

Has she convinced me to go diving? No. Has she piqued my interest in conservationist activities? Most definitely!

Martha Watkins Gilkes' SHIPWRECKS OF THE EASTERN CARIBBEAN Martha Watkins Gilkes'
SHIPWRECKS
OF THE CARIBBEAN

Foreword by Stan Waterman

Click here to
...order this book
...get information about this book

  

http://www.caribbeanavenue.com/treetops/navbar.html

  
   

Diving Guide 1
2 3 Island Guide Shipwrecks SCUBA Expeditions Bio
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Women Divers' Hall of Fame
• • Elected President WDHOF • • WDHOF Report
United Nations Environment Program
• • Hurricane Hunting 1 2 • • 2010 Diver Of the Year 12
Dolphin Rescue Articles 1
2 3a 3b 4 • • CSI Whales Alive! • • Explorers' Club 2001 Dinners 200120062010
With the President of the Phillipines
• • Wyland Icon Award • • Press Releases 1 2 3
   
  

For Reservations, send email to
fantasea@caribbeanavenue.com

 


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