Tuesday, September 25, 2007


The Surface of the Sea- Encounters with New Zealand’s Upper Ocean Life
Iain Anderson Reed $45

Out West – A Photographic Journey Through Auckland’s West
Chris Hoult Reed $$$

Unclaimed Coast- The first kayak journey around Shackleton’s South Georgia
Graham Charles, Mark Jones & Marcus Waters
Penguin $39.95

The Surface of the Sea, the first of the three is by Dr, Iain Anderson of Auckland University who describes how, through a painful, experience with jellyfish, first became interested in the top 10 metres or so of water that it the key to the entire ocean’s great food web.
Although an academic Anderson writes in an accessible manner and this book with its profusion of astounding photographs is a must for all interested in the sea particularly recreational fishers and the many thousands of keen kiwis who dive and snorkel around our coastline.

I was especially intrigued with the chapter called turtle navigators and the story of one green turtle named Reeve who had a satellite transmitter placed on his back at Kelly Tarlton’s and since has had his movements around the Northland coast tracked.
Many of Anderson’s other experiences with marine life are encountered in this appealing and informative publication.

In Out West, Chris Hoult enters a publishing area that has largely been the domain of Bob Harvey in recent years, that is West Auckland. And it is clear from this most appealing book that he is just as familiar with and as fond of the district and its people as is Mayor Harvey.
Hoult was the photographer for the community newspaper, the Western Leader, for 12 years and it is clear that during that time he got to every nook and cranny out West as well as meeting many of its most interesting citizens. Both the glorious landscapes and its diverse citizenry feature in the photographs which are both thoughtful and appealing. So much so that after spending an hour browsing through Out West one just wants to drive across to the Waitakeres and those spectacular wild, west coast beaches.

Unclaimed Coast, as the subtitle tells us, is the story of the first kayak journey around Shackleton’s South Georgia. Not only is it a gripping account of that remarkable feat carried out by three Kiwi adventurers, who must in my view be slightly crazy, but it’s also a most stunning pictorial account and includes some of the finest wilderness and wildlife photographs I have ever seen. The three authors are all exceptional climbers, highly experienced kayakers, mountaineers and photographers and collectively make up Adventure Philosophy one of the world’s most successful expedition teams having completed three world-first expeditions.
I spent several hours at the weekend happily reading Unclaimed Coast, it is quite a tale and the pics are truly very special. Congratulations to our three intrepid kayakers.

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