Throughout the world of diving, there are a few Divers who are able to provide their Publishers with excellent material for their Guide Books and Eric Hanauer is one of these.
"Diving Micronesia" measures 10" x 7" and is another guide in the medium size format favoured by Aqua Quest. This is a worthy addition to a first rate series of books - throughout which, these publishers have maintained the highest standards in terms of quality of information and photography.
As with each of these guides, this book is clearly laid out with chapters on the overall subject area (complete with all the relevant information required), an overview of diving in the South Pacific and specific detail with regard to the individual countries visited (Guam, Mariana Islands, Yap, Palau, Chuuk (formerly Truk Lagoon), Pohnpei, Kosrae and the Marshall Islands (including Bikini Atoll)). Chapter 1 begins with a précis of the region's geography and history coupled with details of the present day. This is followed by a map and all that essential information such as credit cards, cuisine, currency, dress, electricity, getting there, entry/exit requirements, mail, telephone, time, post - and anything else the prospective visitor wishes to know.
Chapter 2 is an overview of the Diving in general and includes all the relevant information the diver requires - such as: facilities, water/weather conditions, visibility, flora and fauna and lots more besides.
As one might expect, there then follows a chapter dedicated to each of the aforementioned countries within the catchment area of this book. Being separate countries spread over a large area of the Pacific Ocean, these chapters contain a wealth of information on diving and non-diving topics. The diving details commences with a map of the specific island complex where all the relevant dive sites are clearly numbered and displayed. This is followed by a description of each site with adequate narrative, relevant depth and grade-of-diver information.
With everything lavishly supported by underwater and surface photography of the highest standard, the book then concludes with Appendices containing Emergency Information and what appears to be a very thorough list of local (South Pacific) diving contact details.
With a total of 92 dive sites to set the heart racing, the book also includes 3 dive sites from Bikini Atoll. Clearly the Publishers were leaving the very best to the very last by including the USS Saratoga (the only diveable Aircraft Carrier in the world), HIJMS Nagato and USS Apogon which combine to form three of the world's most important dive sites.
For me, it was nice to find a book where some of the world's most historic sites from the WW2 Pacific theatre of War were placed together - rather than allowing, say, Truk Lagoon (sorry - just can't get used to that new name!), or Bikini Atoll to dominate the book.
Altogether, a well-rounded book with everything supported by some pretty stunning and imaginative photography. For anyone considering a trip to the South Pacific, I do believe this is the only book you will require - and it is one for which I have been waiting for some time...