The things I have chosen are a drop, no more;
The undiminished sea still crowds the shore.
Trevor Norton is a professor of Marine Biology and this is a book is a lovely mix of sea creatures and plants, the history of marine biology, travel, history, ecology and folklore. The backbone of the book is the vignettes of his life. These provide a structure around which he writes, so that the description of his time at the Marine Laboratory at Port Erin on the Isle of Man leads to a potted history of the town, an exploration into the rise of the seaside holiday, biographies of pioneer naturalists based there, as well as the use of the Isle for 2nd World War internment camps.
The author is witty and has some humorous stories and anecdotes. The biology is accessible and the prose almost poetic in places. It is illustrated throughout by his wife Win with some beautiful line drawings.
Divers enjoy the best of both worlds. They regularly venture into a place where what we affectionately call the ‘real world’ is just a rumour. My first sight of the ascending medusae of my expelled breath not only reassured me that I was still alive in a place I was never designed to inhabit, but also revealed that air, the invisible stuff that had surrounded me all my life, was stunningly beautiful. You cannot fail to be entranced by the view through the surface film to that shimmering air filled place above. The half-mirror, half-misty window that is the skein of the sea gives a magical view of a strange place you thought you knew well.
Trevor Norton ~ Under Water to Get Out of the Rain