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Beyond the Deep: The Deadly Descent Into the World's Most Treacherous Cave By Barbara William & Ende Stone

Jacket: Hardcover
Pages: 352 pages
Publisher: Warner Books; (July 2002)
Genre: Travel and Adventure
ISBN: 0446527092

Comments about the author: Barbara William earned her Ph.D. in geology after conducting research at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. She has caved in eight countries and is currently creating the first fully 3D interactive cave map of Wakulla Springs, Florida. Ende Stone is one of the world's foremost explorers. During the past thirty-three years he has led or participated in forty-four international expeditions. A Ph.D. in engineering, he is the inventor of computerized life support systems, underwater propulsion vehicles, and automated 3D underwater digital mapping systems.

Review: I would like to tell you a little about the amazing authors. William Stone, he is known to be one of the world’s best explorers. Not only is he a caver, diver, inventor, but he also has a Ph.D. in engineering. He is given credit for bringing life support systems to the 21st century by computerizing them for longer dives; he is credited with underwater propulsion vehicles and the automated 3D underwater digital mapping systems.

Barbara AM Ende, she has been credited with the first 3D mapping of Wakulla Springs in Florida. She received her Ph.D. in geology in December of 1995. She also has been a caver in eight countries.

Monte Paulsen has an impressive career as a veteran investigative reporter for magazines and newspapers that has taken him from Alaska to Africa. He also is an active caver and explorer.

This book is one thrill ride after another. The authors take you where no one has gone before. I could actually see what the cavers and divers saw and feel what they were feeling. As their anticipation rose at finding the tunnels and exploring them, I did as well. I felt their triumphs as well as their sorrows and their defeats.

This book takes place in the San Agustin Sump in the heart of Mexico‘s Huautla Plateau in 1994 before the rainy season. A group of cavers go to the sump to find the hidden caves that Bill (William) Stone was robbed of exploring back in 1979. This haunted Bill until he was able to get the team together again in 1994. With new equipment and the introduction of the Rebreather that Bill and Noel Sloan had been working on for several years. This Rebreather would extend the time a diver could explore under water to somewhere in the vicinity of 8 hours to depths that no diver had been able to accomplish before.

I have to admit that I did not realize what cavers go through, to be down under the Earth for weeks and months at a time. Away from their loved ones to search for the next cave and to reach just one more mile to the center of the Earth. They are faced with life or death at every turn, but yet they still go on.

I recommend this book to not only cavers, divers and explorers, but to the others out there that feel that space is the only exploration left. It is not; there is space to explore right here on Earth and especially at Huautla.

— Reviewed by: April May Rollins


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