Hi Everyone! Introduction and Book List


Jul 3, 2003
After reading and enjoying this forum for a couple of months, I thought it high time to introduce myself!

I live in England and grew up in the fishing ports of Folkestone and Dover on the south coast, which is where I guess my fascination for the sea and its denizens developed, as I could see the sea from my bedroom window and spent many happy hours exploring rockpools with my grandad on the shoreline. I'm particularly fascinated by the deep sea and the strange beasties that lurk there...the mystery of the unknown, I guess.

I've bought many books on the sea over the years, as I love reading about it, and some of my favourites are:

The Search For The Giant Squid - Richard Ellis. A very well-written, engaging book
Deep Atlantic - Richard Ellis. Probably my favourite book on the deep sea!
Mapping The Deep - Robert Kunzig. An award-winning book covering the whole of oceanography from the tips of the waves to the floor of the sea. Beautifully written, particularly the poignant chapter "Twilight Of The Cod"
The World of the Ocean Depths - Richard Silverberg. An older book (from 1970) that I picked up for £3, ex-libris, in a book sale. Although it's old, it's still excellent and I highly recommend it to anyone who's interested in deep sea life. Try AbeBooks | Shop for Books, Art & Collectibles for an excellent second hand book search engine
Deep Ocean Journeys - Cindy Lee Van Dover. Written by the first female pilot of the famous Alvin submersible.
Deep Ocean - Tony Rice. Aimed more at the younger reader but full of excellent photos of deep sea life, including a small section on "monsters of the deep"
Seven Miles Down - Auguste Piccard and Robert Dietz. This is an account of the building of the Trieste bathscaphe that descended to the bottom of the Marianas trench.

The above has got me thinking - I did a quick search through the forums but couldn't find any threads relating specifically to book lists, i.e. forum member's recommendations for good reading material (apart from a number of direct queries along the lines of "what would be a good book to read if I want to learn about squid" etc.).

How about making this the starting point for a book list? Maybe other forum members would like to post their recommendations of good books on cephs, deep sea life and maybe broad oceanography titles that would be of interest to others...

Anyway, that's all for now - thanks for having me, and I look forward to contributing to the forums where possible!
Hi Fishboy,

Welcome to the site. Have you seen these book reviews?


I know exactly what you mean about the obsession with the sea and its inhabitants that stems from living on the coast at a young age. I grew up in Deal, just a few miles from the Goodwin Sands, a notable wreck site in the English Channel. On a clear day at low tide you can sometimes see masts sticking up from the sandbanks, an eerie sight. I was once lucky enough to see a waterspout on the horizon in the same vicinity!

The rockpools around St Margarets Bay are great because they are so bleak and deserted. Last summer I went for a walk along the beach towards Dover and found in a rockpool a 1940 dated bullet that had not been fired, though it was somewhat corroded. The history in our local area is fantastic; those cliffs are riddled with tunnels, bunkers and lookout posts; so evocative!

As for the Warren at Folkestone, well don't get me started. If you have a look at some of the pages in my section you will find a few photos dotted about of fossils I have found there. Do you have any that you picked up you would like to share with us? We must have trodden the same beaches!

You know sometimes when I watch the ferries plying in and out of Dover harbour I can sometimes imagine a giant octopus grappling with the P&O Pride of Calais. That would wake the booze-cruisers up!


Nice list Fishboy... if you would like to write any reviews for the books you've mentioned, I'll be very happy to include them on our Book Reviews page! Just let know...

Welcome aboard!
Thanks guys! This is one of the friendliest forums I've been on - everyone seems so kind and helpful. Makes a change to be part of a forum that's not inhabited by illiterate teenagers who wrt lk ths and tlk in txt 2 each othr!

Phil - it sounds like we've walked the same grounds, as I lived just above the warren, in fact about a minute's walk from the bowling green at the top! I spent so many happy hours down there as a young lad, exploring all the paths under the trees leading down to the shoreline, and of course the shore itself. I used to find newts down there in the ponds, before they became near extinct in this country. And yes, I found many lovely fossils down there, including a treasured, small but perfectly formed ammonite. If I can figure out how to post images to the forum, I'll send a couple of snaps in!

Thanks also to Phil and tonmo for drawing my attention to the book review list - I'll go and have a look through that right now.
Hi Fishboy,

Nice to speak to someone who has lived in the same area as myself. I live in Dover, but 5 miles or so from your old house. You probably know this, but the bowling green by the pitch-and-putt golf course overlooking the Warren once contained a substantial Roman villa. I once worked with someone who helped excavate the site and he found a lovely Roman brooch decorated with a dolphin there. I just wish I had a photo of it to show you.

Interestingly, the villa roof was decorated with Classis Britannica roof tiles, stamped CLBR. This may imply it was the commanders house of the British fleet, or possibly that the owner bought a job-lot of military roof tiles from the local suppliers to the fort at Dover. Who knows?

I once found a small piece of bright-red Roman samian ware pottery from underneath the cliff where the villa lies lying against the clay on the beach. I was looking for ammonites at the time and was quite pleased, I've still got it!

I'd love to see your ammonite, hopefully I should be able to identify it for you as these are the ammonites I am most familiar with. It would be 100 million years old and dated to the Albian period of the Early Cretaceous. Cool!

By the way, newts are rare around here, I must agree. Mind you, a good friend of mine found a nice Smooth Newt in her garden at The Abbots in Dover a couple of months ago, so they are still around.

All the best,


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