Underwater Man


165 pages
Contains Illustrations
ISBN 0-919317-08-1





Reviewed by Else Ransom

Else Ransom lived in Chelmsford, Ontario.


Dr. MacInnis, a professional diver, was ten years old when he first went underwater and not much older when he knew that the sea and its exploration was to be, for him, a way of life. He has since made dives in three oceans, into the Blue Hole off the Andros Island in the Bahamas, and into the dark hole of the North Pole. He is a man of much capacity: a medical doctor, a marine scientist-photographer, a poet/writer, an inventor and a film-maker. Along with his colleagues he has pushed himself to the limits of endurance, testing himself in a new frontier. In so doing he sees our earth through sensitive eyes and a perspective few of us could ever realize. His book The Breadalbane Adventure was a recent Book-of-the-Month Club selection.

This is a revised edition of Underwater Man, which was first published in 1974. New to this edition are accounts of his friendship with Jacques Cousteau’s son, Philippe, the discovery of the Breadalbane, and what it is like to dive in the Canadian Arctic. There are sixteen black-and-white photographs, one of them very striking: Harp Seals cruising in St. Lawrence Gulf, a silent, graceful ballet scene. (I wish it had been in colour.

Underwater Man requires concentrated reading. It is the diary of a man who is fascinated by the sea and who is a forerunner in a challenging environment that has much to do with the future of earthlings.


MacInnis, Joe, “Underwater Man,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 23, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/38261.