Sunken Cities, Sacred Cenotes, and Golden Sharks: Travels of a Water-Bound Adventurer by Bill Belleville, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Sunken Cities, Sacred Cenotes, and Golden Sharks: Travels of a Water-Bound Adventurer

Sunken Cities, Sacred Cenotes, and Golden Sharks: Travels of a Water-Bound Adventurer

by Bill Belleville
     
 

In Sunken Cities, Sacred Cenotes, and Golden Sharks nature and travel writer Bill Belleville takes us through Florida, the Caribbean, and Latin America in quest of the distinctive, the wondrous, the threatened, and the undiscovered. His wanderings take him to the once prosperous, now submerged pirate city of Port Royal, Jamaica, and to an offshore Florida

Overview

In Sunken Cities, Sacred Cenotes, and Golden Sharks nature and travel writer Bill Belleville takes us through Florida, the Caribbean, and Latin America in quest of the distinctive, the wondrous, the threatened, and the undiscovered. His wanderings take him to the once prosperous, now submerged pirate city of Port Royal, Jamaica, and to an offshore Florida reef just in time for a night dive to witness the seldom-seen spawning of the coral.

In the Dominican Republic, Belleville dives with archaeologists in search of pre-Columbian Taino artifacts, long lost in the dark depths of a sacred cenote. In Trinidad he joins native fishermen in a search for the rare golden hammerhead shark. Whether he is seeking the queen conch off the islands of the Turks and Caicos or the flashlight fish in Cuba's southern waters, Belleville's purpose is always more than adventure for its own sake. Hungering for the distinct sense of a place, he learns all he can about the wild secrets of remote landscapes, from inland jungles to teeming island waters.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Bill Belleville's writing is like a stream of phosphorescence in the ocean that he loves so well. Belleville's language creates a dreamy double vision, blending archetype and precision so well that the reader is convinced he has not merely read about jeweled morays and pink dolphins but has floated alongside them in tropical waters. These tales are not hairy-chested, macho attempts to conquer snowcapped peaks, but adventures into sensuality and meaning.”—Susan Zakin, author of Coyotes and Town Dogs: Earth First! and the Environmental Movement

"I admire the precision, the poignancy, and the passion of Bill Belleville's prose."—Don George, Lonely Planet Global Travel Editor

"What splendid adventures Bill Belleville guides us through! He is one of our great modern explorers, questing for gods in a time of technology, lusting for life. Here in this sensuous and unforgettable book he navigates us as deftly through language as he does Amazonian rivers or limestone fountains deep within the earth. His journey narratives are fluid, fresh, and piercingly poetic; what he finds is ceaselessly fascinating. I would travel with Bill Belleville to the ends of the earth."—Janisse Ray, author of Wild Card Quilt: Taking a Chance on Home

"This collection of essays brings the reader to places that are noted for archaeological treasures, rare plants and animals, or great scenery, and water is the common denominator. Belleville, travel writer, scuba diver, and boater, seems always to be wet or preparing to be wet. As his armchair companions, readers may stay dry, but the expressive and descriptive prose allows them to experience the discovery and excitement as if they were there themselves. . . . Belleville is an old-fashioned adventurer, excited by what he finds, seeking just for the joy of finding. He must also be a man of great charm as he seems able to coax the most arcane information from his local guides. . . . As a book to read at leisure, it is a fine treat."—Booklist

"Florida author Belleville is that much closer to solidifying his reputation as a top-shelf nature writer. As much adventure story as naturalistic poetry, Belleville’s latest excels at wrapping his eco-prose in a captivating form. After all, who doesn't love reading about sunken treasure? For Belleville, these treasures are both artifacts and living; he gives as much breathless attention to coral reproduction as he does to a now-underwater city. As with Deep Cuba, Sunken Cities is a book that tackles ecological and political problems in a way that's engaging simply as a stand-alone story."—Orlando Weekly

"Equal parts storyteller, chronicler, adventurer and conservationist, Belleville is a little Indiana Jones and a little Henry David Thoreau. His work often maps out a timeline of what a place once was, what it's become and where it's headed. Always present in his writing is a subtext of stewardship and genuine affection for the places he adventures in."—Orlando Weekly

"Bill Belleville is a fearless Florida scuba diver, explorer and underwater adventurer. He also is a heck of a writer. His poetic images . . . not only engage the reader but elevate his work to a higher level than just another trek through the jungle."—Covington News

"Belleville is an expert diver whose wanderlust takes him to places few sane people would venture. . . . Yet such is Belleville's talent that even when he ventures into relatively familiar territory, he brings an unfamiliar perspective, finding adventure and wonderment in little-seen corners of the natural world."—Natural History

Covington News
"Bill Belleville is a fearless Florida scuba diver, explorer and underwater adventurer. He also is a heck of a writer. His poetic images not only engage the reader but elevate his work to a higher level than just another trek through the jungle. "
Natural History
"Belleville is an expert diver whose wanderlust takes him to places few sane people would venture. Yet such is Belleville's talent that even when he ventures into relatively familiar territory, he brings an unfamiliar perspective, finding adventure and wonderment in little-seen corners of the natural world."
"Belleville enlivens his prose with flashes of humor and indulges us urbanites with pop-culture analogies. He has crafted each story to foster appreciation for the natural world."
International Travel News
Carribean Travel & Life
"In every story, Belleville deftly cultivates local sources, allowing him to probe deep into places a casual tourist would never see."
Library Journal
Belleville's (River of Lakes; Deep Cuba) passion for water worlds and conservation rarely surfaces in this collection, which circles the Caribbean, with brief forays to the Gal pagos, Guyana, and the Amazon. One can't fault his choice of locations as he travels in search of an ancient cenote (or sinkhole) in the Dominican Republic, explores the sunken city of Port Royal, seeks the casket of Sir Francis Drake in Panamanian waters, or kayaks the Florida Everglades. Along the way, he encounters rare tropical birds, pink boto dolphins, conch farms, reproducing corals, sea turtles, alligators, and golden hammerhead sharks. Unfortunately, Belleville tries too hard to submerge readers in poetic imagery; the result is a bland travelog and quiet plea for conservation. Only one chapter, "Warships and Flashlight Fish in the Abyss," generates real excitement as Belleville finds himself dangerously lost underwater off the coast of Cuba. Of interest to libraries in Florida and those with large travel collections.-Janet Ross, formerly with Sparks Branch Lib., NV Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780820325927
Publisher:
University of Georgia Press
Publication date:
04/28/2004
Pages:
248
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Bill Belleville, an award-winning environmental journalist and filmmaker, is also a veteran diver. His books include River of Lakes and Deep Cuba (both Georgia). His articles, which have appeared in such publications as Sierra Magazine, Oxford American, Islands, and Salon, have been anthologized in six other collections. Belleville lives in Sanford, Florida.

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