From the back copy of The Silent World, by Captain J.Y. Cousteau, copyright 1953:
This best seller unfolds wonders never before seen by man! A new era of undersea exploration began when the young French naval officer J.Y. Cousteau and his partners started to use the now famous underwater breathing apparatus, the aqualung. In this fascinating report Cousteau tells what it is like to be a “manfish” swimming in the deep twilight zone with sharks, mantas, morays, whales and octopuses.
Captain Cousteau tells of exploring sunken ships, including a Roman galley. With him we enter drowned caverns into which the light of day never penetrated. We come mouth to mouth with a shark of as yet unknown species. Visit an octopus city . . . and bring back treasures lost centuries ago!
I found this for $1 at the Book Exchange. The Silent World. Ah, yes, I love this stuff. Cousteau was one of the first “real life” adventurers to spark my imagination. I used to watch his television specials, dreamed of SCUBA (Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus) diving (which, to this day, I still haven’t done . . . possibly the very top item on my expansive list of life’s failures), and even bailed over backwards off the inner tubes we’d float around on at Frenchtown Pond when I was a chubby youngster just like Cousteau and his crew used to. Hell, I even liked John Denver’s song about Cousteau’s research ship, Calypso. It goes to show how much pleasure one measly dollar may still provide . . . especially paired with the day’s first slug of coffee.