Meet the Author: Bill Sanderson
The Isle of Man boasts some excellent diving and Bill's book describes some of the best dive sites in the south of the island.
What prompted you to write the book?
When the Calf of Man was proposed as a marine nature reserve, we teamed up with the Calf Marine Trust to promote marine awareness and general ethics in that area. The south-west of the Isle of Man has an incredible variety of habitats in a small area: high current, sheltered current, wave exposed, wave sheltered... It reflects Manx marine life as a whole. Indeed, this small microcosm truly reflects Irish Sea marine biology: including nationally rare and scarce species. Also, the diving offers something for everyone, from very challenging to very safe.
What distinguishes your book from other dive guides?
As well as diving information, we offer proper biology made easy with bite sized information. This makes it a bit different from normal dive guides. We don't just include identification notes, we cover what drives the behaviour of the marine animals and explain, for example, cross-dressing in fish and the sex life of a ballon wrasse. I'm also very pleased with the photos, especially the rare and unusual ones of basking sharks and herring. Of course, there is always one you think that you could have done better.
One of my favourites is the Booroo in the Calf of Man. Colourful and dramatic, I've dived it dozens of times and never get tired of it. Another, different type of dive, would be the Darwin Arch in the Galapagos.
Bill is currently working in Bangor as a marine biologist for the Conservation Agency. He is also a professional photographer: you can buy his photos from the Marine Wildlife Photo Agency. For an absorbing account of why he loves diving the Booroo, see our Isle of Man Dives page.