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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Deep Dive: Against the Odds is a nonfiction memoir written by Dorothy J. Myrick. Other swim instructors had been reluctant to work with the author, whose determination to become a proficient swimmer was even stronger than their reluctance. Myrick had been born with the congenital birth defect known as Radial Hemimelia. Her left arm was fifty percent smaller in size and length than her right, and her left hand had three fused and not fully developed fingers. She had neither an index finger on that hand nor a thumb. Neither Myrick nor her family would let that condition get in the way of her drive and enthusiasm as she was growing up. Myrick did learn to swim as she did most of the skills she acquired: by adapting strokes and swim styles to her abilities. Once she got past her fear of water and drowning, she discovered she loved swimming and the feeling of weightlessness she experienced in the water. That accomplished, she set out to become a certified open water scuba diver. She was fascinated by learning the intricacies of scuba gear and diving preparation, and she enjoyed every minute of the intense combination of home study, classes, pool work and open water diving that were involved in working toward that certificate. All this preparation would eventually lead to her traveling to the Cayman Islands where she would complete her certification.
Deep Dive: Against the Odds is a well-written and inspirational account of Myrick’s trip to the Cayman Islands to obtain her certification. I’m an open water swimmer and could feel her trepidation when the crystal clear tropical waters she was counting on turned out to be turbulent and filled with currents. Water conditions like that can make you feel as if you’ve ventured into a very large and powerful washing machine. Like Myrick, I’ve always been drawn to the concept of scuba diving. Her story had me wondering why I haven’t started yet. Myrick’s story is a compelling one; her strength and determination shine out on every page. The photographs she includes are marvelous and help bring her experiences at the Cobalt Coast and Divetech Resort to life. Anyone needing a bit of motivation could do no better than experience the undersea world through Dorothy Myrick’s eyes. Deep Dive: Against the Odds is most highly recommended.