Premise: I am a demanding reader. Not the duty-loyal ones that a book “it has to be started and finished“. I read from my stomach. There are the books I love and “enjoy“, Chapter after chapter, and those who literally”I drink”(To stay on the subject of cooking!).
The book of Stefano Sibona, 20 shades of blue, is one of those I drank … and I never expected it. I didn’t even want to buy this book! I’ll tell you how it went.
For a couple of months, I have been obsessed with diving. As a documentary enthusiast, I thought it was the most beautiful and natural thing in the world but, once I tried it, I had to deal with the objective difficulties and my fear of going underwater. The beginning, I won’t hide it from you, was slow and difficult, and even now that I don’t have much time left to obtain the Open Water Diver I still have a little anxiety every time I have to dive.
One of these days, I arrive at “my diving” on Saracen from Isle of Females (in the province of Palermo) and the owner Tony Scontrinonicknamed me “the principal“(Maybe one day I’ll tell you why …) introduces me Stefano Sibona.
I am told that he is an underwater “of the good ones” And that is a blogger like me (his blog is this–> https://www.underwatertales.net/). Let’s start talking or better “I speak, he listens”(Because one thing I found is that divers speak little and are good listeners). After this pleasant chat Anna, the owner’s wife nicknamed me “the Mom”, and literally“ convinces ”me to buy Stefano’s book, enticing me with the promise of the author’s dedication.
But this pleasant interlude was interrupted by the call to order of Alessandro, my instructor, who invites me to wear the wetsuit because we had to go. Once at home I picked up the book and started reading to understand what I had bought. After the first few chapters I decided to slow down because otherwise, I would have finished it too soon. I wanted to taste it!
“20 shades of blue“Is designed as a logbook (logbook) of the countless dives made by the author in the protected Marine Area of Portofino. There is no trace of pedantry or swagger, only the sincere story of his immense love for diving. He doesn’t mind telling you about his beginnings, about that fear of breathing underwater, about the first difficulties in finding the right attitude, about that first painful time inside a cave, about those fatal inattentions that make you lose the mask or sink the ballast. For me, it was like reading about Superman’s early days !!! And that’s when I thought: “Well, then I can do it too!“.
Then, as you read you realize that the “good good” Has become thanks to his unbridled passion and thousands of dives made all over the world. And this is where his stories become poetic because you understand that when you have become a good diver and you no longer have to worry about the technique (because you have already acquired it), it is at that moment that you begin to “SEE“.
A hitherto unknown world opens up before your eyes, a sub-world made of Posidonia, Sea daisies, Gorgonians, Madrepore, and Corals. Swarms of damselfish, Groupers lonely, Moray eels peeking out of their dens, Sea bream, Bream, and when you’re lucky to Moon fish And Catfish. The desire to grow inside you understand that alien world that slips before your eyes and then you buy the first marine atlas that makes a world hitherto unknown to you understandable.
But Stefano’s is also a tribute-protected Marine Area of Portofino, his place of the heart. It will introduce you to an unprecedented piece of Liguria, seen from the sea and in its depths. He will bring you, chapter after chapter, into the best-known diving spots (and also in those, wrongly, a little snubbed). He will describe the depths of it but he will also tell you, with great generosity, of his memories, decades of friendships, and unforgettable experiences. You too, page after page will become attached to the characters, you will become passionate about the history of these places and you will understand the need to protect this immense heritage that is the sea. Now I won’t add anything else so as not to ruin your reading! Book, if you want, you can BUY IT HERE.
I only conclude with a heartfelt Thanks to the author:
- Thank you for making me feel like a less clumsy neo-sub and instilling some confidence in me
- Thank you for unknowingly soliciting me to purchase my first marine atlas
- Thanks above all for having strengthened in me the desire to become a good diver to be able to explore the places you made me fall in love with
- Oh, I forgot … thanks for making me understand the importance of keeping a “logbook” of my dives!