Cover image for Sunken cities, sacred cenotes & golden sharks : travels of a water-bound adventurer
Sunken cities, sacred cenotes & golden sharks : travels of a water-bound adventurer
Belleville, Bill, 1945-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Athens : University of Georgia Press, [2004]

Physical Description:
x, 233 pages : illustrations, 1 map ; 24 cm
Introduction : in solution--I came by it honestly -- The sacred cenote of the Taino : the magic deep within -- Guyana : seeking refuge in the cashew rains -- The sunken city of Port Royal : the Pompeii of the Caribbean -- The Suwannee : river out of time -- St. Lucia's parrot man : on a wing and a prayer -- Cat Island : tropical voodoo and monasteries in the sand -- Sir Francis Drake in Panama : questing for El Dragón -- The Amazon's Pink Boto : the dolphin that would be man -- Turks and Caicos : sea wranglers herd giant snails -- Blue Springs : inside the heart of a poem -- Florida Keys : beyond the neon, a backcountry -- Galapagos journal : an expeditionary wink in the eye of the cosmos -- Coral spawning : sex on the rocks -- Trinidad : shark, where did you get that gold? -- The Turtle People of the Miskito Coast : waiting to exhale -- Cuba : warships and flashlight fish in the abyss -- The Florida Everglades : searching for Mr. Watson -- Jungle Dreams : from Swiss family Robinson to tragled river bends.
Subject Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
G465 .B435 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Nature and travel writer Bill Belleville has inspired and informed countless readers through his books and magazine articles. River of Lakes, praised as ""erudite"" (Publishers Weekly), and ""elegiac"" (Florida Today), has spurred a resurgence of interest in Florida's St. Johns River. A similar sense of wonder abounds in Deep Cuba (Georgia), which reveals the island's diverse marine life. In these eighteen essays and articles 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 the search with native fishermen for the rare golden hammerhead shark. Whether 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, his curiosity compels him to learn all he can about the wild secrets of the remotest landscapes, from inland jungles to teeming island waters. 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 moray and pink dolphins, but 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.

Author Notes

Bill Belleville, an award-winning environmental journalist and filmmaker, is also a veteran diver

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

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. In the Amazon, the quest is for a freshwater dolphin. In the Floridaeys, it's the quiet backwaters that preserve the past, and so on, around the globe. 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. This can seem repetitive if read in one sitting, as is the case with many anthologies, but as a book to read at leisure, it is a fine treat. --Danise Hoover Copyright 2004 Booklist

Library Journal Review

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 (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introduction: In Solution-I Came by It Honestlyp. 1
The Sacred Cenote of the Taino: The Magic Deep Withinp. 10
Guyana: Seeking Refuge in the Cashew Rainsp. 27
The Sunken City of Port Royal: The Pompeii of the Caribbeanp. 42
The Suwannee: River out of Timep. 53
St. Lucia's Parrot Man: On a Wing and a Prayerp. 65
Cat Island: Tropical Voodoo and Monasteries in the Sandp. 74
Sir Francis Drake in Panama: Questing for El Dragonp. 84
The Amazon's Pink Boto: The Dolphin That Would Be Manp. 100
Turks and Caicos: Sea Wranglers Herd Giant Snailsp. 112
Blue Springs: Inside the Heart of a Poemp. 124
Florida Keys: Beyond the Neon, a Backcountryp. 128
Galapagos Journal: An Expeditionary Wink in the Eye of the Cosmosp. 143
Coral Spawning: Sex on the Rocksp. 158
Trinidad: Shark, Where Did You Get That Gold?p. 168
The Turtle People of the Miskito Coast: Waiting to Exhalep. 177
Cuba: Warships and Flashlight Fish in the Abyssp. 191
The Florida Everglades: Searching for Mr. Watsonp. 208
Jungle Dreams: From Swiss Family Robinson to Tangled River Bendsp. 222
Illustration Creditsp. 231