An Australian's account of his career some forty years ago in the waters of the Torre Straits, Solomon Islands, the Great Barrier Reef and Marau Sound, diving for pearls. There is a lot of fascinating material -- about the profession and the industry, about undersea life and terrain, the effects of depths, tides and pressures, the importance of the seasons, the differences in pearls and their values, and all the tricks of the trade in diving- as background for a rough, tough and brawling kind of life. The account of his experiences first as new chum then on to mateship and accredited diver, on a 25 a ton for shell and half the value of all the pearls, is accompanied by various exploits of his native and white fellow workers, by the dangers, privations and discomfort that were part of such a career, by the quick thinking and million to one chances that saved their lives. There are sharks, headhunters, there are adventures ashore and confidence men, there are lovely girls -- and not so lovely wives, and there is a rugged collection of characters to share the limelight. He-man stuff with a feel of other days.