View the ocean realm through the eyes of award-winning photographer Pete Atkinson

PHUKET: Escaping the rat race is the dream of many, but few achieve it.

Award-winning, Phuket-based Getty Images photographer Pete Atkinson’s new book, Polynesia – An Ocean Realm, shows that with passion and determination anything is possible, even on a limited budget.

Pete made ends meet by shooting pictures under water – using home-made acrylic camera housings – and writing articles for diving and sailing magazines.

The twelve chapters cover French Polynesia, the Cook Islands, Kiribati, Tonga and Pete’s favorite, remote Beveridge Reef, where there is no land at all. But it has what he loves most, exceptionally clear water and lots of sharks.

Two appendices look at the Moody-built cutter Eila and underwater photography.

Inspired by underwater explorer Jacques Cousteau, Pete bought the old yacht on the south coast of England in 1982 and sailed to the South Pacific. He had no experience, relevant qualifications, life-raft, radio, GPS (or insurance).

“I had read a lot of books and I had a plastic sextant I had bought at a jumble sale,” he said.

He also had a degree in marine zoology.

For 20 years he sailed 45,000 miles all over the South Pacific having the life of which he had dreamed, diving with whales and sometimes too many sharks. He found adventure above and below the sea aboard a beautiful, but somewhat marginal, wooden yacht.

This is a book not only for those interested in adventure in the ocean, Polynesian life, marine biology, sailing and diving, but also for those who aspire to escape a humdrum life and become a pirate.

Polynesia – An Ocean Realm is now available as an ebook at

Phuket News

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