Latest Blog

4 August 2018. Into the Abyss - Diving to Adventure in the Liquid World is published

Just received my advance author copies of Into the Abyss - Diving to Adventure in the Liquid World. It has been re-issued as Vol I of my Diving Trilogy. Great fun re-reading it (in a dispassionate 3rd party way!) and re-living all my old adventures. Love the production work by Whittles, the cover looks really great and zippy, and the feel and design of the book is grand.

Vol III, Deeper into the Darkness - the printed books are expected in my publishers warehouse next week. Cant wait to see it a reality.

 
25 July 2018. Stoney Haar (II)

I sold my 7m dive RIB Stoney Haar last November - as I thought my days diving from RIB's were over. This is the first period since 1981 that I have not owned a boat - and I have absolutely hated been land bound!

I cracked 2 weeks ago and went and bought myself a nice black Humber Destroyer RIB, which I'm working on to bring up to speed as a dive RIB. There's still a lot of adventures to be had out there - and I'm not finished with the sea quite yet!

 
24 July 2018. Deeper into the Darkness & Into the Abyss

A few technical issues have held up the release of the reissue of Into the Abyss - Diving to Adventure in the Liquid World as Vol I of the Diving Trilogy and publication of my new book Deeper into the Darkness as Vol III. 

However, all is now sorted out and they are both set to publish on 31 July - cant wait to see them a reality.

I finished the manuscript for Deeper into the Darkness about 9 months ago - so it will be great to read it again and find out what I wrote!

 
10 May - Deeper into the Darkness nears publication

Just finished checking the final laid out proofs for Deeper into the Darkness and the new edition of Into the Abyss - Divign to Adventure in the Liquid World. Its been a long process, but the books are looking great.

 

I've been a bit slow with getting these done for my publishers with being away in Florida for TEKDiveUSA, but my work is now done (yeh!) and its over to them to do the rest. Publication may slip into June as a result.

 

RSS

2 October 2017. Video of unidentified auxiliary sub chaser at Palau released

A mystery shipwreck.

In WWII, the Japanese Navy requisitioned a number of smaller vessels, such as trawlers and whalers, for war use.

These were fitted out with a bow gun and anti submarine warfare equipment such as sonar, depth charges, paravanes. These small vessels were slow, feebly armed and were only suitable for coastal work, patrols, inshore convoy escort.

Operation Desecrate 1 - 30/31 March 1944.
As U.S. Task Force 58 closed on Palau, the 12 carrier strong battle group with its screen of battleships, cruisers, submarines and destroyers was spotted. TF 58 abandoned its clandestine approach and increased speed to head directly for Palau - to give the Japanese defenders as little time to prepare as possible.

In Palau, a large convoy of naval transports was formed up - and on the morning of 30 March it began to move up the west side of the islands of Palau, to try and escape the lagoon through West Pass before the American attacked.
They were too late - as U.S. aircraft swooped from the skies, a few of the van of destroyer escorts had successfully moved through West Pass into open water, but the large transport ships were all caught inside the lagoon and attacked.
All would be sunk.
In about 2014/15 the wreck of a small vessel was found near the entrance to West Pass in 50msw. It had only been dived once before (when it was found) before we were taken to dive it by Sam's Tours whilst I was researching for Dive Palau - the Shipwrecks. It became clear to me that this was an auxiliary sub chaser and my research flagged up a likely ID as Showa Maru No 5 - formerly the whaler Galicia, built in 1924.
When we went to print with Dive Palau, I gave Showa Maru No 5 as my best guess for its ID - but highlighted that there were a number of other Japanese requisitioned whalers sunk at Palau, whose identities are not clear. I gave the cylinder head sizes recorded at Lloyds for her triple expansion engine and suggested in Dive Palau that someone should go measure them, as that can be a way of ruling in or out an ID of a vessel.
When I went back to Palau last year, to launch the book at Sam's Tours, we went back to this wreck. Chris Rowland and I measured the beam - and this coincides with Lloyds' beam measurement.
However ..... when we measured the cylinder heads they did not agree with the Lloyds records. The means either the wreck is not Showa Maru No 5 - or that she was re-engined when she was requisitioned and her old 1924 engine changed out for a more modern engine.
So, the jury is still out on this wreck until some clincher is found for her ID.
Here's a short video I shot of the wreck on our first dive on it in 2015 with Paul Haynes, Gary Petrie, Mike Gerken and Paul Collins - hope you enjoy!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEwaE0IZ7Bc