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13 December 2018. New unidentified Japanese WWII tug wreck in Truk Lagoon

Here's the link to my video tour on my YouTube channel of this newly located and as yet unidentified Imperial Japanese Navy WWII tug wreck off Weno.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYfVkiE7IsE&t=7s

 
12 December 2018. NEW JAPANESE WRECK LOCATED IN TRUK LAGOON

Just back from a couple of weeks diving the famous Japanese WWII wreck at Truk Lagoon in the Pacific, the world's greatest collection of Japanese wartime shipwrecks. It has been quite a long time since a new WWII wreck was located in the lagoon, but I was priviledged to be taken out by Truk Stop Dive Centre

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30 October 2018. Des épaves du monde

Just back from a long weekend in Orkney filming with a french TV company about the Scapa Flow wrecks for a documentary series on shipwrecks around the world. These guys were hard core - they did The Big Blue with Jean Reno and have worked on Titanic - much respect! 

 
16 October 2018. Shipwrecks of Scapa Flow chart available again

A few years ago I had a unique A1 size full colour chart of Scapa Flow professionally created by the artist who has created all my shipwreck illustrations for me over the years, not just in Scapa Flow but also in Truk, Palau etc. The Scapa shipwreck illustrations were added to the chart in the correct locations with some text about the indivdual wrecks and the Scapa story as a whole. The resulting chart is stunning - and is currently on public display outside the Ferry Terminal in Stromness.

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24 April 2017. Dive Scapa Flow publication delayed by 1 month.

It's my fault really!! The contract with my publishers Whittles provided for a 220 page book. By the time I'd finished it and done justice to Scapa Flow it has come in at 360 pages! This has in turn meant a longer editing and design process - before the files get sent for printing an dsubsequen tdsitribution of th ebound volumes. We have simply run out of time to meet the provisionally intended publication date of 28 May so to take the heat off we are letting publication slip by about 1 month. No point rushing it.

 
7 April 2017 - Guadalcanal

Just back from presenting about HMS Hampshire at OZTek in Sydney and a week's diving directly after with Tulagi Dive up in Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. Interesting WWII wreck diving with some incredibly well preserved aircraft - particularly a Catalina PBY flying boat and a Japanese Kawanishi fluying boat - Allied reporting name MAVIS

 
13 Feb 2017. Dive Scapa Flow Centenary edition.

Its been a lot of work but the manuscript for the Centenary edition has now completed its edit process. Huge thanks to my brilliant editor Caroline Petherick for spotting my howlers (hopefully all of them!!) and tidying everything up.The book is now looking great - its been fully expanded to about 150,000 words and will be a big book - packed full of information that just wasn't around when I wrote it the first time round. The only thing that remains the same is the title!

The launch has now been set for Thursday 18 May at the Royal Hotel in Stromness - looking forward to it already!

 
13 Jan 2017. HMS Vanguard

2016 was quite a year.

An early Wreck X expedition to Scapa Flow in February was followed by a Wreck X expedition to Palau where we launched my latest book DIve Palau - the Shipwrecks at Sams Tours on the island of Koror.

After leading an Explorers Club expedition under MOD Licence to survey HMS Hampshire off Orkney in June, the same survey team reformed at the beginning of December to begin the survey of the British battleship HMS Vanguard, which blew up at anchor in Scapa Flow in 1917. The wreck is a war grave on which no diving is permitted but our team was again granted a MOD Licence to visit her remains. We carried out preliminary work with a side scan sonar survey of the site before we began to dive the wreck and piece together her story. A further 2 week expedition to complete the survey work takes place at end of January/beginning of February. 

 
3 November 2016. Dive Scapa Flow - Centenary edition

Its done! The manuscript is done and dusted and going off to my publishers with all the photos, charts, new illsutrations all neatly captioned and ready for the editing and layout process to start. A quiet celebratory beer seems in order tonight!

 
7 October 2016. The late Noel Blacklock, ex RN RO

It is with great sadness that I learned of the passing of Noel Blacklock last week. Noel had contacted me out of the blue in 2011 when he spotted a few lines I'd posted in my Blog about having located and dived the WWII convoy loss SS Creemuir.  He was 89 then and had been the RN Radio Officer on Creemuir - and he was now the last living survivor of the crew of 42 - only 12 of whom survived the actual sinking. I subsequently met Noel and we got on like a house on fire as he recounted the whole story to me. Creemuir had been leading the port column of a convoy bound from Methil for Nova Scotia in 1941 when the convoy was attacked off Stonehaven by German torpedo bombers. She went down in 3 minutes, Noel was knocked unconcious as she went under but came to in the water and after about 40 minutes in the North Sea he was pulled into a raft. I devoted a whole chapter to Creemuir and Noel's story inThe Darkness Below and this triggered relatives of other crew to get in touch - I passed them on to Noel who was delighted to fill in the gaps for them. Noel was 95 and was one of the last of the Atlantic convoy veterans - he had a great sense of fun and vivacity about him. I will miss him and our shared interest in the sea.

 
Dive Scapa Flow - Centenary edition publication date set as 28 April 2017.

I'm 2/3 through the final rewrite/tweak and embelish of the Manuscript for the new Centenary Edition of Dive Scapa Flow. Now able to announce the publication date as 28 April 2017. Bringing together all the imagery, getting new charts and wreck illustrations done so a lot going on.

 
Dive Scapa Flow - 100th anniversary 5th edition

Hard at work just now on a full rewrite and expansion of my 1st book Dive Scapa Flow, which will come out next year to coincide with a series of important 100th anniversaries takin gplace in Orkney - not least the 100th anniversary, the following year, of the scuttling of the entire German High Seas Fleet at Scapa on 21 June 1919.

When I wrote the 1st edition in 1988/89 there was so little information available about the wrecks, their condition and how to dive them. DIve Scapa Flow really blazed the trail and since then, in its 4 subsequent editions, it has been THE indespensible dive guide for Scapa Flow.

But there have been tens of thousands of dives since then, each adding a little knowledge about the wrecks. More wrecks have been found - 3 new drifter wrecks just during 2015/16 alone. The German wrecks have coem to be better understood - and almosyt revered.

I've dived at Scapa for 1-2 weeks every year since 1981 - its a scary thought that if I add up all those dives, I must have spent many months on the bottom of the Flow.  

 
3 August 2016. HMS Hampshire

the 1st draft Explorers Club Report for our Flag No 192 Expedition is now completed - all 85 pages. Much tweakin to be done and expert opinions being taken on a range of aspecrts that have arisen. Secured approval now for most of our stills photos - so more imagery will be released shortly.

 
14 June 2016. HMS Hampshire survey expedition

Just back from our Explorers Club expedition to photographically survey the wreck of HMS Hampshire off NW Orkney in 70msw and to record it using 3D photogrammetery diving from teh well known Orkney dive boat MV Huskyan Hampshire is a Controlled Wreck under the Protection of Military Remains Act and no diving is permitted on it - we were however granted a special Licence to do so by the UK Secretary of State for Defence. We had a survey team of 12 technical divers and spent about 2 hours in 7C water per day for 2 weeks - a total of about 250 hours of diving between the team. The results are astonishing and will be released in due course.

 

 
13 April 2016. New Book Release - Shipwrecks of Truk Lagoon

Delighted to announce the release of Shipwrecks of Truk Lagoon - my new companion guide to Dive Truk Lagoon. This 48 page booklet has been beautifully designed and produced by my daughter Nicola Macdonald in full colour at B5 size. 

Read more... [13 April 2016. New Book Release - Shipwrecks of Truk Lagoon]
 
4 March 2016. Dive Palau - the Shipwrecks

It's finally out and published! Got my box of author copies this morning - always an exciting time seeing the book for the first time. My publishers, Whittles, have done a fantastic job with this book - their designers have come up with some really fresh, innovative and original ideas and the final product is .... well .... just beautiful! Very happy author :-)

 
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