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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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Dive Truk Lagoon - new book for 2014

Pleased to announce my new book for 2014 - Dive Truk Lagoon. The manuscript is now finished and off to my publishers, Whittles, for editing and setting - and I'm finishing off some wonderful illustrations of the sunken Japanese WWII wrecks with my artist Rob Ward of Illusion Illustration. These are the best wreck illustrations we have done - absolutely spell binding. Underwater photography is by Ewan Rowell and Pete Mesley. Publication is loosely scheduled for June/July 2014. Working on the jacket at the moment and will post that soon. Once we have the jacket designed and the book registered it will go live on amazon etc for pre-orders.

 
January 2014 -new Speaker Representation

Delighted to announce that I am now represented by Speakers Associates of London and available for corporate team building or motivational events.

www.speakersassociates.com/Rod-MacDonald.aspx

 
2014 - Happy New Year

Stonehaven was the rock capital of the world on Hogmanay with Simple Minds bringing in the New Year in the Square whilst the annual Fireball Ceremony paraded up and down the Auld Town to the harbour led by a pipe band. What a night!

 
October 2013 - Scapa Flow

Just back from a crackin wee trip to Scapa. The German WWI battleship Kronprinz Wilhelm lies upside down on the bottom of the Flow. Managed to get in between the two aftmost twin 12-inch gun turrets and go up through a deck hatch to the deck space above (originally below) in between the two armoured barbettes. The outer shell armoured doors on both barbettes are open allowing views into the inner barbettes themselves. Grand fun. The well known diving historian Innes McCartney was also aboard so we chewed the fat endlessly about WWI German warships.

 
14 September - MS Taurus

Grand return to the WWII loss, the motor ship Taurus - bombed by German A/C from Norway whilst in a southbound convoy. The wreck has deteriorated hugely over the 20 years since we first located and identified her in 1992. Then she was almost intact - with big square glass windows in her bridge rimmed with greened brass still in place. You dropped through skylight hatches into a massive intact engine room - a promenade walkway led up either side of the engine casing superstructure with passenger cabins off, each with its own porthole. There are two big new trawl nets snagged on her at bow and on engine casing superstructure. The latter has ripped the engine room roof off and collapsed this now fragile superstructure to port obliterating the promenade. The general deterioration is sad - she's going fast.

 
SS Greenawn - 11 August 2013

A long overdue return to the wreck of the SS Greenawn. She was en route from London to Invergordon during WWII with a cargo of cement. She was last seen passing Montrose and then never seen again. She disappeared with all hands, with no distress call and no wreckage ever found. She was presumed sunk in the Moray Firth and was stamped as MIA at the subsequent Board of Enquiry - she was still missing in 2006 when we stumbled onto her - her cargo was a clear ID. SHe sits on her keel in 60msw and is completely intact other than a single bomb hole in the side of her hull, the blast from which took off the front of her aft machinery superstructure, destroyed the lifeboats swung on the Boat Deck davits there and no doubt destroyed her radio gear.

We had a grand tour of her during a 30 minute bottom time. When we first dived her we found a large trawl net wrapped around her bow and suspended on buoys 10-15 metres high over the wreck. There's now a second trawl net snagged on her midships bridge superstructure also suspended on buoys. Difficult one to shot now - and a descent in poor vis will keep us on our toes.

 
SS Silverburn - 4 August 2013

We dived an uncharted fisherman's snag about 7 miles off Cove in NE Scotland last weekend. Descended in fine 10m vis to find a small WWI era steamship sitting on its keel in about 62msw. Bridge superstructure and machinery aft and two holds forward still full of a cargo of graded coal. Identified the wreck as the SS Silverburn a small SS en route from London to Peterhead during WWI with a cargo of coal when she was stopped by a U-boat and sunk by gunfire - not big enough to justify a torpedo. She is charted about 0.5nm away from this snag - not bad by the dead reckoning of the day.

 
26 April 2013. The Darkness Below goes live as an e-book

Into the Abyss went live as an e-book in February this year. The sequel The Darkness Below has just gone live as an e-book with Amazon and will be live with Apple very shortly.

 
16/17 MArch 3013. OZTeK and the launch of Force Z Shipwrecks of the South China Sea

What a fantastic conference OZTeK 2013 turned out to be. The lectures and presentations were of the highest quality by people driving tek diving forward - it was cutting edge stuff. The Gala Dinner at the end saw Valerie Taylor, who has been on my TV screen all of my life (memorably dealing with sharks in a chain mail suit) getting a lifetime achievement award and a 10 minute standing ovation. The launch of the Force Z book went well and at the end of my presentation I was approached by Rear Admiral Guy Griffiths (retired) of the RAN who had been a midshipman on Repulse when she was sunk in 1941. Amazing to hear his first hand story.

 
28 Feb. Force Z Shipwrecks of the South China Sea-Prince of Wales & Repulse

The printed copies of the new book have arrived at the publishers warehouse today - stocks are being sent to Australia for the launch at OZTeK, Sydney on 16 March.

 
1 March. Stonehaven Flood Relief fund raiser. Force Z Shipwrecks of the South China Sea

My dive buddy Paul Haynes & myself are hosting an evening of diving presentations at the Royal British Legion, Stonehaven on 1 March to raise funds for the Stonehaven Flood Relief Group dealing with the aftermath of the December floods that caused, and the legacy of which continues to cause, so much misery in the town. Rod will be giving the first presentation about the Force Z shipwrecks in the South China Sea - HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse. Paul Haynes will then be presenting about the combined military/civilian operation to recover the bell of the Prince of Wales.

 
6 Feb 2013. SMART - Type 22 frigate to be sunk in the Sound of Mull

Great news for Scottish diving! The Sound of Mull Artificial Reef project SMART has just been accepted as a bidder for the next round of used warships disposals - Type 22 frigates. The idea is to buy and then sink a frigate in the Sound of Mull for divers - what a fantastic addition that will be to diving in the Sound - and it looks as though it's nearing becoming a reality :-)

 
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