of the WORLD
LAST NEW GUINEA SALVAGE PIRATE
At the end of the Pacific
war, the islands north of Australi were littered with thousands of tons
of Japanese naval and merchant ships. Some readily accessible ships were
legally salvaged for their non-ferrous materials soon after the end of
hostilities. However, hundreds of vessels remained untouched, or just superficially
salvges, in the sixties and seventies, tempting private salvors to seek
their fortune. Some did so legally, some without salvage rights, and others
did it both ways. Fritz Herscheid was such a person, a young, adventurous
man who arrived in Rabaul in 1967 as a diesel mechanic, learnt to dive
- and the rest is now documented history. This is a fascinating biography
of literally death-defying dives at depths far below the accepted level
on air, of encounteres with marine life that protested at the intrusion
into their environment, of legal and illegal salvage of propellers and
condenser tubes and anything else of value in an often hositile and competitive
environment. Many of the vssels mentioned will be recognised by sport divers
who have, later, visited Papua New Guinea, particularly to Rabaul, New
Ireland and New Hanover, and mainland northern PNG. The book gives a down-to-earth
personal account of some fifteen years of constant danger with with explosives,
dive equipment, salvage vssels and bureacracy - and the many encounters
with sharks, both in and out of the water! It chronicles th determination
and fierce rivalry between salvagers, the risks and gains, of stupidity
and intuitiveness, and the actual and close calls with death in remote
locations rarely visited by the white man. No book has ever covered such
a topic. The book also provides a comprehensive shipwreck reference of
known diveable wrecks in PNG waters. A remarkable book and a wonderful
contribution to our documented maritime and military knowledge of the Pacific.
Hardcover, dustjacket, 496
pages, mono and colour prints. $56.00 AN
EXCELLENT READ, FASCINATING
||THE LADY AND THE PRESIDENT
- The Life and Loss of the SS President Coolidge.
WRECKS DIVES OF THE WORLD
There will always be controversy
with such a compendium as we all have our favourite wreck dives and no
doubt most are not listed. The first thing you will do is to look up these
and compare the text and images to your own knowledge and experience. I
did that and was somewhat disappointed at the superficial coverage, but
then, I could do so on only a few of the sites. Our own Yongala
and Swan are covered, but what of the PNG wrecks of Rabaul, off
New Hanover, and to a lesser extent I suppose, those in the Madang/Hansa
Bay vicinity. I was also disappointed in the selection of photographs,
many of which did little to give any impression of the wreck. A ship may
be ‘an imposing sight' but why then illustrate it with a close up of a
few silted pipes in an engine room. No, this book does not come up to the
exceptionally high Jack Jackson standed, but still buy a copy please as
it will help my sales - and you will enjoy it. Like the other ‘coffe table'
books produced by the publisher in the Jack Jackson stable, it is well
presented. Hardcover, dustjacket, large square format, 160 pages, index.
No bibliography, a shame, indeed a professional oversight as it would have
given the reader a guidance as to where to find further information. Of
course, I say that because my own book on the President Coolidge
is not mentioned - nor Gleeson's Yongala or Gentile's Andrea
Doria, or Bailey's Truk lagoon wrecks. All available from Oceans Enterprises,
of course. $69.95.
12 July 2013
TIME TO DIE - THE KURSK DISASTER
was a tragedy, not only for Russia but for the world, as it is alwys difficult
to image a more tragic death trapped in a submariune beneath the cold waters
of the Barents Sea. But after two massive explosision hammered their way
through th submrine, the men died and their families, and their country,
grieved. It happened on 12 August 2000, but at the time the vessel was
simply overdue, then lost. What could have happened. Was another submarine
involved? Was the Col War rearing its head once again. But the world united
in attempting to rescue the men, and when that was realised as being in
vain, to bring their bodies home. This excellent essay on the tragedy delves
deeper into the human emotion of a town that lost 118 of its favourite
sons, and a country that was trying desperatly to show the world that the
days of secrecey and communisim were well over.
272 pages, colour photograph.
DORIA - DIVE TO AN ERA.
collision between the Andrea Dorea and the Stockholm has beent he subject
of unending debate since that fateful night of 25 July 1956. Fifty-two
people lost their lives, the Italian Line lost its finest ship, and one
of the greatest sea rescues in history made banner headlines. Today, the
ship lies on her starboard side in 240 ft of water off Nantucket on the
east coast USA. This book chronicles the story of the ship after she sank,
including the author's twnrty-two expeditions to the wreck, with the recovery
of the bronze statue pf Admiral Andrea Doria, and the ship's bell. It is
a fascinating book with excellent colour photographs.
with dust jacket, 160 pages, full colour.
Diving and the Deadly
Allure of the Empress of Ireland.
Kevin F. McMurray.
McMurray has already made
his reputation as an excellen author through his history and descriptions
of diving the Andrea Doria in 'Deep Descent'. But if you thought
that was a difficult dive (thirteen lives claimed so far), try the Empress
of Ireland in the Gulf of St Lawrence. It may be a comparatively shallow
wreck at around 120 ft, but when you consider the freezing cold waters,
strong currents, near zero visibility, and French-Canadian bureaucracy,
you wonder why anyone would bother. But such is not the thinking of true
wreck divers, and The Empress remains one of the most challenging
of recreational sport diving wrecks in the world. McMurray overcame all
obstacles, including the bureaucracy, and describes his and several other
much less satisfactory dives in which not all who descended in good health
remained that way after ascent. McMurray captures the terror of shipwreck
with the fear of visiting a gravesite in such in hospitable conditions.
A great read.
Hardcover, dustjackt, 270
pages, mono prints. $54.00 Sorry, no longer
AND DANGROUS. Adventures and Reflections on the Andria Doria.
The author is well known
for his first book on the Andria Doria, published in 1989 (Andrea Doria
- Dive to An Era), and brings the reader up to date (to 2004) with
further expedition, recoveries, and, unfortunately, the high number of
deaths on the shipwreck, and how they occurred. Gentile does not mince
words, and givs a graphic description of salvage events and dives that
have led to tragedy"In the following pages the reader will explor vicariously
the deep compartments and dark passways where danger abounds, anxiety is
commonplace, fear is palpable, and death is literally a breath away". Fair
enough!! The book covers recovery of works of art from the ship, and the
slow but inevitable collapse of the hull. A great read, as is usual from
Gentile. Hardcover, dustjacket, 216 pages, mono and colour prints.
and Death Diving the Andrea Doria.
the Italian ocean liner Andrea Doria was rammed by the Swedish ship Stockholm
off the approaches to New York in 1956, she slowly tilted to starboard
and slipped below the calm seas into 235 ft - beyond the limit of serious
recreational divers at the time. In recent years however, the skills and
equipment availaable has resulted in quite a few dives to the vessel lying
on her starboard side, but not without mishap. Deep Descent tells of these
dives, and the tragedy that continues, and complements Gary Gentile's Dive
to An Era. (Gentile is mentioned and photographed in the book).
Softcover, 302 pages, mono photographs.
note: Hardcover no longer available. Softcover $36.00
Maritime Mysteries and Forensic
When ships go down, there
is a reason and that reason must be known. But the evidence is under the
sea, sopmetimes 20,000 ft down, so there are difficulties. Forestic science
however knows no such boundary, and with technology, and time, mush of
the reqquired evidence can be raised from even the most daunting depths.
Here we have chapters on many mysteries, many of which were resolved -
the loss of the Derbyshire, Gaul, Flare, Lucona; the famous Edmund
Fitzgerald, the Arctic Rose and the huge Lusitania. And
more recently the submarine Kursk, and other subs before it. There
is also a chapter on air and space disasters where evidence had dropped
into the sea. A very interesting read. Limited copies available. Hardcover,
laminated boards, 274 pages, mono plates. $34.00
Ocean-going Pasesenger Ship Catastrophe since 1900 (to publication in 1995).
This is a fascinating book recording every passenger liner that has come
to grief this century, including recent major disasters. Hardcover, dustjacket,
216 pages, medium format, 258 illustrations.
the one copy available.
GUIDE TO THE MEDITERRANEAN WRECKS.
Ghisotti, Rinaldi, Trainito
am constantly amazed at the excellent detail and the superb production
of these fine books. The colour drawings, particularly of underwater
wrecks and reefs, is exceptional, giving a marvellous view of the
underwater scene. The colour photography is excellent and the text
informative. I now appreciate how rich in wrecks and marine life
is the Mediterranean Sea - submarine, aircraft, ships and a diverse
variety of sub-tropical and temperate species. The Mediterranean
underwater life guide is exceptional for its coverage.
medium format 210 x 290mm, full colour, 168 pages. $58
no longer available.
Keith Morris, Peter Rowlands.
A very comprehensive book,
coverings (as chapters): The Etruscan wreck, wrecks of the Great Lakes,
the Cristobol Colon, the Umbria, Truk Lagoon, theRoyal Oak, the Rhone.
Very well illustratedwith topside and underwater photographs, mono prints
also, charts. Hardcover, laminated boards, 192 pages. $25.00
copy, very good condition with a few underlines on the contents page.
Just the one copy available.
||EXPLORING THE LUSITANIA
Robert Ballard, with Spencer
Dunmore. Paintings by Ken Marschall.
Probing the Mysteries of
the Sinking That Changed History.
Like all Ballard publications,
this is a remrkable book, exceptionally well illustrated with photographs,
contemporary prints, and the superb paintings of Ken Marschall. Of particular
interest is the comparison of sections of the ship as she lies on the bottom
of the Atlantic near Ireland, with the corresponding part on the vessel
as taken before she went down. The controversial political history of her
loss is covered, with excellent photographs. The book does not solve the
perenial question of whether she was carrying contraband, but that is of
litle concern. A brilliant book. Hardcover, dustjacket, 228 pages, mono
and colour throughout, bibliography, index. $68.00.
the one copy left.
DEPTH. Deep Sea Diving, China Fever, and the wreck of the Andria
Joe Haberstroh. $34.00
Softcover, 254 pages, mono
and colour photographs, selected sources, no index.
The wreck of the ocean liner
Andrea Doria continues to attract divers, over fifty years since she went
to the depths forty-five miles off Nantucket in the western Atlantic, having
been rammed by the liner Stockholm. Lives were lost, and more were to die
in their adventurous bid to see the ship, to claim they had reached a pinnacle
in their diving career - like climbing Mount Everest, as the analogy has
frequently been made. At 225 feet, the wreck is near the limit of simple
air-breathing scuba, at the threshold of diver endurance and ability. This
excellent book, written by an award-winning reporter and diver, chronicles
yet another death, and experiences over the 1998 and 1999 northern summers.
An excellent read.
JUTLAND TO JUNKYARD.
1919, the German High Seas Fleet scuttled twenty-four large war ships and
numerous smaller ships at Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands. From 1924 the
great fleet was raised, ship by ship, and scrapped. This book covers the
extraordinary story of how the greatest salvage operation of all time was
achieved. Books like this should be produced in hardcover, but alas, this
is in paperback form, 150 pages, with 87 mono photographs.
Sunken Ships of Bikini Atoll.
the recent opening up of Bikini Atoll after the atomic tests in July 1946,
a new destination rivals Truk Lagoon as the wreck divers' Mecca. Some 242
ships were anchored at various locations in the atoll when the US Government
detonated another atomic bomb. Immediately after the detonation, scientists
and the military combed the radiated wrecks gathering evidence to show
how massive the bomb damage could be. Operation Crossroads had been succesful.
It was however an inglorious end to the magnificent carrier USS Saratoga,
but she can now proudly claim to be the world's largest accessible shipwreck,
pushing the SS President Coolidge into second place - although getting
to Bikini Atoll is no breeze. The author, a director of the Vancouver Maritime
Museum, was on the 1989 expedition to Bikini. His excellent text and style,
and many historic and underwater photographs, make this an excellent book.
204 pages, medium square format, colour plates. $68.00 SORRY
- OUT OF STOCK, OUT OF PRINT
FLEET OF THE TRUK LAGOON.
published in 1986, this recent printing is the sixth so far, so the book
is obviously well accepted as an historic text on what happened at Truk
Lagoon during World War 2 during Operaton Hailstorm. Although there are
some underwater photographs, the book is predominantly historic, and covers
the Japanese occupation of the islands through to their demise at the hands
of the US Navy.
many mono photographs, some colour, charts, drawings, 132 pages.
FROM THE SEA
is the 'original' book about the loss of the Niagara off northern
New Zealand in 1942, and the subsequent recovery of most of the gold bars
by diver Johnno Johnson and others.
edition rare. Secondhand, when available, around $80 with original dust
jacket or computer generated jacket.
is also a 1947 and 1949 reprint, smaller format, but same text. (Green
dust jacket left).
have two copies of this available, both excellent condition with computer
generated facsimile dust jackets. $32.00
GENERAL GRANT'S GOLD
Shipwreck and greed in the
Madeliene Ferguson Allen
and Ken Scadden.
From the blurb: The wreck
in 1866 of the General Grant in the dessolate sub-Antarctic Islands is
one of the world's great nautical mysteries, a story that still tanbtasliases
and thrills When the ship was crushed in a cave beneath a sheer cliff face,
a few crew meembers and a handful of passengers managed to escape in a
lifeboat. For more than two years they lived a hand-to-mouth existence
on a nearby island before they were rescued. This story is extraordinary
in itself, but soon compelling legends spread that the ship had sunk with
a fabulous hoard of gold from the Victorian goldfields. For almost
140 years exapeditions and bounty hunters have searched for the ship and
her elusive cargo. In the relentless seas of the Auckland Islands, it has
been a soul-destroying endeavour. Locating the vessel has been difficult
enough; finding the gold has proved impossible. In this bookthe authors
tell the full story of the voyage, the shipwreck, the plight of the castaways
and the search for the gold. At this distance in time, separatng the facts
from the legends is difficult, but the authors have scrupulously researched
the events of the shipwreck and examined every subsequent search for the
gold The story is more remarkable than fiction, a tale of heroes, and cads,
heartbreak and loss, hope and despair, hunger and greed. As it has bewitched
so many in the past, so it will haunt you long after the last page is turned.
CLIPPER - Tayleur.
this book is subtitled ‘The First Titanic' it is only because the Tayleur
was the first White Star ship to be loost on her maiden voyage. There the
similarity really ends, despite a few coincidences. Nevertheless, this
is an incredible story. If the Tayleur had not been wrecked off
the coast of Ireland in 1854 with the loss of no less than 380 lives, you
would not be where you are right now. Had these early immigrants landed
safely they would have made such an impact on our ancestors that our very
lives today would not be as they are. (Something like chaos theory - if
a butterfly farts in the forrest it affects all our lives).
tells in details the circumstances of the wreck and of matters of early
emigration to Australia. A very good read. Softcover, 120 pages,
mono illustrations. $21.95
no longer available from us.
Oldbourne Book Co. Ltd., London.
Hardcover, dust jacket, 256
pages, mono prints.
From the fly: "It was Monday,
June 17th, 1940. Along the French coast a bewildered, battered army had
crowded the beaches and filled the little ports, waiting to be picked
up and taken back across the Channel. Lying off St. Nazaire was the liner
Lancastria, 16,000 tons of elegance and steel, in which more than four
thousand men, packed into every available inch of space, could be carried
to safety. Between seven and eight that morning the first boats began to
ferry their human cargoes out to the liner: airmen, pioneers, infantrymen,
engineers, gunners, even 38 civilians. Around the Lancastria a group of
ships was lying, all too vulnerable in those shallow waters. The Oronsay
had already been hit. Then, about four o'clock in the afternoon - "at eight
bells, at the end of the after- noon watch" - the Lancastria was
struck by bombs, and turned over and sank. This was, it is true, a maritime
disaster of the first magnitude: and yet, such was the heroism and
fortitude it evoked, that it will always be remembered with a sense of
national pride. Geoffrey Bond tells the whole story for the first time.
He follows individuals and units across France to St. Nazaire; he
tells what these people were doing when the bombs struck; he follows them
into the water, and - for the lucky ones - to England and safety. All the
records of the Lancastria Survivors' Association have been opened to him.
In addition he has personally interviewed hundreds of men, of all units,
who were there. His story is factual, intensely moving, gripping as the
tension mounts page by page. Here, in clear, compelling prose, is the very
stuff of war-a full record of tragedy, irony, infamy and human bravery."
on offer is in very good condition, no foxing, no markings; with dustjacket
in good condition, full, with one taped repair. $36.00
AND DEATH ON THE 'ROYAL CHARTER'
The True Story of A Treasure-ship
Wrecked on Anglesey.
Chris and Lesley Holden
Softcover, 288 pages, many
full colour and mono photographs, charts and illustrations. A superb publication,
well researched and produced.
After a disasterous start
to her career with several mishaps, the 2719 ton iron auxiliary screw steamship
Charter reached Melbourne in the excellent time of just under sixty
days. Her speed and splendid accommodation attracted great interest and
she soon became one of the most popular ships to visit Australia. On 26
August 1859 under Captain T. Taylor, she left Melbourne for home with 500
passengers and crew, 68,397 ounces of gold and £48,000 in sovereigns.
After a record run of fifty-five days she reached Queenstown, Ireland;
passengers requested she call at Holyhead (Wales) to allow them to see
the giant Great Eastern, at that time the largest ship in the world, and
this delay was to prove fatal. As she left Holyhead rough weather was working
up and when off Point Lynas (north Anglesey, Wales), hurricane force winds
and giant seas forced her towards the rocky coast as she searched in vain
for a pilot. For a while she used the engines to help her anchors hold
her while the masts were cut away, but the cables parted, the rigging from
her fallen masts tangled around her propeller shaft, and just before dawn
on 25 October 1859 she went ashore in Moelfre Bay on the east coast of
Anglesey, Wales. Only 27 men managed to reach shore before huge waves dumped
the ship across rocks, breaking her in two and drowning 459 persons, including
her master. Divers were sent down to recover bodies and the gold, in bags
and iron chests, estimated to be about half a million sterling. Much was
recovered. Some specie still remains on the treacherous wrecksite.
Ballard and Rick Archibold. Paintings by Ken Marschall.
is truly a remarkable book, a fascinating insight into the loss of six
of the greatest and most famous ships that have sailed the oceans: Titanic,
Lusitania, Britannic, Andrea Doria, Normandie, Empress of Ireland. With
photographs taken by the submersibles Alvin and Delta, and the incredible
photograph-like paintings of Ken Marschall, this is the closest that we
will ever get to seeing these wrecks as they lie on the seabed to this
day. The text by Archibold is superb, not only giving a potted-history
of the ship in question, but more importantly, indicating her role in the
development of shipping and the consequences of her loss. It is eminently
readable book, one of the finest and most interesting volumes I have read
on passenger shipping and shipwrecks.
dust jacket, large format, full colour, 220 pages. $65.00 Sorry,
no more copies available.
SHIPS OF GUADALCANAL
has done it again. This book is nothing short of incredible. The photographs,
taken with one of Ballard's submersibles, are as fascinating as the superb
drawings and charts. The book also covers the war history of the Solomon
Islands in some detail with excellent photographs. We will never get to
see these ships in our lifetime, so better buy the book before it goes
out of print. Hardcover, large format with dustjacket, 226 pages, full
colour. $56.00 Review
no more copies available.
the Hunley to the Kursk, the greatest submarines ever lost - and found.
first response was to see what had been written about the British Thetis
and the American Squalus, and I was not disappointed - they are covered
well. And the inclusion of the ill-fated Kursk brings the book right up
to date. Submarine losses are particularly tragic as thewy frequently involve
a desperat attempt at salvage to save lives, usually with tragic results
in the end. We have no difficulty imagining a slow death entombed at depth;
the bravery of submariners is not difficult to appreciate. The author is
considerate in his tributes to these men, and to the anguish of the women
and family they leave behind. The book covers a history of submarines (mainly
Amrican, of course), and the recovery opf several old ships. The German
U-boats come in for attention, as they should. The discovery of the Australian
submarine AE3 - the Hero of Gallipoli - is well covered, giving due credit
to Sydney dentist Mark Spencer for his efforts. The remarkable Amrican
submriner Charles Momsen is gioven credit (although the McCann rescue
chamber could well have been called the Momsen chamber). The Pacific War
is no forgotten, an includes the loss of USS Wahoo, and Tang, but surprisingly
no Japanese subs lost in th Pacific - Japanese I-52, covered, was
lost in the Atlantic. HMS Perseus is covered, and of course Nautilus, Thresher
and Scorpion.Unfortunately there is only a sidebar on the Soviet's K-129,
which the American's tried to recover using the exploration vessel Glomar
Explorer in 1974. A most interesting book.
dust jacket, 178 pages, colour and historic mono prints, contemporary underwater
photographs, and the superb paintings by Ken Maschall (which do not seem
to be credited). $54.00 Just the
two copies left.
Centuries of Shipwrecks in the Approaches to New York.
fascinating book - of interest to shipwreck enthusiasts and maritime historians.
cover, A4 size, 216 pages, mono and colour photographs throughout, many
no longer available.
On May 7, 1915, toward the
end of her 101st eastbound crossing, from New York to Liverpool, England,
R.M.S. Lusitania - pride of the Cunard Line and one of the greatest ocean
liners afloat-became the target of a terrifying new weapon and a casualty
of a terrible new kind of war. Sunk off the southern coast of Ireland by
a torpedo fired from the German submarine U-20, she exploded and sank in
eighteen minutes, taking with her some twelve hundred people, more than
half of the passengers and crew. Cold-blooded, deliberate, and unprecedented
in the annals of war, the sinking of the Lusitania shocked the world. It
also jolted the United States out of its neutrality - 128 Americans were
among the dead - and hastened the nation's entry into World War I. This
is a remarkable and tragic story, exceptionally well written by an established
and well-repected author. Hardcover, dustjacket, 532 pages, mono photographs,
notes and sources, bibliography, index. $35.00
ZEALAND TREASURE WRECKS
author has concentrated on the major wrecks of the Elingamite, Tasmania,
Wairarapa, Port Kembla, and Niagara, with speculation on the General Grant.
A very interesting book for any wreck diver. Softcover, 98 pages, medium
format, some colour.
an Australian and New Zealand team salvaged eight tons of gold from a German
is a remarkable story, and Jeff Maynard tells it very well, but it annoys
me when the publisher's lie to the public with a comment on the back of
the book - ‘50 years later, the true story of one of the most remarkable
missions of World War Two is finally told'. Finally told? Rubbish. James
Taylor, the biographer of diver Johnno Johnstone, wrote Gold From the
Sea in 1942 - it has become a classic of underwater salvage. Niagara's
Gold does not seem to add to anything of importance or controversial
to the original tale, certainly not in the excitement of the recovery of
the first gold bars, but it is an interesting read neverless, with additional
interviews and photographs.
160 pages, eight mono prints. $26.00 Sorry,
no longer available.
||ONE OF OUR SUBMARINES
Published by Rupert Hart-Davis,
Hardcover, presume dust
jacket, 320 pages, mono plates.
Biography of operations
in a British submarine, HMS Storm, by the commander. I think there have
been many editions of this superb classic.
From inside: Commander Young
joined up as a Sub-Lieutenant n the Royal Naval Voluntr Reserve in April
1940, and four months later entered the submarine service. After three
years of almost continuous war patrols, off Norway and North Russia, in
the North Sea, the Bay of Biscay and the Mediterranean, and after escaping
from a sunken submarine, he became the first 'wavy-striper' to command
an operational submarine: This is his story. It was placed by the Sunday
Times 'in the very highest rank of books about the war'. The main
part of the narrative describes the author's time in command; and besides
being an account of H.M.Submarine Storm's war-time operations, it is at
the same time the story of a very amateur sailor learning an unusual job.
When first published, it was acclaimed by many newspapers as the best sea
story of the war. The Times Literary Supplement said, 'Here, in unaffected
terms, soopenly written that at the end of the book it seems that the author
has barely passed muster as a submarine captain, is as near the whole truth
about conditions in a British submarine as one is likely to get.' And Punch
offered no mean praise when it wrote that 'in this exciting book, which
may well prove the underwater classic, Edward Young writes prose that matches
the variety and tensions of a tremendous story.
offered is 6th impression 1953, in excellent condition with just a small
gift salutation on the endpaper. Copy comes with a computer generated facsimile
of the dust jacket, protected in library quality film. $24.00
OF THE COFFIN SHIPS
September 1980, the British ship Derbyshire sailed into the eye of Typhoon
Orchid and into oblivion, with no trace of ship nor those on board. She
was a bulk carrier of 169,044 tons, 970 feet long, and one of the most
sophisticated tankers in the world at th time. How could she have disappeared
so quickly? Since that day, more than 300 other tankers have gone to the
bottom, a huge financial loss, more than thirteen hundred lives,
and often with disasterous ecological results. A fascinating but ratherterrifying
no longer available.
From the hardcover fly:
.... a true tale of riveting adventure in which two weekend scuba
divers risk everything to solve a great historical mystery - and make history
themselves. For John Chatterton and Richie Kohler, deep wreck diving was
more than a sport. Testing themselves against treacherous currents, braving
depths that induced hallucinatory effects, navigating through wreckage
as perilous as a minefield. they pushed themselves to their limits and
beyond, brushing against death more than once in the rusting hulks of sunken
ships. But in the fall of 1991, not even these courageous divers were prepared
for what they found 230 feet below the surface in the frigid Atlantic waters
sixty miles off the coast of New Jersey: a World War II German U-boat,
its ruined interior a macabre wasteland of twisted metal, tangled wires,
and human bones. No identifying marks were visible on the submarine or
the few artifacts that Chattelton and Kohler brought to the surface. No
historian, expert, or government had a clue as to which U-boat the men
had found. In fact, the official records all agreed that there simply could
not be a sunken U-boat and crew at that location. Over the next six years,
an elite team of divers embarked on a quest to solve the mystery. Some
ef them would not live to see its end. Chatterton and Kohler, at first
bitter rivals, would be drawn into a friendship that deepened to an almost
mystical bond of brotherhood, with each other and with the drowned U-boat
sailors - former enemies of their country. As the men's mariages frayed
under the pressure of a shared obsession, their dives grew more daring,
and each realized that he was hunting more than the identities of a lost
U-boat and its nameless crew. Author Robet Kurson's account of this quest
is at once thrilling, emotionally complex, and written with a vivid sense
of what divers actually experience when they encounter the dangers of the
ocean's underworld.Softcover, 390 pges, colour prints. Please note:
Hardcover no longer available. Softcover $36.00 *** See Shadow
Divers - Exposed, below.
DIVERS - EXPOSED
Rarely is a book published
that debunks claims made in another published book - not in the dive idustry
at least. But Gary Gentile wants to set the record straight, after Shadow
Divers by Robert Kurson (see above) was published in 2005. Gentile
pulls no punches, and writes: The U-869 was one of more than 1,200 U-boats
that were constructed for the Nazi war machine. It was sunk off the American
eastern seaboard by a combination hedgehog and depth-charge attack. There
were no survivors to tell the tragic tale. Now, for the first time, the
real saga of the U-869 can be told in full. Shadow Divers Exposed ...
presents the actual circumstances that surrounded the loss of the U-869.
It puts the discovery of the U-869 into perspective with other U-boats
that have been found in American waters. It provides an overview of the
U-boat war through accounts of other U-boat losses. And it corrects some
of the gross errors, wild exaggerations, and deliberate distortions that
filled the pages of Shadow Divers. By means of forensic analyses of shipwreck
collapse, torpedo mechanics, and U-boat survivors' accounts, the present
volume explains why the U-869 could not have been sunk by a circular run
of its own torpedo - as Shadow Divers had its uninformed readers believe.
Softcover, no images, 378 pages, index. $36.00
S. Jennings and Dany Bosek.
usually shy away from generic books on shipwrecks as they can be rather
superficial, but as soon as I saw this book I had to have a copy. The photograps
are nothing short of ddramatic, and their is just sufficient text to provide
an inside into the tragedies. Of course the Titanic is included, and an
excellent summary it is (and includes Robert Ballard's latest efforts).
The Bermuda Triangle gets a mention, and the Mary Celeste. The human tragedies
are not forgotten - the Dona Paz which went doen in the Philippines with
1500 on board, the Andrea Doria (photos I had not seen before),
and the horrible loss of the Morro Castle. And the sad end to the
Lauro which, as a child, I travelled to Europe when she was the Willem
Ruys. Ancient boats like the Royal George get a brief mention,
and modern vessels like the tragic Herald of Free Enterprise. The
photo on page 66-67 cannot help but to remind us of the loss of the Falls
of Halladale, spectators lining the coast watching the demise of a
once beautiful three-master.And finally there is the chapter on poisoned
the loss of the oil tankers that do so much ecological damage. Damn you
Exon. My only criticism of the book is that it is only 80 pages,
but it is hard cover with dustjacket, large format and full colour. $36.00
Just the one left.
- DISASTERS OF THE DEEP SEAS
Covers a number of world
shipwrecks; divided into chapters as Wooden warships, iron, treasure wships,
lost liners, supertankers, submarines, perils of the sea, fewrry disasters,
mysteries of the deep, famous wrecks, survivors. Softcover, A4 size, mono
prints, 144 pages, index.
no longer available.
OF NEW ZEALAND
Companion to new Zealand
Shipwrecks 8th Edition
Softcover, square format,
130 pages, colour and mono photographs. This excellewnt book updates the
authoritive book on New Zealand shipwrecks by Ingram and Wheatly first
published in 1936, and continued through to seven revision. This is the
8th revision, or more correctly, an addition to the previous revisions,
in that it does not repeat the earlier listings. It includes about a thousand
entries, additional materials and corrections, new vessels, and many new
photographs. There is also a Glossary, a chapter on a possible pre-Tasman
shipwreck written by forensic anthropologist Dr Robin Watt, and a chapter
by Piers Davies: Shipwrecks - Romance and Reality. Writing on the heritage
and cultural importance on shipwrecks. Printed on good quality stock that
give a high resolution to the photographs.$48.00 Sorry,
no longer available.
OF THE FORTH AND TAY.
Softcover, gloss pages,
286 pages, mono prints, location index, vessel index, bibliography.
A fascinating read of some
three hundred of shipwrecks which have gone down off the coast of Scotland
between Berwick-on-Tweed to the Forth and Tay, and northwards to Stonehaven.
There are maps and chaarts to illustrate, often in great detail, the demise
of the vessels. There discovery and excavation work on the wrecks is also
covered in some detail. $54.95
OF THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE
A complete guide to every
major shipwreck in the Western Hemisphere and an introduction to the delights
of underater archaeology, diving for treasure, and exploring the world
beneath the sea.
From the fly: In this one
comprehensive volume, Robert F. Marx tells you everything you need to know
about exploring the ocean's depths-from the precise locations where ships
were lost to the best techniques for bringing their contents to the surface.
For several years the author care- fully researched the archives, li- braries
and museums of Europe and North America (reading old lists in Lloyds of
London and unfolding original documents in the depos- itories of Seville),
amassing a file of more than 28,500 shipwrecks throughout the world. For
this book he has selected only the most significant finds in the Western
Hemisphere from the time of Co- lumbus until about 1825. This is no mere
catalogue of wrecks; it is an organized manual of discovery based solidly
on Marx's vast experience combing the oceans' floors.Hardcover, dustjacket.
480 pages, index, bibliography, mono plates. Only
one copy available. Good condition with intact dustjacket. $85.00. Sorry,
MEN AGAINST THE SEA
the loss of twnety-nine international ships which went down with the loss
of over five and a half thousand lives. Several of these are relevnt to
Australia - the Cospatrick for example blazed off the south African
coast taking four hundred lives, and the General Grant lost south of New
Zealand. Others include the Rothesay Castle, Amazon, Calliope, Utopia,
Alnwick Castle, Belgian Prince, and the more recent late 2oth century disasters,
the Olympic Bravery, Sealuck, Admiral Nakhimov, Scandinavian Star and Oceanos.
||THE BUCCANEER'S BELL
Hugh Edwards is well known
to Australian divers for his many excellent books on maritime history and
diving. His latest offering is a rediscovery of two major explorers of
the modern world. In 1699, William Dampier set sail through the English
Channel aboard the Roebuck, a rotten and ruinous fire ship which was never
to meet its destination of Australia. Similarly in France, 1817, Louis
de Freycinet was aboard his own scientific vessel Uranie, bound on a voyage
around the world. Despite being shipwrecked on rocks off the Falkland Islands,
Freycinet's time was spent shared with that of his new young wife Rose,
who was disguised as a man and smuggled on board before the ship set sail
from France. The third and final voyage in the book began at Perth International
airport in 2001, where seven men mulled over their intention of searching
for the shipwrecks of Dampier and Freycinet in their South Atlantic graves.
What they were to discover in their final days of the mission was beyond
even their wildest imagination…. A tale of hope, success and immeasurable
Softcover, A4 size, 212
pages, colour plates, recommended reading, index. $39.95
ELINGAMITE AND ITS TREASURE.
by Hodder and Stoughton, London and Auckland, 1969. Hardcover, dust jacket,
192 pages, mono photographs.
excitment of the possibility of finding treasure on an shipwreck is an
incentive to search against all odds. The author, ell known for his diving
and natural science publications, was one of several Kiwi's (including
Kelly Tarlton) who salvage the treasures, mainly jewellery, from the passenger
liner Elingamite, lost off the Three Kings islands in 1902.
copy availablem, dust jacket. $45.00
Van der Vat.
Sinking of the German Fleet at Scapa Flow in 1919. So, you think Truk lagoon
is a divers paradise. Well, it is at least a bit warmer than the waters
of the Orney Islands off Scotland, but more ship's tonnage went to the
bottom at Scapa Flow than in Truk. Some of the scuttled German ships were
recovered, and towed upside down to the breaking yards in England. This
narrative is based on eye-witness and survivors accounts and unused German
archive material. Why would a German Admiral scuttle his seventy-four ships
in British waters and then have his men surrender. It seems rather bizaarre
- but then so was World War 1. Van der Vat gives angreater in-depth account
of the loss of the German High Seas Fleet, and why so many ships were scuttled
by German officers.
240 pages, mono photographs. $35.00 Review
longer available, sorry.
LADY AND THE PRESIDENT - The Life and Loss of the SS Pesident Coolidge.
title The Lady and the President is a reference to one of the major
attractions to divers who visit the wreck of the President Coolidge,
the 'Lady and the Unicorn', a wall decor in the First Class Smoking Room.
The ship is regarded as the largest accesible shipwreck to recrational
divers in the world.
include: The establishment of the Dollar Line and the American President
Line; the construction and early travels of the President Coolidge;
the establishment of Espiritu Santo as a naval and military base; the loss
of the ship at the entrance to the Segond Channel, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu;
the inquiry and speculations as to to the reasons for her loss; subsequent
salvage of the propellors and oil; a description of the ship as she now
lies, with special interest to divers; the loss of the destroyer USS
Tucker; Million Dollar Point and other local attractions. The book
is well illustrated with plans, drawings, and photographs.
on 90gsm Matt Art, size 240 x 180mm, 320 pages with additional eight pages
over 140 mono photographs, sixteen deck plans and charts, and six maps.
$56.00 For full details, enter
was attracted to read these books because of a fascination with the Lusitania,
which, as you probably know, was torpedoed off the coast of Ireland in
1915. But, as the cliche says, dont judge a book by its cover. Although
the two volumes contain an interesting account of the loss of the Cunard
liner, and an even more fascinating description of diving the ship, these
books are an authobiography of one of most experienced and influential
deep wreck divers in the world. I was initially disappointed at the sparcity
of historic Lusitania facts, but Gentile's excellent writing drew me in
to a world of incredible deep diving, pioneering new techniques, and virgin
wrecks at over 300 feet. Of particular fascination, and one in which we
can at times relate, is the petty-mindedness of government officials and
the sheer bitchines of dive boat skippers and fellow divers. There seems
to be a nasty rivalry betwen fellow deep-wreck divers in seeking the rewards
of relics to be raised and taken into personal posession. Well, been there,
done that! But Gentile pulls no punches in his condemnation of divers who
lack the skills and the mental attitude to be ‘real wreck divers'. Here
we have entwined superb diving with tragic episodes on the Andrea Doria,
the Empress of Ireland, the Lusitania, and many other deep shipwrecks and
submarines not so well known. The death toll on some of these ships is
staggering for a recreational activity - thirteen at least so far on the
Andrea Doria. Gentile's writing absorbs you into the scenario like a good
work of fiction - which this is most assuredly not. And to make matters
even more remarkable I that Gentile was shot through the chest whilst on
duty in Vietnam, taking many years to recover, but not fully. This is a
book(s) for the serious wreck, deep and technical diver, or, like myself,
someone fascinated by the pioneering exploits of these adventurers. And
all the action has taken place within the last few decades. A remarkable
volumes, hardcover, dust jacket, 312, 392 pages, mono and colour plates.
$90.00 (two volume set).
no more copies available.
||THE SEA HUNTERS - True
Adventures with Famous Shipwrecks.
Clive Cussler & Craig
I met Clive Cissler many
years ago, and took him down to see the scuttled turret ship Cerberus in
Port Phillip off Black Rock. I mention that as it makes me feel good!!!
Cussler has long ben associated with shipwrecks and serious maritime archaeology,
bith in real life and in his many fictional books. This from the fly: The
wrecks date as far back as 1840 and span thecontinental United States,
the Atlantic Ocean, and theNorth Sea.As he does in the Dirk Pitt novels,
Cussler openseach story with a creative dramatization of the shipand the
way she met her end, then brings the storyinto the present as he describes
the immense researchand careful preparation so often necessary to find
along lost ship.For example, he describes the tragic fate of thesteamboat
Lexington, which burst into flames in thefrigid winter of 1840, causing
the loss of over 150 lives-but sparing Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,who missed
the trip only because he arrived at thedock seconds too late.There's also
the odd fate of the steamboatCharleston, which became the warship Zavala
andwhich was so horribly damaged in a terrible Atlanticstorm in 1842 that
it was abandoned in a Galveston,Texas, marsh, and slowly sank from view.
In tracingits location, Clive Cussler finally found it-under aparking lot!
Dramatic, compelling, and personal, CliveCussler's The Sea Hunters is as
exciting and satisfy-ing as the best of his Dirk Pitt novels.Hardcover,
dustjacket, 364 pages, indexa few mono photos and charts.. $35.00
the one softcover edition available, $20.00
23 May 1939, the American submarine Squalus failed to surface on her final
test-run. Many men died when the seas rushed in through an open vent, but
thirty-three remained alive at 243 ft. No rescue operation has ever been
successful at this depth, but that did not deter Commander Swede Momsen,
whose innovative development for the US Navy provided a submarine escape
lung, and a submersible bell that could link to a stricken submarine, providing
all conditions were right! They weren't, but Momsen rescued all the men
over as harrowing twenty-four hours. The sub was salvaged and recommissioned.
This is an exceptionally well written account, as exciting as any fiction.
It covers the development of escape apparatus and salvage methods. Maas
is the author of Serpico, and The Vallachi Papers. Softcover paperback,
is perhaps the most interesting of the Titanic books as it is exceptionally
well illustrated, and the text is concise and interesting. It covers her
history of course, the sinking and the aaftermath, including popular films
(and misconceptions), and her relocation and visit by submersibles.
cover, full colour, 128 pages.
Lambert and Jim Hartley.
published by A.H. & A.W. Reed, of Wellington, Auckland, Sydney and
Melbourn, in 1969. Hardcover, dust jacket, 222 pages, mono photographs.
could this possibly happen? Cook Strait, separating the north and south
islands of New Zealand, is not the most peaceful stretch of water in the
Pacific, but it should not have claimed the 8,948 ton passenger ferry on
the morning of 10 April 1968. In a violent storm resulting in zero visibilty,
the Wahine crashed onto the jagged rocks of Barrett Reef, ripping a hole
in her hull. She drifted off the rocks, only to founder soon after. With
735 passengers and crew on board, most survived, miraculously, but nevertheless,
fifty-one did lose their life. This book, by two journalists, covers her
last moments and the miraculous survival of many of her passengers.
the fly: Cook Strait, separating the North and South Islands of New Zealand,
is an area of high winds and strong tidal currents. In the fiercer gales
the seas run high and flying spray may reduce visibility to zero. The passage
from the strait into Wellington Harbour is narrow. In the very entrance
lies Barrett Reef—a chain of jagged rocks that reduce the main channel
to a width of three quarters of a mile.
severe storm conditions ships leaving or entering the harbour exercise
extreme caution: the Pencarrow coast has taken a heavy toll. . . .
this the regular ferry services plying between Wellington and the southern
ports had run with commendable safety and regularity for 80 years and more.
Latterly a meteorological network and modern navigational aids seemed to
have minimised the risks. Even in the fiercest weather, Wellingtonians
would say no more than: "The ferry may be an hour or two late this morning."
In the early hours of 10 April 1968 the 8,948 ton steamer express Wahine,
pride of the Union Steam Ship Company's fleet, was battling her way northwards
to Wellington through weather that was bad, though not abnormally so. But
when approaching the position of maximum danger from the reef she was struck
by a storm of unprecedented ferocity. Visibility dropped to zero; the ship's
radar was disabled, and in wildly-plunging seas she struck Barrett Reef.
Badly holed, her engines out of action, she drifted helplessly up-harbour
to founder off the western shore. Though men in ships big and small risked
their craft and their lives to go to the rescue in that storm, 51 of the
Wahine's complement of 735 passengers and crew lost their lives. The miracle
is that, in such conditions, the toll was so light.This was New Zealand's
worst maritime disaster since 1894, when 121 lives were lost in the wreck
of the Wairarapa off Great Barrier Island. In this book the loss of the
Wahine and the events that followed are narrated by two journalists of
the New Zealand Press Association who were covering the events of 10 April
and were directly concerned in reporting its sequel, the official enquiry.From
interviews with members of the Wahme's passengers and crew, and with their
rescuers, and from the official enquiry report, Max Lambert and Jim Hartley
have re-created in dramatic form, but without pandering to sensation
the one secondhand copy available, in excellent condition with dustjacket.
Locker-Lampson & Ian Francis.
text on each of the three hundred or so wrecks in New Zealand waters is
limited, but sufficient to give some historic background, location and
146 pages, medium format, some colour, mainly mono.
- The Admiralty Regrets.
I am asked what is the best book I have read on maritime matters in the
past few years, I would unhesitatingly say, Thetis - The Admiralty Regrets.
Like me, you have probably never heard of the Thetis, and but if
you had, would have said that she was just another submarine lost during
the second world war. Not so. The Thetis was a brand spanking new
270ft submarine built at the Cammell Laird's shipyards at Birkenhead (England).
On 1 June 1939 (before the declaration of war), she left the Mersey and
headed out into Liverpool Bay on her sea trails - her first sea dives.
With 103 peeople on board, five hours later she was lying with her bow
stuck in the mud at 160 ft, and her stern protruding some thirty feet out
of the choppy seas. Four men were to escape, using the new Davis Escape
apparatus. Others tried and died, trapped like rats in the small escape
champer. The majority just waited for rescue, and died a slow death, asphixiated
as their carbon dioxide levels built up. Having the stern exposed should
have resulted in a more positive outcome. But the attempted rescue was
one of the worst bungles in British naval history, exposing the sorry state
of communications and rivalry within the Royal Navy. The death list reached
one hundred when a diver in standard dress died from the bends and a lung
disease. Thetis was eventually raised, nearly five months later.
It required the services of a mine rescue team to perform the grusome task
of recovering the bodies. The submarine returned to Birkenhead where
she was refitted, renamed Thunderbolt, and went into service against
the Germans. She was sunk once again with all hands, and not recovered,
in March 1943, by the Italian sloop Cicogna. This is a truly remarkable
book; I just couldn't put it down once I started. It tells of the suffering
of the men trapped in the hull as failed attempts were made to secure the
submarine and rescue the men. It tells of the courageous, and lucky escape,
of four men, and how four others died a horrible death. It tells of the
conspiracy to hush up the true events that took place, the buck shoving,
and lack of responsibility of the Royal Navy. And of course, it tells of
how such a tragedy could have occured in the first place, and the suibsequent
succesful salvage of the submarine. Was the Admiralty more concerned about
saving the submarine, rather than rescuing the civilians and navy men on
GO DOWN - MORE WONDERS OF SALVAGE
First published by Eyre
and Spottiswoode, London, in 1932.
Masters is the doyen of
salvage and wreck writers, and this must surely be one of is best works;
another excellent title by an author who has specialised in books on salvage
and hard hat diving. This one is a compendium of stories of ship and salvers,
with quite a bit on submarines (as the destructors), and treasure (the
Egypt's gold is covered. Perhaps it is the anecdotes of the divers that
are the most interesting in this book. Includes chapters on: the submarine
S4, the Egypt's gold, wrecks of scapa flow, the Bardic, the Tobermory treasure
etc. A very good read. Hardcover, dustjacket, 356 pages, index, mono plates.
have a second-hand copy in stock, with computerised facsimile of the dust-jacket
- looks like new. Is fifth impression of the 1932 first edition. $55.00
WAR 2 WRECKS OF THE TRUK LAGOON.
E. Bailey. .
(laminated boards), A4 size, 518 pages, many colour and mono prints, charts
and diagrams. It has been a long time in coming, and the wait worth every
minute. This is a superb book, the finest presentation of a war/wreck history
that I have seen; exceptionally well researched and equally well presented.
The book contains four specific sections, and appendicies. Section One
covers Truk (or Chuuk as it is now); section two follows on with the Japanese
occupation of the islands. Then we have the extensive coverage of the US
air campaign against Truk, Operation Hailstorm predominantly. The final
section, over 227 pages, describes no less than fifty-two ship wrecks
and five aircraft wrecks in exceptional detail and clarity, complete with
site diagrams and photographs. Nothing has been spared in the quality of
the production, with the use of semi-gloss art paper giving crisp photographs.
Where the wreck site extends the boundaries of recreational sport diving,
the author recommends advanced technical diving requirements. This book
is a must for anyone who has been to Truk, is going to Truk, or is simply
interested in the war history of the Pacific. A brilliant book. $120.00