You may know that 2013 is the 5th year that I have been writing an “Adventure column” for Tradeaboat magazine in Australia. It has about 45,000 readers and is one of the biggest. Part of my last month column follows here, but for “technical reasons” ( more about that later) , I just learnt this morning, that two “important” paragraphs were dropped?? ( I have put them in bold) so the offer mentioned was never sent out?? I have just discovered this afternoon the BIG reason it was dropped and some BIGG’er plans are ahead.!!! But cannot say anything till next month.…Anyway if you are read below and think you qualify..contact me, but you will need to buy a copy of the April Tradeaboat and tell me what photo is on the first page of this column!
Part of “Ocean Adventure” column by Don McIntyre…”A REAL LIFE?”
Summers for me are always rather frantic and flash by in a whirl of sensory overload. I jump off my boat in a peaceful Pacific paradise, bound for civilization to prepare for the Antarctic leadership 100 passengers crave, as they enter the great unknown of the frozen continent. Two months later, with a wider girth, borne of five star dining on ala’carte meals, I fly back to civilization craving beans on toast and a time to unwind with no people. It is at times quite surreal, but this year more so than ever!
On the same day we saved the life of a French solo sailor below Tasmania, I lost a great friend to a climbing accident in France. Funny but I was a little mad at him for that, as he was finally finishing his 22ft ocean going adventure yacht and had just beaten the odds, after an 11 year battle from a life threatening illness. He was an adventurous Frenchman too, living the life he had, so I suppose the equation balances! Life is precious and yet now everywhere I go, I see people glued to their phones, or should I say their multimedia real-time live, life substitute! They do not interact with the person next to them and from what I see, heavy users are loosing life skills! Apparently now there is a medical term for the Phobia many people face, if they are ever separated from their only means of contact to the outside world..their phone and social media!..what the $%#@#!!! The outside world is waiting for them..derr. Just look up! Once upon a time in a land called Australia, we were worried about the impact of real-life experiences being replaced by reality TV!! That is history now and I recon it is going to get worse. I regularly see babies playing with Ipads!!
As I fly over the new subdivisions, I no longer see backyards. The Mc Mansions take up the whole block! No Trees. When I was a kid, I climbed trees and fell out of them and learnt from my real world experience. I understood what personal responsibility and risk taking was and is…Nearly 25 years ago, Tim Macartney Snape the solo Everest mountain climber once said, “ Children growing up in our society today, may well be emotionally and physically disadvantaged, because they are not encouraged to explore the physical world outside our artificial environment. We could actually be creating individuals so inept at taking care of themselves, that they require a degree of protection that impinges on what we regard as their freedom” Wow.. Mobile phones and even the internet basically did not exist then! Today the insurance industry and liability dictates how we live, as someone else is “always” to blame and should have made you “aware” before you stumbled!
You are reading Tradeaboat, so I know you enjoy the real world. PLEASE share that with your kids hey and get them to engage it with outstretched arms and eager eyes wide open! If you think they need a kick along, or an adventure of a life time and they, (or you for that matter) are between 18-23, then tell them to check out my web site! I am looking to “sponsor” and mentor for 10 weeks, two special young Australians who have a connection to Tradeaboat and this column…they/you, need to mention this column in an expression of interest, as this opportunity is offered nowhere else.
WANTED..2 VOLUNTEER UNDERWATER EXPLORERS 18-23 yo. To join Australian Geographic Society 2012 “Life Time of Adventure” awardee Don McIntyre, on one of the greatest Underwater Maritime History explorations the Pacific has seen.You do not need experience, just passion and a sense on adventure. You need to be an experienced snorkeler, get a passport, fly to Tonga and have travel insurance. It involves many untouched 16-18th centaury wrecks, uninhabited TropicalIsland “BLUE BASE” camp on “Nomuka Iki”, and 5 star dive support vessel ‘ICE”. Three years of planning now moving to operational phase. Govt. permits and Kingdom of Tonga Royal Family support. You will be assisting with preliminary surveys and investigations of known wrecks in the Kingdom of Tonga and playing with whales!. Sign on for 10 weeks, starting 1st July. 2013. details at www.bluetreasure.me Each $5000 sponsorship includes PADI diver training and 10 weeks all found on “BLUE BASE”
THE REAL WORLD
When I finally stepped off the plane in Australia at the end of summer, I did what I always do, go buy a Tradeaboat. But what the #%#@#!!! My Febuary Adventure column was missing!! A quick call to the editor revealed, that for the first time, it was pulled right at the last minute, when about to go to press. It was considered a bit “hot” legally. Having previously instigated one of the largest defamation claims the NSW supreme court had ever seen in 1989, and won, I fully supported the reasoning and quickly realized that my peaceful Pacific life style, has divorced me a little too much from the real world!! OPPS! None the less, it is a story worth telling. So here is the short, radically “cool” version of the “general plot”, without prejudice of course.
Much of Tonga’s past maritime history has been lost. Many old sailing ships, “killed” and plundered by Tongan warriors for Iron and cannon hundreds of years ago, remain hidden beneath the ocean. In 2009, an anchor believed to belong to William Mariner’s ship, the “Port Au Prince” was discovered in Ha’ apai. This discovery was widely reported around the world, as the ‘Port Au Prince” is a famous treasure ship. The Dive company ‘Fins and Flukes” who made the discovery turned it into a successful tourist attraction for divers.
In August last year, the discovery of the actual wreck of the “Port Au Prince” in Ha’apai was announced and made headlines all around the world. It was exciting news. This wreck and the stories surrounding it, changed the course of Tongan history forever. The wreck site is of national significance and is woven into the very making of the nation and should be considered a “National Treasure” and subsequently a Heritage site. This wreck deserves a full archeological survey, investigation and accurate documentation, with every item recovered, going through a detailed conservation processes, to ensure the artifacts are preserved correctly.
Ultimately, a site management plan could be developed, which may allow it then to be utilized, as a world class heritage dive site, attracting divers from around the world.
At 11am on Tuesday the 13th November, unannounced to the people of Ha’ apai, a ferry positioned itself above the anchor of the Port au Prince. With the support of a foreign dive team, the anchor was “apparently” brutally ripped from the bottom and dragged up the stern of the ferry, using its mooring winch. No assessment of impacts caused by the removal, appear to have been undertaken. “Apparently” No attempt was made to survey and document the site before removal, nor any attempt made to handle this priceless icon gently, with the care and the respect it deserved, mitigating further damage. You can read all about these events on our www.bluetreasure.me blog. It was a sad day.
I and my team of friends on ICE, are humble guest in the Kingdom of Tonga. I respect and admire the rich cultural heritage and tread gently where I go. I love everything about the “Friendly Isles”. In the years ahead, I will work with the people of Tonga, to uncover some of this lost maritime history, in a responsible, accountable and transparent way. I will always place great importance, on the cultural and environmental sensitivities of any wreck site. I will never claim a wreck or anything on it for us, as they are all owned by the people of Tonga, but I will do everything possible to stop the senseless damage of their historically significant wreck sites……