I spent last week in Australia, as my elderly mother BETTY had a fall and then a stroke, before passing peacefully to another world. It was the end of her great adventure. We all have mothers and they are very special, so I was happy to be there with her at the end.
This is the latest update for the NEWS section on this web site.
Wow, the years just rocket by and now we are making final preparations to ICE in Fiji, before we head to Tonga for another interesting season , our fifth. It was sad to see so many areas in the Ha’ Apia group devastated by a cyclone over summer, with the loss of a life and gardens ruined. Our thoughts are with you all and we hope you have a speedy recovery.
Whilst we already have some confirmed wreck sites in Tonga, that will require further ongoing surveys and investigation sometime in the future, the decision has been made to focus totally on wreck location this season. We are about to start the hunt for the exact location of mysterious wrecks, that so many locals have told us exist, yet they have not been able to give any credible details or proof! I guess this is coming down to be a real treasure hunt now. We had been promised information from a few locals, that either never eventuated, or could not be proven, yet I do believe/hope there will be some interesting discoveries this year.
We are shipping to Tonga, a new fast dive/research boat “IKI” from America and have purchased the world’s smallest, lightest and most efficient, high density, total field Magnetometer ( Marine Magnetics, EXPLORER), hugely more accurate than the usual Proton Magnetometers, but unfortunately twice the price. With all the gear, computers and software, it is a $50,000 investment, so stay tuned! I believe we may be undertaking the first ever Mag. Surveys of many areas in Tonga. Our Research also suggests that there may well be “other” wrecks, that no one has ever seen, or heard of before.
Interestingly, I hope to use the same Mag to find William Mariners “Lost” Cannons ( that were discarded as too big to handle, once removed from the ship, by the local warriors at the time) on the beach somewhere North of Pangai.
When we arrive in Nuku Alofa we will commission the Magnetometer and undertake all the training to perfect its operation..then head to Nomuka for the start of Mag. operations. ‘IKI” should arrive sometime in July and after fitting her out with all the gear, we will finally be able to head out to EUA for more Mag work. Shortly after that, we should return to Ha’Apai to continue the hunt. Blue Base will not be fully operational this year, as we only need a small team for the Mag work. Once we think we have located a wreck site, we do a couple of dives to confirm that, then move on to continue the hunt for more wrecks. Next season, 2015, we will start the discovery and investigation surveys on these new wrecks, so we will put a bigger dive/survey team together, as we did last year and open BLUE BASE again.
So, as I have said before, “this is a real adventure with an unknown outcome”…keep up with the blog and soon, we may be able to tell you news of last season, that has not yet been “officially” released!