Mark Marchetti was born and raised near San Jose, California in what is now known as the Silicon Valley. Fascinated by the sea he spent a great deal of time at the beaches near Santa Cruz, hanging out with friends or surfing. Diving has taken him all over the world exposing him to many of the exotic people and places he writes about. He has been a diving instructor and done work as a commercial diver. He continues to travel and dive on a regular basis. His writing mixes historical facts with legends and fiction.
Just released in time for Halloween, ‘The Quick, The Dead and the Undead’, a western horror anthology. I was honored to be included with some of the best and most successful western authors of our day on this collaborative project. The book is currently available in the KINDLE format and will soon be released as a paperback on AMAZON BOOKS.
Grady Jones life was hard as a child, and it didn’t get better with age. His father died when he was young and a few years later his mother was killed in a senseless shooting. He was on his own until the Reverend Barnaby took him in. Tensions were high in that period just before the Civil War and they lived in Ohio at that time, a border state. The Reverend was anti-slavery and a staunch abolitionist who worked with the underground railroad helping slaves flee to freedom.
It’s been a while since I posted anything so it’s time to catch up. We finally made the trip to Australia, and I made the dives on the Great Barrier Reef. We weren’t in the normal one-day tourist locations but were WAY OUT in the Coral Sea… normally eight hours from the mainland and were out there for five days. In addition to the reef, we toured the rain forest. The country is way too big to see in one adventure, so we stayed in Cairns, Queensland. The Great Barrier Reef was all I expected it to be. I’ve attached a few shark photos and reef pictures.
Fort Smith, Arkansas sat on the border of Indian Territory in 1875. It was a rowdy place filled with brothels, saloons, and outlaws. It was said that there was ‘no law west of Arkansas’ and not much in Fort Smith. That changed when Judge Isaac Parker was appointed to the bench. Known as ‘the hanging judge’, Judge Parker was stern and unbending in his application of the law… his court often referred to as the ‘court of the damned’. The jail at Fort Smith where outlaws were held awaiting trial wasn’t a pleasant place to be and was considered to be ‘hell on the border’.
The wreck of the Hilma Hooker is one of the best wreck dive sites in the Caribbean. The story of how the 235 foot long by 36 foot beam Colombian cargo ship was sunk is a good story and a nice piece of history.
The Kansas/Missouri border was a dangerous place during the Civil War and in the years that followed. Kansas entered the Union as an anti-slavery State only months before the war started and was bordered by the Pro-slavery State of Missouri. ‘Border Ruffians’ like William Quantrill fought for the Confederacy while ‘Free Staters’ and ‘Jayhawkers’ fought for the Union. They were all guerrilla fighters led by men of often questionable morality. There was only some measure of legitimacy given to them by the Confederate and Union governments respectively because they claimed they were fighting for the same cause. The results on both sides was the same… people killed while towns were sacked and burned.
The Ranger is the prequel to the novel Texas Jack!
This brand new adventure follows the story of a young man named Britt Logan who is a member of a wagon train on the way to Oregon in 1852. He and his parents are among just a few non-Mormons in a Mormon wagon train heading to the Salt Lake Valley. Their plan was to leave the train at the South Pass and head to Oregon with another train, but when Britt’s parents are killed by an influential member of the church, Britt finds himself on the run.
Back when I started diving… 50+ years ago, my primary interest other than exploring the undersea world was hunting. Spearfishing, lobster, abalone and scallop hunting were my main focus. As years went by I had visions of becoming a great underwater photographer. I’ve won a few awards for underwater photography over the years but back then it was a very difficult skill to master, which I never really did. I started with a Kodak Instamatic camera in a plastic box before moving up to a Nikonos camera and then 35 mm SLR cameras with large bulky housings. Strobe lights attached to the cameras made using them difficult to do sometimes and a complete underwater camera setup was an expensive investment.
As the name suggests, the Catalina Goby (Lythrypnus dalli) lives around Santa Catalina Island. It’s about 1/2 – 3/4-inch-long and can be found among the crevasses of rocks down to about 75 meters. It’s considered a nano fish and lives in the west coast waters from California to Peru. They remain gender neutral until they establish dominance within the harem. The most dominant will then become male and grow a longer dorsal fin.