Recently my newest book, ‘Allah’s Scorpion’ was released in both Kindle and paperback versions. It’s available through Amazon books. This is a modern cowboy story and something a bit out of the normal for me. My publisher asked me to take a stab at it, so I did. I’ve included the text from the back of the book to give you a bit of the story line.
Also, the very first novel I wrote back in 2012 is going to be released as a second edition. I released that book as a ‘self-published’ novel and didn’t have the support I have now. So many mistakes! So, like many authors before me, I went back and made changes and edits so it will now be released as a ‘second edition’ with a new cover that’s currently being worked on.
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.
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.
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.
These sharks lay on the bottom and mind their own business… until someone like me comes along. They have two very sharp needle-like spines at the dorsal fins and they will hurt! Trust me, I know. They also have several rows of teeth and a crushing bite.
We were diving off a small, remote island called Mayaguana, the easternmost island in the district of the Bahamas. The diving there wasn’t that good. There’s about 30 local residents and not much in the way of services. They have medical folks who show up about once a month. I’m swimming along and there’s a good size Caribbean Spiny Lobster (Panulirus argus) walking across the sand so I grabbed him. He didn’t make it to the dinner table, I let him go.
The wreck of the ‘Hermes‘ is also a popular Bermuda wreck site. There was a large Lion Fish waiting for me when I arrived. Shortly after that he was speared and later met me for lunch. Lion fish are delicious! The ‘Hermes’ was a U.S. Coast Guard WWII buoy tender that was sunk as an artificial reef in 1985.
The island of Bermuda is a wreck dive paradise. The island is surrounded by ship wrecks of all types. The ‘Mary Celestia’ is one of the more famous wrecks. The ship was a steam powered side paddle boat and was sunk in 1864. This is a photo of Pam next to what’s left of one of the paddle wheels. The ship was running guns for the Confederacy during the Civil War. The Confederates would trade cotton with the English for guns and then run the blockade back to the south. She was a victim of the many reefs around the island.
On a shark dive in Roatan I was in the water with about thirty sharks… mostly small in the 4-5 ft. range but there were a few like this one in the 6-8 ft. range. Lots of close up shots!
We encountered this large grouper near the ship wreck of El Aguila (The Eagle) in Roatán, at a depth of 100 ft. The ship is 210′ long but in 1998 when hurricane Mitch came through it broke into three pieces… even down 100 feet!