Dive Truk and sink whisky
Fine scotch malt up for grabs in book prize draw
The latest book from Rod Macdonald takes us to Truk Lagoon, one of the best wreck diving destinations in the world.
And anyone who orders a copy of his latest historical narrative-cum-dive guide will also be entered into a raffle for a very special Scottish prize.
One lucky winner, chosen at random will receive a bottle of 21 year-old Glenfarclas malt whisky, boxed in a gift set with author Ian Buxton’s ‘101 world whiskies to see before you die’.
Native Scotsman Rod is no stranger to wreck diving, and a prolific publisher too, producing books on everywhere from his native Scottish shores to the South China Sea.
Publishing this summer, Dive Truk Lagoon: the Japanese WW11 Pacific shipwrecks is a new guide to perhaps the greatest wreck diving location in the world. Scores of virtually intact large WWII wrecks filled with cargoes of tanks, trucks, artillery, beach mines, shells and aircraft rest in the crystal clear waters of the lagoon, each a man-made reef teeming with life.
Truk was the main forward anchorage for the Japanese Imperial Navy and merchant fleet during the early days of WWII. Protected by a 140-mile coral barrier reef, with only a few heavily defended entrances, it seemed a well-protected safe anchorage.
By 1944, the tide of war had turned against the Japanese, and the Allies were pushing westwards across the Pacific islands towards the Japanese homeland. Sensing this, the Imperial Japanese Navy scattered but the merchant ships remained to offload their cargoes of aircraft, tanks, artillery, mines and munitions.
Other heavily laden supply ships continued to arrive, unaware of the Allied assault plans – called Operation Hailstone.
In total secrecy, nine U.S. carriers holding more than 500 combat aircraft steamed towards Truk. Soon, hundreds of aircraft were involved and dive-bombers and torpedo-bombers spent the remainder of the day and the following day sinking all the large ships trapped in the lagoon.
The sunken ships of Truk Lagoon with their war cargoes were largely forgotten about until 1969, when an expedition by Jacques Cousteau located and filmed many of the wrecks.
Truk’s secret was out and the beautiful wrecks, untouched since WWII, have proved an irresistible lure for thousands of divers each year since then.
Dive Truk Lagoon: the Japanese WW11 Pacific shipwrecks is published in August 2014 by Whittles Publishing, priced £30. More info on the Whittles Publishing website.
Second edition of John Lamb's 1999 reference work
Innovative new BCD due to arrive in late 2017