ABOUT THE BOOK
This memoir describes exciting events of historical significance in underwater archaeology and planetary ocean modelling during the last 60 years. It provides an informal and entertaining one-stop introduction to a range of marine research topics and to people who work under the sea by diving and in submersibles. The author has made major discoveries in the archaeology of ancient port cities and global sea level change, submerged caves and Ice Age glacial sea level control, also the mapping and excavation of submerged prehistoric settlements that were occupied during Ice Age low sea levels. The underwater cities of Apollonia and Pavlopetri, both first mapped by the author, are still important archaeological remains that tell us about ancient seafaring and the wealth of ancient sea trade. He also led the underwater survey of the submerged Neolithic settlement of Aghios Petros, and explored the seabed migration route between Timor and Australia used by Aborigines about 50,000
years ago. As a disabled person using a wheelchair for the last 52 years the author recalls his traumatic disabling accident, and his memoir may help the cause of employment for disabled people.
The book explains the design of diving equipment, diving safety procedures, and research submersibles, and shows with first-hand experience how these have evolved rapidly during the last 60 years. The author was, during his career, responsible for the safety codes used by scientific research divers globally.
At a time when marine exploitation was accelerating with irrational exuberance in the 1960s, and the damaging impacts were not anticipated, the author travelled round the globe visiting manufacturing companies that were seeking to exploit manganese nodules, as well as fish farms in Japan, and submersible manufacturers in Russia and the USA to assess what was going to be commercially feasible, what would produce too much pollution, and what was just nonsensical. He checks his predictions against what actually happened. In the 1980s and
90s he worked in ocean data management and the design of the Global Ocean Forecasting System. In the final chapter he returns to Apollonia with his young family and concludes with thoughts on the civil war in Libya and the final threats to the ancient cities that he first saw 60 years ago.
Table of Contents
1. Apollonia on my Mind: A team of ten divers map the huge underwater city of Apollonia, in Libya, discover a marble statue under the sea, and make a colour film underwater in 1958-59. This was the first scientifically accurate underwater survey archaeology.
2. For Queen and Country Under the Sea: The Special Boat Service of the Royal Marines trains the author in oxygen diving and parachuting into the sea, after which he collaborates with military divers on a number of operations, including placing a lighthouse on Rockall in 1972.
3. Childhoods: A childhood that includes swimming in the Thames, climbing the tallest structure that then existed in England, and roaming the hills of Mull, leads naturally to an exciting family life after his marriage, and expeditions in which the young children take part.
4. Caves Beneath the Sea: Palace of the Sea Kings: Diving expeditions in the Mediterranean required penetrating deep into submerged caves and undersea tunnels that revealed the history of lower global sea level during the Ice Ages.
5. Round the World to an Octopus Farm: Exploitation of the global ocean expanded rapidly in the 1960s and 70s, including many fanciful and impossible projects that failed. The author visited dozens of laboratories and companies around the world to separate genuine useful potential from fantasy.
6. Cities in the Sea. Over 1000 ancient ports 2000 years old exist in the Mediterranean. The author compiled data on more than 335 of them and dived on more than 200. Using photographs, maps and measurements of the underwater ruins he calculates the location and speed of earthquake movements, and the change of global sea level.
7. Disability: a Statistical Sample of One. A car accident in 1969 left the author paralysed from the chest down. He describes the accident, his rehabilitation, and return to work, with quick adaption to snorkelling, diving, and work around the world in over 60 countries.
8. Scientific Diving: Technology and Safety. The high fatality rate for commercial divers in the North Sea in the 1970s forced the UK Government to introduce strict new regulations for safety. The author led the campaign to ensure that scientific research diving was given its own appropriate rules by 1997, both in the UK and in most countries around the world.
9. From the Law of the Sea to Ocean Forecasting. The author was scientific advisor to the UK Mission to the United Nations at the start of the discussions that produced the new Convention on the Law of the Sea. Combining this experience with his scientific background he participated in the design of the Global Ocean Observing System until after 2000.
10.Stone Age Lands Beneath the Waves. After diving research on submerged prehistoric settlements in Greece, Israel, and South Africa, the author participates from 2010 to 2020 in a project to map all the known submerged prehistoric sites in European seas. This produced evidence of remains at over 2600 sites ranging in age from 5000 to nearly 1 million years.
11.Requiem for Apollonia. The author revisits with his family the underwater Greek city of Apollonia in Libya. They swim over the ruins and find extensive damage from storms and erosion. The great city should be studied again using modern knowledge and technology, but the civil war in Libya has led to more destruction and neglect. The author ends on an optimistic note for the survival of the foundations of the city under the sea.
(Image Ref: Byzantine Columns, Apollonia )