From ERIC SHACKLE in Sydney, Australia. <ericshackle*bigpond.com>
Now that gold is worth more than $1800 an ounce -- the most it has ever been -- Australian adventurer Don McIntyre could not have chosen a better time to set out on his Blue Treasure expedition.
He is about to sail from Tarawa in a 15.2 metre 40-tonne steel ice-strengthened motor sailor dive support vessel named ICE. Two crew members have already been selected, and McIntyre is looking for others to join them -- and to share the costs.
Tarawa, an island in the central Pacific, was the scene of a fierce battle in WWII, in which thousands of US and Japanese forces lost their lives.
In his latest blog post, McIntyre reports: "After crossing the equator Sunday weather was fantastic. We made a call to Macca [ABC radio host Ian MacNamara] on Australia All Over. We listen to Radio Australia every Sunday which was fun as he has many listeners in Australia and around the \Pacific.
"Then we passed another cruising yacht... going the other way..They left England 20 years ago and are still cruising..They were suprised to see us, as they heard us talking to Macca a few hours before on their radio.
"We cruised past great islands and were settling into another moonlit night with light winds when..silience!.. the engine just stopped dead like someone switched it off. It was 1930hrs.".
You can follow the ICE and contact its crew by visiting its website:
and see photos: http://s1091.photobucket.com/albums/i386/Bluetreasure-Ice/