Did you watch Jacques Cousteau in the series ‘The Underwater World of Jacque Cousteau’ on telly in the late 60s/70s?
Like many I was enthralled by this series, it was always one ‘not to be missed.’ I had joined a sub-aqua club in my late teens, together with a friend. I’m not saying we were influenced by the curly golden-haired hunk advertising the sub-aqua club, because my friend and I swam regularly, but he certainly helped.
I often teased my husband that he only asked me out because I was a member of the diving club. We used to dive in the cold waters all around the UK, where often the visibility was only 10foot, but sometimes usually between July/August the visibility was spectacular up to 40foot! Fantastic for the UK.
Over the years I have dived in many parts of the world including the Bahamas, and recently as 2010 I was privileged to dive with stingrays in Antiqua, the Caribbean. My husband went on to be a professional diver in many parts of the world.
I use my diving experience to describe the underwater world in my third book of the ‘Fallyn’ trilogy ‘Fallyn and the Sea Dragons’, published on Amazon. (special offer on the first two books of the ‘Fallyn’ trilogy up to 22nd May)
In the book, Allan and friends join a sub-aqua club in their ‘real’ world and use their knowledge of diving techniques to great effect in their medieval ‘dream’ world. They dream to Fallyn and friends the information how to make a diving bell and diving equipment. As well as meeting the sea dragons, they meet pirates and a monster of the deep! I describe the children’s diving holiday in Pembrokeshire, where I lived for a time. It was my favourite diving area in the UK.
I was interested to find when I was doing research for the book there were many Welsh pirates, and here is an extract from the book, which includes some of the details I found.
Mr Hartland looked at his son. ‘I know you lot would rather go snorkelling again wouldn’t you? But it should be interesting.’ He read from his guidebook again to spice the children’s interest because he had overheard them talking about a pirate called Black Bert, which he had misheard as Black Bart.
‘Caldey Island was known to be a stopping off point for pirates, including the infamous Welshman, Henry Morgan. It says here that there were quite a few Welsh pirates. There was a Captain Howell Davies, who was responsible for forcing the Pembrokeshire born Bartholomew Roberts, aka Black Bart into piracy.’
He saw that his comments had the desired effect when he saw the gleam of interest in Martin’s and the other children’s eyes.
‘Why was he forced into becoming a pirate, Mr Hartland?’ Allan enquired.
‘It says here,’ Mr Hartland stabbed a paragraph with his index finger, ‘he only earned £3 a month as third mate on a slave ship, so it didn’t take much for him to turn to piracy when he was captured by Howell Davies. Eventually he became a pirate captain himself; it was said that he had some very strict rules for a pirate captain, and he was supposed to be a teetotaller.’
‘Well, well, sounds as if had some sort of morals,’ the twins’ father replied.
Some of you may be interested in Jacques Cousteau so I briefly summarize details of his life.
Jacques-Yves Cousteau, commonly known as Jacques Cousteau. Born on 11 June 1910, died 25 June 1997. He was a French naval officer, explorer, conservationist, filmmaker, innovator, scientist, photographer, author and researcher who studied the sea and all forms of life in water. He co-developed the aqualung and pioneered marine conservation.
In 1950, he founded the French Oceanographic Campaigns (FOC), and leased a ship called Calpyso from Thomas Loel Guiness for a symbolic one franc a year. Cousteau refitted the Calypso as a mobile laboratory for field research, and used the vessel for diving and filming.
A meeting with American television companies created the series The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau. This documentary television series ran for ten years from 1966 to 1976. A second documentary series, The Cousteau Odyssey, ran from 1977 to 1982, amongst others.
In 1977, together with Peter Scott, he received the UN International Environment prize.