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Captain Trevor Jackson

I started diving with my brother back in about 1980, we saved up our lawn mowing money and bought a single 63cf tank and a second hand reg between us, and we used to dive using the ''buddy breathing technique''. One of us would tie the tank on with a bit of old rope and the other would swim alongside, passing the reg between breaths. We had a fair bit of trouble getting the tank filled on occasion so in 1983 we both did our open water tickets and were forced into buying another set of gear to keep the instructor happy [how things have changed] After leaving high school I deferred university and decided to go fishing for a year or two, which turned into ten and along the way a lot of dives in a lot of conditions were logged.

In 1987 cyclone Aivu swept the north Qld coast, sinking a lot of small boats in the Whitsunday area and some opportunistic friends and I made quite a few bob salvaging yachts and pleasure craft in the latter half of that year and pretty soon I found myself employed full time as a commercial diver. I worked in the New Zealand oil fields for a couple of years before travelling to Europe to further my qualifications and attempted to gain the coveted HSE Part 2 ticket [Deep Mixed Gas]. Unfortunately my "heavy bones" prevented me from passing the required medical so I decided to bum around for a year or six before returning to Australia and buying a hole in the water in which to throw money [charter boat]. In between Charters I like to find wrecks.

Trevor now skippers for Mike Ball charters in Cairns.

By Trevor Jackson - Esperance Star We have saying on board the boat that gets bandied around whenever we are out searching for wrecks. The saying [actually its only just a phrase] is, "Bell Day", and it refers to our never-ending quest to find a god damned Bell on one of these wrecks. Over the years we've found some fantastic souvenirs, sextants, brass lights, compass binnacles and even a beautiful matching pair of ships telegraphs.…
By Trevor Jackson - Esperance Star In the chart drawer of the Esperance Star is a little black book full of marks. These marks have been collected over many years. When I was a fisherman I used to write down the GPS position of anything unusual I observed on the sounder. My fellow trawler men and I would share this information so that we could minimize the chances of snagging our gear and possibly losing…
By Trevor Jackson - Esperance Star Most times when I hear this, which is about three times an hour, I have to agree. But there are always days in any profession that you'd rather be home in bed waiting for the end. Mine is no exception. A couple of winters ago, in the throws of a stonking westerly wind on the eastern side of Moreton Island, such a day occurred. Apart from the thirty odd…
By Trevor Jackson - Esperance Star At about 7.30 in the morning on the Wednesday just gone, a long term customer of the boats rang me with what seemed like a normal request. "Trev we'd like to hire the boat for a 24hr trip, leaving tonight if you're available, and coming back tomorrow evening". "Sounds fine", I said, 'usual terms and conditions, no wuckin furies'. I lumbered out of bed, shook the cobwebs out, and…
By Trevor Jackson - Esperance Star Frank Paulson is well known and respected in the world of Commercial Diving. To a lesser but more notorious extent he is also well known as a ******-stirring antagonist on the Diveoz discussion forums. But Frank (despite his shortcomings) comes with good credentials, and as young professional divers we shared many an adventure. The first thing Frank ever said to me was, "Well that was a bloody stupid thing…
By Trevor Jackson - Esperance Star When I was a young teenager at high school, there was a few bob to be made in the holidays working on the local fishing trawlers. At certain times during the year the prawns would be running fairly thick and more often than not it was easy to get a few trips if you could prove you were keen and hard working. My first job was on a beautiful…
By Trevor Jackson - Esperance Star A few weeks after our return and our excitement was still running high. We had decided to get the divers who had participated on the first expedition together for an informal meeting to discuss what each of us had seen on the wreck. We thought that collectively we might be able to collate a big picture from our individual small ones. We came up with the idea that each…
By Trevor Jackson - Esperance Star It all started at the Qld Maritime Museum at Southbank. They have a map there showing the rough whereabouts of most of the wrecks of significance lost in Qld. There were some familiar names on the map, famous wrecks like the Yongala, the Kowarra and the Quetta, sunk with massive losses of life and little trace, but these wrecks were well known now,and were for the most part too…
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