Project Deep Blue
For over 30 years, one man has dedicated himself to solving
the mystery of the vanished Waratah. New research means new hope of finding her.
In the midst of an unforgiving storm on the ocean, the passenger ship, the Waratah, disappeared in 1909, taking with her over two hundred souls en route to the United Kingdom, leaving behind just one man whose terrifying nightmare of the ship succumbing to the waves caused him to disembark at Durban.
This “Titanic of the South” lies somewhere off the coast of Transkei, waiting for the right adventurer to find her and bring her secrets back to the surface.
The Waratah first captured my attention over three decades ago, when I first read “Scend of the Sea” by Pretoria author, Geoffrey Jenkins. Since that day, I have dedicated my life, my passion and my resources to finding this elusive ship. Time and again, her mystery has drawn me to her and, using the latest and best technology available each time, from SCUBA dives and diving bells, to side-scan sonar and submarines, I have returned again and again, each time getting closer to success. It has been as if this ship is waiting patiently for me to find her, filling me with boyhood dreams of sunken treasure and sailing ships, imagination, faith and focus, I have been charged with the task of solving one of the greatest mysteries of the sea.
But such dreams and passion come with a price. Deep sea exploration requires specialist techniques, methods and equipment, as well as the knowledge and expertise to wield them. None of these comes cheap, and traditional funding methods, such as sponsorships, have always left the project halted at dead ends, leading to disappointing, if any, results.
With this crowd funding project I want to share my dream, the excitement and mystery of such an expedition with you. If you’ve ever dreamed of searching for sunken ships, solving the mysteries of the deep or bringing the ocean’s secrets to the surface, get involved here and together we can make it a reality.
Enjoy live updates on the search as it progresses, followed by the release of a brilliantly beautiful and comprehensive book – the history of the Waratah and Emlyn Brown’s search for it, with vintage and modern photographs, maps and accounts; along with accounts of other wrecks discovered during the search for this doomed vessel.
|Author prepares for aerial survey||Author with search team|
Milestone 1 – R175 000
The Tipping Point – If we reach this, our project is A-go!
● At this point, we can conduct a preliminary magnetometer survey of determined survey area off the Wild Coast. Charter of survey service provider. The book can also be produced, by engaging copy editors, illustrator and designers for book publication of high standard.
Milestone 2 – R350 000
● Here, we can complete a detailed bathometric full colour sweep and mapping of the selected wreck target. The book can be published as well.
Milestone 3 – R630 000
The Ultimate Goal
● We can conduct Ultra High Frequency sonar mapping in absolute detail and, if funds allow, send a remote operated vehicle (ROV) onto the shipwreck to gather images of the wreck. Full, continuous updates will be given through social media and the book can be published.
|Science and Deep Water Sonar at work||SS Waratah full speed into the twilight world of legend|
|Last moments of SS Waratah|