Welcome to
                                     OCEANS ABOVE AND BELOW
25 years of photography, sailing & Scuba diving around the world.
                                          A Memoir by Ed Vaughan


Overall Timeline | | Crew from Hong Kong

THE BOAT: Mas Alegre (More Fun) is a Standfast 40, designed and built for blue water ocean racing in Breskens, Holland by Franz Maas in 1976 and purchased, second hand, in Newport Beach, California in 1982. It took me five years to prepare her for what was eventually 100,000 miles of sailing starting in '87.
THE DIVE GEAR: Both Scubapro and U.S. Divers regulators. No maintenence was required on these, other than fresh water wash, due to storage in airtight cases by Pelican and plenty of Silicagel when not being used.
THE TANKS: Both steel and aluminium.
THE COMPRESSOR: Rix oil free compressor. Originally built to induct pure, oil free air into U2 aircraft at extreme high altitude to detect radiation over The Soviet Union during the cold war. The Rix worked flawlessly for the entire six years.


That's Julie Spencer at the wheel.
She's about the best sailor/SCUBA diver (she's an instructor)/cook and friend anyone could have.
You can contact her at if you have any questions about the 6 year 46,000 mile trip around the world.
She's living in California now surrounded with her friends and family. We are still good friends even though I chose to keep sailing and she chose the Earth!

Here you will see her in various oceans of the world checking out some pretty interesting things.......scroll down and have a look.

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Here is a cave with a huge Gorgonian coral fan growing down from its ceiling
This and the next two photos are in the Bismark Archepelego north of Papua New Guinea.

underwater cave

Another cave with a large Black coral hanging down as if to decorate the place.

Japanese seaplane wreck


A World War Two Japanese seaplane wreck in 110 feet of very clear water.
Hasselblad ELX, Fuji 100, Oceanic Flash.


A Trigger Fish in the Central Atlantic at Ascencion Island.
Ascencion Island is almost exactly in the middle of the Atlantic between Africa and the American continent and south of the equator.
It is an emergency landing strip for the Space Shuttle, now discontinued, and it is an intelligence gathering center for British and American operatives who listen in on cell phone and satellite communication.
Yachts may stop there for 24 hours or for repairs only.
I have forgotten what I was repairing, but we stayed for four days.

The Hermit Islands

hermit-islands squall at sea

Those are the Hermit Islands on the horizon to the left of that squall.


The Hermit Islands are 90 miles north of Papua New Guinea and about 100 miles south of the equator.
There are 130 people living in one of the few environmentally pure places left on Earth.
The inhabitants are all Seventh Day Adventists and do not celebrate Christmas or New Years. I was there for the month of December 2004 and it was very different indeed.
I visited the Hermits in 1988 and in 2004. In 1988 I arrived just after Jacques Cousteau and both of his boats had been there and Cousteau himself wrote in the guest book that the Hermit Islands were his favorite diving place on Earth. The lagoon was a diving paradise.
In 2004, I returned expecting to have the same experience. But, diving there was strangely quiet and a bit eerie and I had no idea why. A day later I realized what it was. I had encountered no fish over a foot long. They were all gone. The islanders had sold the fishing rights to Taiwanese fishermen who had come into the lagoon and decimated the fish population.

Sea Whip Coral


A sea whip coral growing very happily in the Chagos Archipelago in the middle of the Indian Ocean 1000 miles South of India. Another really, really beautiful place.

anenome-symbiosis in the caribbean.jpg

A sea anemonie with some tiny symbiotic fish living in it. They have an agreement: "We'll clean you", say the little fish, and "I'll protect you", says the anemonie. These guys were in the Caribbean Sea near Martineque.

Goat Hunters

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Some goat hunters having lunch on the beach in Madagascar in the Mozambique Channel.
If you look very closely, you can see Mas Alegre at anchor on the left side of the photo about where the bow of their boat is.
They were very friendly but insisted that I eat some BBQ'd goat before they would let me take a photograph. It's there in front. It was very tasty.

hammerhead-sharks near cocos-island costa-rica

Very large Hammerhead Sharks at 60 feet on Cocos Island, Costa Rica. They were shot with a wide lens and were actually within 15 feet of us.
We were glad to get out of the water after this!

Arrow Crab


An Arrow Crab enjoying the morning sun (underwater of course!) and waiting for breakfast somewhere in the Caribbean.

islanders-canoe in the solomon-islands

An islander's canoe in The Solomon Islands. All the island groups of the world have different canoe designs. I like this photo because of the horizontal color changes.

Mas Alegre in Alaska


Mas Alegre in Alaska.
While I was there, tied to that bouy, a small floatplane landed in the water and taxied up to me. A beautiful woman pilot leaned out of the side window and shouted, "Do you want to send any mail?" I said, "No thanks!", and she flew away. Wow.

fisherman in bay of islands new-zealand

This gentleman was kind enough to show me the last fish he caught in Bay Of Islands, New Zealand.

St. George, Martinique.


Mas Alegre anchored off a small town, St. George, on Martinique.


Ever feel really different from the others in your school? I wonder if the orange fish does.
Please click here to see more of our trip around the world and more of our photographs.
John Steinbeck said, "Like the pen, the camera is as good as the man who uses it. It can be the extension of mind and heart..."

site navigation compass rose Let's Get Back t' the TOP o' This Page wi' ya, Matey Let's Be Gettin' ya Back t' HOME Port, Matey Let's be Movin' On to the Next Port You're not THAT lucky.

A Memoir by Ed Vaughan

25 years of photography, sailing & SCUBA diving around the world.

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If you like any of my photos and would like to own one to display on your wall either at home or business premises, please contact me via this website and I will be happy to assist you with a quotation.

©2017 Ed Vaughan

This website is dedicated to Barry M. Snewin who was my good friend and diving instructor.

Last modified: July 30 2017 09:04:10.