Local author recounts a life as a submariner

Pete Baines was manager of the Wynnum & Districts Chamber of Commerce between February 2008 and when he retired in July 2015. During that time he drove the chamber to heady heights in terms of membership and also oversaw the Chamber running programs supported by Federal government aimed at helping small to medium sized businesses in Brisbane. He also initiated the Wynnum Revitalisation Project, out of which came the Wynnum colourband and a number of other local projects, including this website, the markets, the Republic of Wynnum and the Illuminations Festival.

Those who were involved in the Chamber knew that Pete came from a background in the Navy, but there was never really enough time at meetings to find out more. When he retired, he decided quite literally to ‘write the book’ telling of his time in the Navy in the submarines, and that book – Deep Down Under – published last year.

Pete in his Navy days

It’s a fascinating insight into life in the Navy (Royal Australian Navy and the Royal Navy) during the sixties and particularly of life aboard a navy submarine. Although the book leans heavily on Pete’s own experiences, it is told via the central character, Terry Beach, who joins the navy at seventeen years of age in 1961. As the author explains, ‘the names of the characters are fictitious for reasons that will become obvious… but if you do recognise yourself, your secret is safe with me’.

Pete also makes sure that the language used is authentic to the time and explains all navy-speak in a short glossary of sailor slang at the start of each chapter. It also covers in some detail the tragic loss of HMAS Voyager which sank during manoeuvres when it collided with HMAS Melbourne off Jervis Bay in 1964.

Since writing the book, Pete has also published another, this time a work of fiction, called Blunder Down Under about two sailors who run into all sorts of problems after moving from the UK to Australia. He is also well into another fiction novel, Dead End at Barra Bay, due for release before Christmas. Interestingly, this yarn has nothing to do with the navy.

His first two books are available on Amazon…

Deep Down Under
Blunder Down Under

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