There is a wealth of information for both beginning and advanced wreck divers packed into this comprehensive volume. Some of the topics covered are types of ships and how they deteriorate; researching and finding shipwrecks; methods of actually searching for a wreck; specialized equipment and predive preparation; what to look for and expect in a charter boat; diving the wreck with special emphasis on hazards and navigation; clues to use for identifying a wreck; artifact recovery, conservation and legal considerations; special techniques of photographing wrecks. Also includes a section on the contribution wreck diving makes to our understanding of maritime history. Covered in the appendices are lists of research sources in the United States and overseas. Written in an engaging style with ample use of the authors’ first hand experiences.
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Henry Keatts is a Professor of Biology an Oceanography, Suffolk Community College, Long Island, NY. In addition to being widely published in his field, Keatts is the author of New Englands Legacy of Shipwrecks and Field Guide to Sunken U-Boats, both published by the American Merchant Marine Museum Press (United States Merchant Marine Academy), and Guide to Shipwreck Diving: New York and New Jersey, published by Pisces Books. He is co-author of the Dive Into History series (u-boats, Warships and U.S. submarines) published by Pisces Books. Keatts writes a column "History Submerged" for Discover Diving magazine. He is a "fellow" of the Explorers Club, an associated member of the Boston Sea Rovers and an honorary member of the Gillmen Club (Hartford, CT) and the Adirondack Underwater Explorers (Saratoga Springs, NY). He is president of the American Society of Oceanographers. His underwater photography complements both his academic and avocational pursuits.
Brian Skerry is an underwater photojournalist based in Massachusetts. Although he has worked with a variety of subjects, his primary focus has been on shipwrecks, having logged in an excess of 600 decompression dives in their pursuit. Among the wrecks Brian has documented, are the luxury liner Andrea Doria, eight German U-boats, and the civil war ironclad U.S.S. Monitor. His work has been featured by numerous national clients including Sports Illustrated, American Heritage and National Geographic television.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
From the wooden timbers of a Basque whaling ship off Labrador, to an intact United States aircraft carrier in the lagoon at Bikini, or a Swedish warship's cannon-strewn debris field in Stockholm Harbor, the maritime history of mankind rests not only in dusty volumes of forgotten text, but in the sea itself.
Since the time that man first ventured forth upon the sea, he has left in his wake a tangible history, a history in the form of shipwrecks. It is a history that tells how our predecessors lived, worked and thought. It depicts the struggles, battles and conflict of bygone eras that today with the luxury of hindsight often seem so unimportant. It is a history of people who had epic courage and a thirst for adventure and knowledge. It is a history of ourselves.
As occupants of the second half of the twentieth century, we possess a unique opportunity to explore this tangible history firsthand. With the advent of scuba (self-contained underwater breathing apparatus), we have the freedom to visit our maritime legacy in the field and are not relegated to merely reading about it or viewing it behind glass in a museum. Unlike those before us who set sail upon the sea to learn more about their world, we set forth beneath it to learn more about them. To dive on shipwrecks is to embark on a multi-faceted journey, a journey that begins with an innate human catalyst - curiosity.
Since the earliest days of mankind's evolution, the human species has demonstrated an undying curiosity of the world in which it lives. It could well be that curiousity was the impetus for man's evolutionary ancestors leaving the primordial sea in search of a new life on land. It is without question the driving force that returns man to the sea in search of his heritage.
Diving shipwrecks, perhaps more so than most undersea pursuits, provides an outlet for this inquisitive nature we possess. New divers and seasoned veterans alike share a sense of wonder when visiting a wreck for the first time. We swim over the rusting hulls or rotting timbers anxiously shining our dive lights under fallen beams or into dark open hatchways, always searching, always hoping. During these submerged sojourns we seek souvenirs, images, or knowledge with which we can return home richer than we left, richer by fuflfillment of accomplishment, not monetary gain.
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