2000 Balaena Photos II

All images on this page 2000 by Christina Young.

The Balaena is a large, unidentified wooden sailing ship in 160 feet of water in the New Jersey Mud Hole.  Years ago the late George Hoffman controversially recovered the bell with the name "Balaena" (meaning "whale") on it.  However, none of the ships researched bearing this name matched the size or description of the wreck.  The wreck does appear as though it may be the remains of an old whaling ship.  Today it is like a huge, wooden bathtub on the bottom of the ocean, as the wooden decks have deteriorated and collapsed, and mostly just the hull is intact.  Broken masts lay around the wreck.

The following pictures (all images from video) are from the voyage of the Depth Charge to the Balaena, Saturday, October 21, 2000.  (Continued from September trip to Balaena on page I).

Graig Gutowski, Bill Cleary, and "Julio" Mazraani stand around and shoot the breeze while we fuel up in preparation to leave for the Balaena on this crisp, fall morning at Clark's Landing.  Although our destination is one of the Black Sunday wrecks, the marine forecast is marginal and might force us to stay inshore.
We end up heading to the Balaena in the Mud Hole instead of fighting rough seas to go offshore.  This is Julio on top of the Balaena's starboard gunwhale just after he tied in with sisal.  We did it George Hoffman style -- he tied in while I shot the grapnel to the surface on a bag.
Searching for artifacts in the wooden wreckage at the bottom.
Not much of the Balaena is left except for the wooden hull.
Long, brass spikes like this one stick out all over the place.
Heading back along the top of the gunwhale to the tie-in point. 
Dean Repola (left) passes Julio and I on his way down to the wreck.
I take this picture of Billy and the Depth Charge after my dive... sure is a nice looking boat, isn't it?  I hope you have enjoyed these pictures of our Balaena trips!

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