2000 Deep Exploration Photos III

All images on this page 2000 by Christina Young, unless otherwise noted.

The following pictures (all images from video) are from the voyage of the Seeker deep exploration trip, Saturday August 26, 2000.  Over the years, Seeker "deep ex" trips have produced such finds as the "U-Who" (later identified as the U-869), the Sebastian, the Norness, and others.  However, these trips can also turn up duds, because you never know what's beneath a set of numbers until you go down and see what's there!  On this day Capt. Danny Crowell had three sets of numbers to check out.  If the first one didn't turn out, we would move on to the others.  The first set was listed by some fishermen as a "liberty ship".  We shall see!

(Continued from page II)

Enrique Alvarez splashes. 
Bob Ryan prepares to jump in.
Steve Brozyna and Mike Trapani had a great dive.
Richie Kohler retrieved this storm cover from the mystery wreck.  Unfortunately it is aluminum, which nevertheless provides us with a valuable clue.
Mark Nix recovered a cereal bowl and an aluminum cap with a plastic tag with a number on it.  The bottom of the bowl says "Hall" and "Made in USA".
Richie Kohler sneaks up with my camera and catches me enjoying the breeze on the bow of the Seeker on the way back.
Mike Yasky drives the boat back.  This is a cool picture because you can see the reflection of Richie and I in the window as we take it.
So, which ship is it?  This is the mystery to solve!  Although I am convinced that it is a naval vessel due to the gun turret, lack of holds, and general look and "feel" of the wreck, others are still saying a liberty ship.  The only known US Navy vessel I am aware of that was sunk in this area and not yet found by divers is the Benson class destroyer USS Baldwin (pictured at left, US Navy photo).  The Baldwin ran aground at Montauk, was pulled off the beach by naval salvage vessels, and then proceeded to be towed to Philadelphia for repairs.  However, she started taking on water enroute, so the Navy sunk her with gunfire (see Mud, Muscle, and Miracles: Marine Salvage in the United States Navy, by Capt. C.A. Bartholomew, Department of the Navy, 1990).  The wreck that we saw was completely obliterated in half behind the forward superstructure, not what you would think that gunfire could do.  In addition, aluminum fixtures such as storm covers and portholes were not used on Benson class destroyers.  However, the beam dimension, general size, and the sharp, pointed bow would lend credence to some sort of destroyer, or even a coast guard cutter.  We can't wait to return within the next couple of weeks to check on some stuff and bring back even more clues!

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