Founded by Dr. Clive Cussler, the National Underwater and Marine Agency (NUMA) is a non-profit, volunteer foundation dedicated to preserving our maritime heritage through the discovery, archaeological survey and conservation of shipwreck artifacts.

Clive Cussler, Founder of NUMA

4So many books have been written about the late Mel Fisher, readers have to wonder if there’s room in the bookcase for another one. Without doubt this one, “The Atocha Odyssey: The Life & Legacy of a Treasure Hunting Family,” is not just another story about treasure and author Pat Clyne is not just a former member of Fisher’s “Golden Crew.” He was a close friend of Fisher and remains even closer to his family today.

Thanks to Clyne, readers can view family photos never published, anecdotes never told and personal reflections revealed for the first time. Clyne sheds new light on the Senora de Atocha and the events leading up to Fisher’s 17-year search for the elusive Spanish galleon. It’s all here, told in an engaging writing style that starts with the renowned treasure salvor’s birth in Hobart, Indiana, 1922. more »

Sad Saga of the Jacob Jones

Navy Diver salvages unexploded munitions.

Navy Diver salvages unexploded munitions.

Why would anyone want to dive on a shipwreck that’s broken in half and scattered all over the bottom of the ocean?

“It’s the story,” says Dr. Bill Scheibel, a veteran east coast diver who has logged many dives on the Jacob Jones, a U.S. Navy destroyer sunk by a German submarine during World War II.  “In this saga, only an avid wreck diver can appreciate the adage, ‘Truth is stranger than fiction.’” more »

Shipwrecks Of Barbados

via Barbados Tourism Authority

via Barbados Tourism Authority

When Englishman Charles Wolverstone founded Barbados in 1628, he wrote in his log that he bumped into an “out of place island.” The pear-shaped 166-square-mile island does seem misplaced compared to the graceful, curving half-moon pattern of other islands that stretch from Puerto Rico to South America. It may stand alone, but not out of sight, nor out of mind, as throngs of tourists visit this easternmost West Indies island.

Just as Wolverstone bumped into Barbados more than 300 years ago, veteran dive guide Willie Hewitt and I bumped into seven shipwrecks in three days. Yet, we hardly scratched the surface of the hundreds of ships lost off the island in centuries of seafaring mishaps. Willie loves the Stavronikita, better known as the “Stav, a 355-foot freighter whose upper decks and superstructure are easy to reach at 70 to 80 feet. Scuttled in 1978 as an artificial reef for divers and fishermen, this “dark horse” as Willie calls it, sits upright in the sand surrounded by fish and coral.  more »

Searching For Bottles Leads To Shipwreck “Treasure”

Treasure Coins

Treasure Coins

I had no idea I would learn so much about shipbuilding and “treasure coins” when Bob Allen and I discovered an old wooden sailing vessel sunk off Andros Island in the Bahamas. We were searching for bottles in the shallow waters of Fresh Creek Inlet, Andros Town, when we spotted a shipwreck listing slightly to its starboard side near a sandy embankment. The wreck was about 75 to 80 feet long and could have been one of the many inter-island cargo carriers that plied Bahamian waters years ago. The tall, once sturdy mainmast was broken in half, a sign that the vessel might have been caught in a storm after running aground on the shoal. more »

Hilma Hooker: Lady With a Past

Diver photographs fish on wreck of Hilma Hooker. Photo by Ellsworth Boyd.

Diver photographs fish on wreck of Hilma Hooker. Photo by Ellsworth Boyd.

She’s battered and beat and not very pretty, but she charms her visitors just the same. Her age doesn’t matter. She grows stately with time, enshrined forever in a boundless sea. She’s Bonaire’s Hilma Hooker, a lady with a past.

She sailed under five aliases, carried an illegal cargo and was wanted by the FBI. Built and christened the Midsland in Holland in 1951, she visited a host of foreign ports while changing owners frequently over 30 years. She also sailed at the Mistrial, William Express, Ana, Doric Express and, finally, the Hilma Hooker. Her last port of registry was San Andres, Columbia, South America. more »

 

photo of Clive Cussler © Los Angeles Photographer Rob Greer