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

Bonaire Windjammer is Ghostly Encounter

The Windjammer Mairi Bhan at Dockside

The Windjammer Mairi Bhan at Dockside

I don’t know who named the Mairi Bhan a “ghost ship.” Perhaps it was the local fishermen, but the moniker has stuck throughout the years. Divers refer to the 239-foot- square-rigged bark as the “Windjammer.” A deep encounter for experienced divers, the three-masted merchant vessel, victim of a storm in 1912, rests on her starboard side close to shore off the port city of Kralendijk, Bonaire, in the Lesser Antilles. A boat or shore dive, the wreck lies in 140 to 180 feet of water directly in front of the Bonaire Petroleum Corporation (BOPEK) fuel oil storage and transportation terminal. more »

USS Arizona Remains Memorial Sanctuary

USS Arizona (credit: US Navy)

USS Arizona (credit: US Navy)

December 7, 2016, commemorated the 75th anniversary of the surprise Japanese attack on the U.S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii. Proclaimed “a date which will live in infamy,” by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, it marked the entry of the United States into World War II.

At battle’s end, 2,403 military and civilian personnel died, more than 1,000 were wounded and 18 ships were lost. The early Sunday morning attack came from 355 warplanes that attacked in two waves from six aircraft carriers of the Japanese Imperial Fleet. The attack was so staggering and swift, our forces could get very few airplanes off the ground. Our ships needed an hour or more to fire up their boilers thus deferring any strategy to make a run for it. more »

Tracking Trails of Sunken Treasure (Part II)

Art McKee uses the old Miller-Dunn diving helmet to find treasure in the early days. Credit: Ellsworth Boyd

Art McKee uses the old Miller-Dunn diving helmet to find treasure in the early days. Credit: Ellsworth Boyd

Mel Fisher is known as the “Dean” of treasure salvors, but the late Art McKee remains the “Father” of the fraternity. A treasure diving pioneer in the 1940s and 50s, he found nine of 20 wrecks from the Spanish Armada of 1733, all hurricane victims in the Florida Straits. McKee goes so far back, he used the old Miller-Dunn diving helmet to uncover treasure in the middle and upper keys where menacing sites such as Coffins Patch, Marathon, Florida, would have frightened away the faint of heart. Upon retrieving so much treasure and so many artifacts from the Capitana el Rui, El Infante, San Pedro and San Ignacio, he had to build a museum to store and display it all. more »

Tracking Trails of Sunken Treasure (Part 1)

Treasure from the sunken galleons of the 1715 fleet.

Treasure from the sunken galleons of the 1715 fleet.

Sand spewed around me in small clouds as a combo mini-hurricane and tornado spawned an underwater storm amid a blue-green sea. I grabbed a rock out-cropping and gently exhaled until my chest touched the bottom bringing me eye to eye with clumps of seaweed bent over by strong surges cast from the boat above.

The mailbox and compressor hoses resembled a giant medusa, its dark inner sanctum flanked by black tentacles that tethered treasure salvor John Halas and me to the boat. At a depth of 15 feet, I had plenty of slack in my air line which enabled me to roam around the perimeter of the crater like a mining inspector checking out his prospector’s progress. Schools of chubs and porgies joined me, their mouths gulping minute marine life stirred up from the sand by the blasts of water. more »

Shy Savannah is Sanctuary for Shipwrecks

Subway cars from one of many artificial reefs.

Subway cars from one of many artificial reefs.

Why is Savannah so shy in promoting its excellent dive sites which haven’t been reviewed in scuba diving publications for years? And why does it seem to be a best kept secret, sort of like a dark horse that gallops in the shadows of a plethora of enticing shipwrecks?

“Lots of reasons,” says Capt. Jerry Sapp, a former U.S. Navy diver who operated a dive charter boat for more than 25 years. “First of all, our best diving is 30 to 50 miles offshore where clear, warm waters veer in from the Gulf Stream to attract fish and other marine life to our wrecks. Experienced divers, especially those who spearfish, know our sites. They’re used to the two to three-hour boat rides, strong currents and increased charter prices. Basically, we’re talking about experienced, hard-core divers who want to chase Goliath grouper, snapper, mackerel and amberjack, just to name a few of the popular species. Divers encounter everything from lobsters to turtles, sharks, barracuda, stingrays, bottle-nosed dolphins and much more. It’s all in 80 to 130 feet of pristine waters.” more »

 

photo of Clive Cussler © Los Angeles Photographer Rob Greer