Monday, November 21, 2016

SEAFARERS: Deep Sea Diver visits Britannic, Lusitania, Titanic, finds missing U-Boat and then hunts Pirate Ship...

R' Mateys', Don't worry; Y'all won't have to walk thou Plank or gnaw on turkey leg bones; ; R-R-R! But I'll Fleece Y'all a little while longer with some Pre-Turkey Day banter before getting to the meat 'O story; Err Dark or White Wee-Wee! Uhm, somebody toss me a biscuit; Hya!

Whilst much Adu was made earlier this year over the Magnanimous 100th running of this year's Indy 500, my ears are still loudly ringing from Tacoma Bureau Chief Mary Ellen's constant badgering 'O asking is I-T over? NO more 100th anniversary dribble from Yuhs, right?

Yet in response, I noted how this was the 100th Anniversary of not only the National Parks System, but a 'lil Aeroplane company called Boeing being founded here in the Pacific Northwest - which as typical, is another story awaiting having it's keel laid down here in Nofendersville.

Whilst I was totally unawares' that some fine Bavarian Motorcar Company was celebrating its centenary this March, having first discovered this when querying thou year 1916 upon Zed Internetz...

And on a much more darker note, it was exactly a century ago today, the HMHS Britannic met her fate during World War I in Greece. As She was the largest tonnage vehicle lost during the war. - even larger then her former Stable mate, the RMS Lusitania.

Having also previously chronicled the Astor Cup, for which ironically also a century ago held its second and final race at Sheepshead Bay upon one of the countless Boardtracks then populating the nation.

Along with briefly reviewing four of the major Steamships plying the Atlantic Ocean Wayback then in other No Fenders Seafaring tomes...

HMHS Britannic
Launched: Feb 26, 1914
Service Date: Dec 23, 1915 - Nov 21, 1916
Tonnage: 48,158 GRT
(GRT = Gross Registered Tons)
Length: 893ft; Beam: 94ft. (Height: 175ft)
Passenger Decks: 9
Passengers: 675 total
300 wounded with 439 medical staff
Crew: 860
Duty: Hospital Ship
Speed: 23 Knots

His Majesty's Hospital Service Britannic was the third and largest of the Olympic class ocean liners produced, with its sister ships being the RMS Titanic and RMS Olympic of which only the Olympic saw out her service life, being retired in 1934 and then scrapped; whilst we A-L-L know the fate of the Titanic!

As the HMHS Britannic either collided with an underwater mine or was torpedoed off the Greek island Kea on November 21, 1916, albeit only losing 30 civilians of the 1,066 onboard, a much lower casualty rate vs. sister ships Titanic and Lusitania suffered...

As my Alarm Bells began ringing ALL STOP! When recently listening to a very enjoyable book titled Pirate Hunters by Robert Kurson on CD Audiobook format.

As funny how now I wished I'd watched the Discovery channel's Deep Sea Detectives TV Show, since it featured the Diver in Questione, who I'd never heard of before listening to the book. As his name is John Chatterton, whom some have called the Greatest Deep Sea Diver ever!

And Kurson's written previously another book I'm now interested in, learning about it during the beginning of Pirate Hunters, titled Shadow Divers, about the discovery of the mystery U-Boat Sub 60-miles off New Jersey, which sat undiscovered for 46yrs; Not only taking the entire U-Boat's crew, but 3 Diver's lives & 6yrs to confirm its identity!

As Pirate Hunters regales the adventures of the "Two John's." One being the aforementioned Chatterton, joined by John Mattera, both who have quite colourful backgrounds!

As Chatterton's been called the Best Wreck Diver ever! Having discovered the missing German U-Boat U-869 off the coast of New Jersey in '91. Along with having dove the Andrea Doria, Lusitania, Titanic and the Britannic - where he was the first diver to ever successfully use a rebreather at 375-400 feet deep and surviving a 50% failure rate upon six dives!

Whilst his 12,000+ foot dive to the Titanic was in a Russian mini-Sub, along with Deep Sea Detectives co-host Richie Kohler, after having first reluctantly worked with Kohler upon identifying U-869.

as Chatterton's possibly the only person to have visited all three wrecks? Whilst Kohler, like many has dove upon the disintegrating SS Andrea Doria for which Chatterton claims an astounding 160-plus visits to this Italian hulk!

John Mattera's an interesting fellah' who grew up in the Gambino's neighborhood in the B-I-G' Apple and is friends with one of the ex-Gang Under lords sons - before becoming a Cop and later personal security guard to the Rich 'N Famous.

While Mattera's passion quickly became scuba diving, along with the history of discovering wrecks via meticulous archive research, having also dove the Andrea Doria multiple times; claiming over sixty such trips - a mere pittance compared to his friend and co-diver Chatterton... Which think the book sez' is resting at 230-feet & is plenty happy to take Diver's life's!

As the rapidly decaying wreck, now sixty years old sees the top of the remaining superstructure wresting at 190-feet, with her bridge bell having been recovered in 2010 from the bottom's depth of 241-feet!

And the wreck's described as a "Noisy Wreck" due to the swift ocean currents constantly ravaging her remains, routinely moving loose metal and shrapnel around. While sadly, sixteen scuba divers have met their fate during treacherous diving conditions...

AnyHoo, the two are summoned by a renown treasure hunter named Tracy Bowden just moments before they're set to embark upon finding a Spanish Galleon in the Dominion Republic. As Bowden asks, how would you two like to hunt for a Pirate Ship called the Golden Fleece. Which is of significant history, not to mention that only one pirate ship has ever been found...

As did Yuhs know? That pirates never said R', just a Hollywood thingy', which is explained in the book, for which A-L-L of Yuhs who don't wanna read the book review above can simply skip to the trailer below, for which I've got NO idea if it's a teaser for a forthcoming movie, or just the book itself?

Shiver Me Timbers...