For all you divers out there.

Discussion in 'Picture Gallery' started by Scubajay, May 3, 2008.

  1. Scubajay macrumors regular

    Scubajay

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Location:
    Great Totham, UK
    #1
    I am very happy!! After 4 years of diving and 300+ dives I managed to recover my first porthole yesterday. For those that don't dive that's a pretty big deal. Portholes are nearly always made of brass, and look amazing when cleaned up as they don't corrode.

    Mine came off a beautiful ship wreck called the S.S. Cuvier which lies in 41m of sea water off the Kent (UK) coast. She sank in March 1900 after a collision in bad visibility. After a 60 minute total dive time I surfaced to collect my lifting bag which I sent up from the bottom - all the goodies that came off the wreck yesterday are pictured - 2 large coffee cups, a breakfast bowl, a chamber pot(the original en-suite toilet) and of course my porthole. It came off the 1st class cabins, which means it's a little more ornate than the run of the mill ones. A great find!!:D
     

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  2. Neil321 macrumors 68040

    Neil321

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    Location:
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    #2
    Im no diver and without wanting to get all moral,but are you allowed to just take stuff like that or is it finders keepers?,bet i'll look nice once polished up
     
  3. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus

    xUKHCx

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
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    The Kop
    #3
    Looks like a pretty good haul. What exactly are you going to do with the porthole?

    Is that a 9-3 estate?
     
  4. Scubajay thread starter macrumors regular

    Scubajay

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Location:
    Great Totham, UK
    #4
    If it's a war grave then no you cannot take stuff - a bit like going to the cemetery and taking a headstone you like the look of.

    As for other wrecks - there are something like 20,000+ wrecks off the UK coast and within 20 years they will be gone - disintegrated and buried forever. On those non grave wrecks it is a matter of personal ethics as to whether you collect stuff or not. Some don't and some do. Some collect to excess and have 40 or 50 portholes sitting in their shed or garage with no purpose. Others, like me, collect a little and clean it up and make it part of their home. As this stuff is well over 100 years old (The Cuvier was built in the 1880's and sank in 1900) I feel proud to have brought a little piece of history back into the world for others to see and enjoy. When I am too old to gain any enjoyment from them I will donate them to a maritime museum.

    You are right though. It will look amazing when it's clean and working again. I will post another pic when it is all done. Once in the house my GF will make a nice card for it using her mad calligraphy/ arts 'n' farts skilllllzzz:D
     
  5. Scubajay thread starter macrumors regular

    Scubajay

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    Aug 20, 2006
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    #5
    Clean it and gloat over my brilliance!!!;)

    The car's a Fiat Croma.
     
  6. Neil321 macrumors 68040

    Neil321

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    #6
    Ah Ok,but there's something i don't get now and thats what's the difference between a war grave ( apart from the obvious ) & just say a ship that sunk if it hit something ie titanic as there both gonna have skeletons,sorry for the 1001 questions but just curious thats all
     
  7. Scubajay thread starter macrumors regular

    Scubajay

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    #7

    A war grave is deemed so by it's owning government, and each country nominates them as such following their own ideas about what constitutes a war grave. Germany for instance nominated 1 wreck to represent all it's maritime war dead, whereas I was told that the UK deem theirs bases on numbers of dead etc.

    Other wrecks are just wrecks irrespective of skeletons (which don't last too long usually). If I was diving and found something nice and shiny and it happened to be lying under an arm or some other obvious body mater then I would leave it out of respect. If it's just attached to a wreck as part of the structure and the wreck is not deemed a grave then I see nothing disrespectful in taking it. Time will make these items go away and if some are saved to research, clean, preserve and enjoy then all the better.
     
  8. Neil321 macrumors 68040

    Neil321

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    #8
    Ok question time over,thanks for that,knowledge is a good thing
     
  9. juanm macrumors 65816

    juanm

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    Location:
    Fury 161
    #9
    I'm also a diver. I've pretty much the same experience than you. I wouldn't do what you just did, unless I found a real treasure, which would allow me to put my morals to some other use. Things like what you just found are what make the difference between a wreck worth diving, and a dead wreck, with just an empty hull, and nothing to see.

    I'm curious about this part:

    In France, for instance, you'd be facing a serious fine, IIRC... But since I prefer not to take anything, I really don't know about the laws.
     
  10. Scubajay thread starter macrumors regular

    Scubajay

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    #10
    And this is a debate that goes through the world of UK wreck diving. With so many wrecks off our coast thanks to 2 massive wars and countless collisions there are always going to be wrecks to see. Will it be sad if the wreck gets stripped? Well sure if it sank yesterday, but as a whole she is a shell now thanks to the hard, deep and cold waters of the North sea. The porthole needed minimal work to free it, and was not adding anything to ships beauty as it was buried under a load of wreckage and trawler nets. Given enough time it would have been buried under the silt forever - so you could argue that by bringing it up I am allowing it to return to it's former glory. Some divers will bring up any old crap, but I am selective and I brought up something of worth to me and my diving friends. Others may have left it, but in the UK wreck diving is a free for all. Wrecks have stuff taken off them, and that's just the way it is. War graves are pretty well universally respected, and all the others are there until the sea water eats them up.

    As for France - you are right. We frequently dive a wreck called the HMS Hermes in French waters and operate a strict "looky no touchy" policy as their laws are not the same as ours. It might also be a moot point but with 20,000+ wrecks off the Eastern coast, alot of them are beyond the depths and training of recreational divers, so they would only get seen by a select few anyway. Those select few are pretty much all ones that would like a memento such as the porthole.
     
  11. miniConvert macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    Location:
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    #11
    Good for you, Scubajay! That stuff wasn't any use to anyone at the bottom of the ocean :D
     
  12. Plymouthbreezer macrumors 601

    Plymouthbreezer

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #12
    Nice find! It's awesome what you can find down underwater.

    My aunt dives, and also trains numerous fire departments / law enforcement / medical personnel. I've been a few times (in local lakes and pools), and it's defiantly a fun time, albeit a bit nerve wracking.

    My father wishes he went more often, as was a U.S. Navy diver for over 5 years when stationed in Japan back in the 60s and 70s.
     
  13. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    キャンプスワ&#
    #13
    Nice find! :)

    Enjoyed the moral discussion of the thread. A lot to think about.

    I've collected a few neat shells over the years. Usually small ones. Unfortunately, during my last move, most were lost. Such is life.

    However, I doubt I would misplace the porthole you found. Very nice.

    When I was diving off Okinawa, you had to be very careful of unexploded ordinance (still live). And a few sea snakes (2 stepper types). Nothing like having a few of them come out to great you as they swim pretty fast! ;)

    Again, nice find. Please post a pic when you get it cleaned up.
     
  14. puckhead193 macrumors G3

    puckhead193

    Joined:
    May 25, 2004
    Location:
    NY
    #14
    awesome find! I'm going diving in hawaii at the end of may. It will be my second time (first time was in Australia) and i can't wait. I really wish i had the time, to get certified and actually travel and dive in exotic locations
     
  15. Scubajay thread starter macrumors regular

    Scubajay

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Location:
    Great Totham, UK
    #15
    Another pic

    Well.........it's being soaked prior to it's acid bath and the big polishing frenzy. Here's a shot that was taken 2 minutes after I got out of the water. Cold, hungry and desperate for a wee, but Dang - Happy as a clam!!!:D:D:D
     

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  16. deathbyart macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    #16
    I am so envious, I can not tell you how badly I want to do that. I can't imagine how cool it is.
     
  17. LeahM macrumors 6502a

    LeahM

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    #17
    Congrats! I'm not a diver but good friends of mine are. Plus that is awesome history you now posess.

    Pics look great, you look so happy
     
  18. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #18
    Nice pic!

    Please post something similar when you've cleaned it up so we can all be jealous of you! :p
     
  19. Scubajay thread starter macrumors regular

    Scubajay

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Location:
    Great Totham, UK
    #19
    So Operation "Clean up history" has begun. She's a work in progress, but the crap is off her now (compare these shots with the ones in the first post) and all that's left is some washing and then polishing.:D:D:D
     

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  20. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #20
    Looking good.

    Please keep the pics coming.
     
  21. Delta608 macrumors regular

    Delta608

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2007
    Location:
    Tampa Bay
    #21
    Heres a photo frpm Devils Den Cavern

    From Williston, Florida
     

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  22. LeahM macrumors 6502a

    LeahM

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    #22
    Wow, you found a live cat in it too? :)

    Its looking good!
     
  23. Sdashiki macrumors 68040

    Sdashiki

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    Aug 11, 2005
    Location:
    Behind the lens
    #23
    Where in Williston is that? Looks like something from the Springs caves?

    I love the skeletons of scuba divers in a pile, looks funny, but horribly not.
     
  24. ejb190 macrumors 65816

    ejb190

    #24
    I remember the first sentence out of the mouth of my dive instructor: "People have died doing what your are about to learn how to do." (He was an avid cave diver and frequent rescue/recovery diver.)

    Robert Ballard (the guy who found the Titanic) spoke at Penn State a number of years ago. That same instructor asked Ballard his opinion of collecting artifacts off wrecks, specifically Titanic to which he replied he was very against.

    I have mixed feelings about salvaging wrecks. By the time a few salvagers come through, there is nothing left for recreational divers like me to see. Kind of takes the wonder and mystery out of visiting these violated wrecks. On the other hand, there are many ships that will fade away over time and dissolve into the sea, never to be seen, only to be forgotten.
     
  25. Scubajay thread starter macrumors regular

    Scubajay

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Location:
    Great Totham, UK
    #25
    It's slightly different with the Titanic - considering she is basically a massive grave.

    Anyway....as stated earlier in the post UK diving is somewhat different. With 20,000 known wrecks to see you will never miss out on seeing stuff in situ, and nearly all the stuff I have seen recovered (including my prize) was well out of the reach of recreational divers, and well into the realms of recreational technical diving. It's deep (35m+), dark (no torch means you don't see a thing) and cold (wetsuits good, drysuits better). Anyone who gets a porthole off a non grave wreck is considered good beans.:) My porthole will allow some of the Cuvier to remain long after she is all gone.:(

    As I have stated before as well I would defy anyone to have enjoyed my porthole in it's "natural" setting. It was under lots of metal bars, netting and sea crap. I only saw the tiniest glint off it's glass and moved the crap. Score my first porthole.

    Anyway - I digress. I took the beauty off to the metal shop today to have my polishing guy take care of it and restore it to museum status (which means polishing it up but leaving the 108 years of sea scars on her including dents et al.). I am going on a diving trip to Egypt on Friday and get the P-hole back in a week. She is going to look great.
     

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