Last September Gary and I dove the U-853 for the first time. It was our first dive on this historic wreck. For those unfamiliar with it, it is a German U-Boat (submarine) sunk by the U.S. Navy at the end of World War II. It lies in 130' of water, with the remains of its 55 crew members still on board. Read the story of the U-853 here.
Choppy seas (3 ft swells) made for a stressful pre-dive gear-up and entry, but once we got down to the wreck is was great. The sub is still in great shape, mostly intact. Visibility wasn't great (10'), but good enough to explore.
We descended to the conning tower and headed toward the bow. Through one of the holes in the top of the sub, a human skull was visible. In fact, it seemed to be staring straight out at me.
I'm looking forward to diving it again next year, hopefully with some experienced U-853 divers who can direct us to the best areas to explore. I'd really like to head out to this dive with captain Bill Palmer on the Thunderfish, but since he moved his boat from Rhode Island to Mystic he doesn't head out there anymore.
Of all my dives, this one was the most special. The most historic and fascinating of them all. It is recognized by both the US and German governments as a war memorial, and should be treated with the reverence due any grave site. It does, after all, serve as the final resting place of 55 sailors.
The U-853's log was never recovered. It could help explain the circumstances surrounding its final days. Did they ignore orders, or never receive them? Maybe someday it will be found in the sand around the wreck site, uncovered after decades of burial.
September approaches...The U-853 is calling. Perhaps I'll answer.
I started this venture in 2008 as an avenue to talk about a wide variety of topics, but primarily as a SCUBA blog under the name "Musings from the Deep Blue Sea". It's evolved. My renewed interest in health, fitness, and nutrition (at the age of 43) has brought me to where I am today, and this site reflects that. Having said that, my original mission statement hasn't changed...
Our lives are important only because of the impact they have on the lives of others. Making a difference is important. This blog isn't written for you, it's written for me. My way of reviewing my life, and its significance...Of course, given my wide range of interests in life, there will be much variety. Welcome to my life.