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June 2014    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 29, No. 6   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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The Case for Downloading Your Dives

but then again, why bother?

from the June, 2014 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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Reg Valentine, who founded the British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC), operated a dive center on the Italian island of Giglio in the '60s. There were no dive computers or word processors then, so Reg logged all his dives in minute detail, in a neat calligraphic hand in characteristic turquoise green ink.

Many years later, archeologist Mensun Bound was sitting in his dentist's waiting room in England when he spotted a rare Etruscan vase sitting on a shelf. He asked his dentist where it came from. It seemed that the dentist was a scuba diver and took vacations every year in Giglio. Divers there often dived an ancient wreck site where such vases could be found.

That's how the Giglio wreck came to be put on the map. Dating from about 600 BC, it was the oldest marine archaeological site ever discovered. The problem was that it had been navely yet systematically plundered by leisure divers, and many of the valuable artifacts were by then in private hands. If it had not been for Reg's meticulous log-keeping, none of those artifacts would have been given to the museum where they belonged. In fact, all divers handed over their trophies, apart from the man who retains an important Etruscan soldier's helmet in his bank vault in Germany....


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