Contents of this Issue:
All publicly available
Isla Marisol, Glover’s Reef, Belize
Undercurrent Gets Grant for Coverage of Environmental Issues and Advocacy
Divers Find the Last Slave Ship
Raja Ampat, Bonaire, Maldives, Cozumel . . .
After Drifting for Eight Hours, “I’m Just Glad I’m Alive
Are Great Whites the Ocean’s Most Fearsome Predators? New Findings Say No
Can You Handle A Crisis Underwater?
You Tell Us: Are You Prepared As You Should Be on a Dive?
PADI Buys America’s Two Biggest Dive Magazines
Dump Valves, Customs Scams, Suunto Lawsuit
Killed by Sharks While Snorkeling with Pigs
Diving in Cuba is Harder for Americans
Want to Buy a Dive Center or Liveaboard?
Bahamas Master Cancels On Diver Twice In Two Years
Why You May Be Experiencing “Oxygen Ear”
Flotsam & Jetsam
Publisher and Editor
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Sausalito, CA 94965
Alabama's Mobile River was confirmed in May
to be the resting place of Clotilda, a 19th century twomasted
schooner that's the last known ship to bring
slaves from Africa to America. She was deliberately
sunk in 1860, just north of the Mobile Bay delta, after an
illegal trans-Atlantic voyage by American slave trader
Timothy Meaher. The Clotilda's authentication was led
by the Alabama Historical Commission and SEARCH
Inc., a group of maritime archaeologists and divers
who specialize in historic shipwrecks, as well as the
Smithsonian National Museum of African American
History & Culture, which became involved through its
Slave Wrecks Project.
The dive team found the remains of the wreck,
originally 90 feet long, in only 10 feet of water. "But
the conditions are sort of treacherous," Kamau Sadiki,
one of the SEARCH Inc. divers and current president
of the National Association of Black Scuba Divers, told Smithsonian.com. "Visibility was almost zero and
there's some current, but the most important thing is
that you're among wreckage that you cannot see."
The African slave trade had been banned 50 years
prior, but Meaher attempted to sneak more than 100
men, women and children into Mobile by night. He
was caught, and the Federal government brought slavetrading
charges against him; the captain of the Clotilda ordered the ship taken upriver to be burnt and sunk.
Plans are in the works for the wreck site to be
turned into a National Park Service Blueway, a waterbased
heritage trail. The Smithsonian is also considering
how to preserve the Clotilda and where it could
best be saved for the long term so it can reach the most
people. Says Sadiki, "The Clotilda should be known by
everyone who calls themselves an American because it
is so pivotal to the American story."