#Mediterranean Sea #Cape Gelidonya


Hidden in the depths of the Mediterranean Sea, treasures of history are still waiting to be discovered. One such treasure is the wreck of Cape Gelidonya. It is a wreck dating from the Late Bronze Age, around 1200 BC. It presents a vivid picture of the maritime culture of the time.

The wreck itself is located near the cape of the same name, off the coast of south-eastern Turkey. Around 1200 BC, a merchant ship probably smashed a section of its hull into the rocks just below the water's surface, near the north-eastern side of Devecitasi Adasi, the largest of the cape's islands. It eventually settled on its stern resting on a large boulder about 50 metres to the north. The discovery of the wreck took place in 1954, when Kemal Aras, a sponge fisherman from Bodrum, came across the main concentration of cargo once on board the ship, at a depth of about 28 metres.

#Turkey / Photo: Dreamstime #Uluburun


Famed underwater archaeologist George Bass and his team conducted extensive underwater research at the wreck site, finding a wide range of artifacts from all over the Mediterranean Sea. From August 18-27, 1983, the Institute of Nautical Archaeology, under the direction of Cemal Pulak, conducted preliminary underwater excavation work on the shipwreck, which was dated to the Late Bronze Age. The wreck itself lay on the bottom near Uluburun, Turkey...

#Antarctica #Endurance

The Polar Mystery

A year and a half, or five hundred and sixty-four days and nights. So many days it took the crew of the Ship Endurance trapped in Antarctica to fight for their lives.  Five hundred and sixty days and nights in the place where the lowest temperature on earth was recorded at 89 degrees below zero. Where the night can last half a year. Where a human is perceived as a lunch by each and every polar bear. So long Ernest Shackleton's crew fought for their lives.  And all of them... survived!  

#Nuestra Señora de Atocha


When on Saturday morning, July 20, 1985, the divers Andy Matroci and Greg Wareham entered the water to check the stone reef, they did not expect what they would find. They had been in Mel Fisher's team for several years, searching for the treasure of the legendary Atocha. By this time they had already done hundreds of dives with no results. This made every day of exploration a routine, and the shapes of underwater objects ceased to stimulate their imagination. It was not the case this time. 

#Vasa #Swedish galleon


On August 10, 1628, the Stockholm harbour was crowded with people whose eyes were focused on one place, where King Gustav II Adolf himself was standing. Proud of his work, baptised his greatest ship, giving it the name "Vasa" to emphasise the greatness of his dynasty. After a while, the ship was proudly leaving the port setting the topsails and the crowd cheered. As an unexpected gust of wind filled the sails, the ship leaned over, the king paled and the crowd fell silent. 

#George F. Bass #Archaeology history

History of underwater archaeology

How did it start? Who was in the beginning? These and similar questions are asked by historians around the world. However, it is often extremely difficult to establish the beginning, the first spark from which it all began. Should we consider the achievements of Jacqu Costeau as the beginning of diving? Or perhaps those of classic divers, or maybe sponge divers? (...)

The same is the case with underwater archeology. Its genesis is a process rather than an event. However, as in diving, one man was recognized as the father of this science: George F. Bass, who died in March 2021.

#Steel #Wrecks


Whenever a surgeon reaches for a scalpel or a patient undergoes an MRI scan, there is a high probability that both of these tools were made from steel that dates back more than 70 years. It all connects to the late period of WWII, when the Americans used an atomic bomb for military purposes for the first time. Steel manufacturing has not changed much from that period, the Bessemer process was replaced with the BOS (basic oxygen steelmaking) process, although the air (oxygen in case of BOS) in both is obtained from the atmosphere. However, unlike today, air used in pre-war steel was not saturated with radioactive particles. 

#Archaeology course

What for? For whom? How?

What do we do when we find an ancient-looking object underwater? How to secure it? Should it be removed or not? Whom to report it to? What is legal and what is not?

Divers sometimes face these and many other dilemmas during their underwater adventures. While sensitivity to the environment and ecology is drilled into us already during basic training, when the instructors teach us we are not supposed to touch plants or animals, awareness of existing threats for the cultural heritage is totally ignored. 

#Baltic history


Whenever we are on the beach and look at the Baltic Sea, there is always a ship on the horizon heading towards a port known only to itself. The port it arrives at is crowded with other ships and goods that are reloaded to continue their journey. Have you ever wondered what the sea looked like 1000 years ago? Were there occasional boats landing at the beach to exchange goods with the local people? Or was it full of merchant ships bound for the crowded harbors? 



Water is a natural magnet for divers. An element that literally drags you into its depths. I've always wondered what is so special about water that it makes so many people want to risk their lives, spend money, waste their time at the cost of family time in order to spend some time in these depths, even if it’s just for a moment. And I’ve never found an answer to this question. On the other hand, another question arose and it is easier to answer. How did people treat water in the past? 

#Lednica lake #Lednica


All European nations have their foundational myths or stories on their origins. They often concern a particular person or place. About such places one may say: “This is were it all started. The history of our nation began here”. And the same goes for Poland. The historical beginnings of our country are strongly connected with an island and a lake that surrounds it. Ostrów Lednicki at the Lednica lake witnessed the most important events of Poland's early history related with its first rulers – Mieszko I and Bolesław the Brave. For almost 40 years, underwater archeologists from Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, in cooperation with the Museum of the First Piasts at Lednica, have been revealing traces of human activity in that lake. 

#Blackbeard #Queen Anne's Revenge


A sunny day on the Caribbean Sea. An English ship pushed by the wind in the beautiful sun heads west. Seafarers' thoughts are already in port pubs where they will be able to drink their hard-earned money. This calm picture interrupts the appearance of a fast approaching ship on the horizon. The captain pulls his pale face away from the telescope and one sentence comes out of his trembling lips: the black flag...

#Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes


It is late summer 1804. On the crowded Montevideo wharf, Captain José de Bustamante y Guerra, oversees loading valuable goods onto his fleet ships. He proudly looks at the four fregates' flexing figures, which cannot wait to set out on the ocean. Medea, Santa Clara, Fama and the most beautiful Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes (Our Lady of Mercy) are standing next to each other. He does not know yet that in over two hundred years, thanks to treasure hunters, the latter will be one of the most famous wrecks in the world. 



North East England, a foggy morning is awakening in the late spring of 793. Calm, silent monks are bustling around. Some of them are preparing for the service. The air is filled with prayer and quiet, peaceful work. The calm is broken by a sail emerging from the sea fog. The curious monks are confidently watching the arriving boat. Nobody expects what will happen. Only when armed men jump out of the boat, terror appears on the faces of the clergymen. The last thing they hear in their lives are incomprehensible screams in the Norse language. 

#Olbia #Sunken city


In the previous issue of Perfect Diver I wrote about local stories that usually turned out not to be true. They featured sunken churches but also flooded villages and cities forgotten after dams were built on rivers. Perhaps the most legendary of such cities or islands is the mysterious Atlantis. These stories however do not come from nowhere. There is a grain of truth in every legend. Henryk Schilmann, among others, proved this when he discovered Troy. Sunken cities exist! In this issue I will present to you the story of several of them, because nothing else stimulates the imagination like diving in a sunken city. 

But how could such a city find itself underwater? 

#Underwater archaeologist

"Mister!" There is a sunken church in this lake!!!

Most divers have something of a seeker-discoverer about them and most of us know some place where a sunken tank or church is allegedly located. The work of an underwater archaeologist means that I have heard hundreds of such stories... hundreds indeed. After these very reliable stories, I could come to the conclusion that there is really a sunken tank, a sunken church, a wedding party, the Swedish army and a few others in every lake.

#Underwater archaeologist

Scientist or treasure hunter

My name is Mateusz and I have been an underwater archeologist for almost 9 years. The main character of the aforementioned movie and myself have only one thing in common – long blond hair. Except that mine is longer. When I tell newly met people what I do, I usually get a comment: "wooow, but you have great work, you probably travel a lot and search for wrecks". After a thousandth such comment I stopped verifying the interlocutors' ideas about my work. If they knew how wrong they were... 

#USS Squalus #Momsen


It is May 1939, Jacques Cousteau invents fins and a diving mask. Meanwhile, thousands of kilometres away from France, in the Atlantic Ocean near New Hampshire, at the depth of almost 80 meters underwater, a rescue action takes place, which seems impressive even nowadays. During just 4 dives a team of divers saved 33 crew members of a sunken submarine. This action went down in history. But let's start from the beginning.