National Geographic : 1960 May
Thirty-three Centuries Under the Sea each step slashed our shoe soles; not sit down without getting cut. T waterless, their only vegetation shrub that clung to eroded hollow the shipwrecked sailors of the past have struggled ashore there. The channel where the wreck was a passage between the outerm and another one 200 yards nearer Kemal had said the wreck was on water ridge that ran between the tw We spotted the ridge without tl tangle of ledges, clefts, and hilloc inviting as the two islands they jo each side of the ridge the bottom dr to depths of 150 feet and deeper. T the ridge itself varied from 40 to 100 f with occasional pinnacles that soare in 10 feet of the surface. It was noon when the Little Vig dropped anchor into a mass of bo the ridge. That afternoon was spe onnoitering and eager speculation. we could They were a thorny s. I pitied who must should be ost island the shore. an under io islands. rouble - a ks as un- Next morning we all went over the side at once, and swam slowly along the bottom in a long line. Within five minutes the line had broken up into scattered groups wandering in the ridge's jumbled formations. Ten minutes more, and the groups became individuals wandering aimlessly here and there. Soon heads began popping to the surface, each person coming up to see where he was. "It's a mess," Rasim said. "We could look down there a month and not find the wreck." First Dives Net Newspaper and Cookpot ined. On During the morning's dives we managed to *opped off sweep a good part of the bottom between the he crest of ship and the outer island. We found nothing 'eet down, except an object that looked like a cookpot d to with- and a page from a Turkish newspaper. That afternoon we split up into two par ilant first ties, one group covering each side of the ulders on ridge. I swam with Stan and Mustafa. The nt in rec- area swarmed with fish - and huge boulders. I went around one side of a rock that was the size of a small house; Stan and Mustafa went around the other. When I got past it, my JOHN COCHRAN partners were nowhere to be seen, so I car ried on alone. Again, nothing. Mustafa, though, fared a little better. When we were all back on board the Vigilant, he displayed a piece of discolored rock. It un questionably had been stained by decompo sition of bronze or copper. He said that it came from a spot such as Kemal had de scribed as the wreck site-the bottom of a cliff face in 90 feet of water. The area, Mus tafa said, looked as if it had been dynamited. That night we dined in deep discourage ment. The others wanted to leave as soon after sunup as we could, but Mustafa and I held out for one last day. Morning came and passed in another round of fruitless dives. I was beginning to wonder if Kemal had mis led us, or if one of his divers had talked, and another boat had been there before us. At lunch it was decided the Vig would weigh anchor that afternoon. Cape Gelidonya is hard to get to; I despaired of ever getting another chance to come back. Half an hour Tranquil Kekova roadstead near Finike shelters Little Vigilant, the 70-foot auxiliary ketch that carried the author and his com panions to the site of the Bronze Age wreck. Crewmen found a city of the dead-hun dreds of limestone sarcophagi--on the distant slopes of the Turkish mainland.