National Geographic : 1960 Feb
() NATIONALGEOGRAPHICSOCIETY Relic of Someone's Last Meal, a Pewter Plate Rises From the Depths Sea Diver's stern diving chamber, nearly flush with the waterline, made access to the sea easy for the ship's divers. The lower door swings down to form a ladder. Elgin Ciampi, wearing an Aqua-Lung, hands the platter to Marion and Edwin Link. Mendel Peterson, Curator of Armed Forces History at the Smithsonian Institution, turns in a red roof tile. He uses a Desco mask with an air hose to the surface. then find only a monotonous mud bottom under 20 to 40 feet of water, with never a sign of the old structures. When we had tried to dig into the bottom near Church Beacon with an inadequately small dredge, we penetrated four to six feet before finding a trace of the sunken town. Even the heavy brick walls of Fort James were hard to locate beneath the silt, with only a slight difference in depth and a crown of dead coral to mark their location. The water was nearly always murky be cause of the deposits of mud carried into the harbor year after year by mountain streams.* After a brief stay, during which we found 160 and raised one of the cannon from the fort. we had given up until we could return with proper equipment. Unique Ship for a Challenging Job Ed immediately set about designing and building a new vessel that could conquer the difficulties of reaching the drowned and buried city. As inventor of the Link Trainer and many other aeronautical and electronic de vices, he could draw on a fund of experience in designing special tools for unusual jobs. * See "Jamaica, the Isle of Many Rivers," by John Oliver La Gorce, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, January, 1927.