On Saturday March 1, 1997, Niagra Divers Association
put on another
fantastic presentation of their yearly Shipwrecks festival. I was able to
attend the first year they held it but last year was unable to.
This year I made a point of having the time available. I was not in the least
The morning started out with coffee and a well run registration area.
After they had most people registered they made a few small introductions,
which were short and sweet.
Chris Kohl started out the day with a short speech on the
Daniel J. Morrell, a
history of it's making and shipping life.
Out Of The Blue Productions
had a video show on the Morrell as she lies
today.A very well presented and crystal clear video really made this
a very good show. I hope to see more of their videos in the future. The Morrell
is broken in two and the stern and bow are separated by five miles. The story of
the sinking is tragic with a great loss of life, of the 29 nine men on
board only one survived.
Dennis Hale, who is the one surviver of the
Morrell was next on the podium.
His speach was haunting to say the least. Not a sound was made during his
entire presentation. I think I can safely say there was not a single
person there that was not touched deeply by his story. This man
survived a horrowing 38 hours in a life raft as frigid air temperatures
and even colder water chilled his body. He spoke of many things about
that day, and the years to follow. I would like to personally thank him
once again for sharing this story with us.
After break we headed back into the auditorium
to hear David Gilchrist, and to see a few
pictures on the Niagra Pennisula. It was Well put together,and a good job.
Marc Beaudry was up next. I met him three
years ago during the first
presentation. He has come a long way in his diving ability and skill since
then mainly receiving his Tri-mix certification. He put on a presentation
regarding "Diving The lakes- A video sampling"
. I really can't remember all
the dive sites that he had on his video, but an exceptional job putting
it all together it made me want to go out and dive the sites I was looking at
right away. To purchase this video, contact Niagra Divers
Lunch, well put together as always.
After lunch, the speakers that I actually went to see in the first place
were on. Frederick Stonehouse spoke on the
Edmund Fitzgerald. I really
understood more about the sinking than I knew before. He also brought
up a lot of good points that other programs you see on t.v.
fail to mention, such as the facts surrounding the rescue efforts that were
done that night, and the people who looked for all the missing crew.
, President of the Cambrian Foundation was up.
He and Mike Zee were the first and possibly the last to touch the Fitzgerald
since she sank in 1975. He spoke of the logistics of putting together a dive
to 530 feet, and 34 degree temps. He also spoke of the mystery which
surrounds the sinking of this ship and how suprised he was at the way
the people around the great lakes region have made it into a myth. Interesting
speach, for me, considering this is the type of diving I am heading for
in the future.
Matt Turchi and
Darryl Ertel next did a video show on "A Cold Dark Hart". A video on the
Judge Hart, which sank in 1942. They were the first
divers on it since she sank, beautiful. The video was crisp and clear as well
as well put together. They really showed you what a ship look's like after
40+ years in the cold waters of Lake Superior.
Overall, I was very impressed with the day, and will hopefully attend
all the future festivals they put on. As you can see I did not tell you
alot about the presentations themselves, you will have to go there to
actually experience them. I highly recommend to all divers
whether new at the sport, or an experienced tech. diver to attend
this show. Niagra Divers Association, I take my hat off to you for another
year of good times. Keep up all the good work. If you are interested
in the club you can contact them through my links page or their web page
address is http://www.vaxxine.com/nda/