A weekend of hunting and diving, Day 1 & 2

B-24 Liberator, Pipe Wreck 3, and the U-853.

We steamed to Cormorant Cove Block Island on Thursday night so that we could get an early start Friday morning. We wanted to be on site, 20 miles east of Block, to look for a B-24 Liberator before the weather turned. The Liberator had crashed while practicing night Anti Submarine Warfare (ASW) runs.

Friends of mine had previously scanned this area decades ago. They were following up on a draggers hang which produced a fuel bladder with serial numbers on it. On that trip they had only found a wing, we were hoping to find more.

We deployed the towfish and started mowing the lawn. Over a three hour period we covered a .64 NM2 area and had one target, possibly the wing. The whole time we were out there we were play dodge with a large clammer that was also onsite. The sonar readily showed that the clammer had been very active in this area and also showed the “damage” that she was causing. It’s not hard to see how trawl gear of this sort can do FAR more damage to shipwrecks then any diver……

If we didn’t find any promising B-24 targets to dive we were hoping to find a fishing boat that had also gone down in the area. No promising sites were found so we headed east to dive a schooner we’ve been visiting for a few years and trying to identify. She’s interesting in that it looks like she was carrying a cargo of pipe on her decks as well as in her hold. As she was sinking her center of gravity shifted, she went on her beam ends, the deck cargo slid off decks, she righted herself, and then settled on the bottom next to her deck cargo.

After an uneventful dive on the schooner we headed to the U-853 for our final dive of the day. The weather was turning, we were tired, and the mooring lines on her were a nice respite from throwing a hook and tending to that (thanks Wayne Gordon). We did a “short” dive of forty-five minutes on the bottom and then headed back to The Cove to rest up for the next adventurous day.

B-24 Liberator Targets

Clammer working in the area.

Clammer working the area.

Clam dredge marks on the bottom

Pipe Wreck 3

A long video of Pipe Wreck 3 showing the anchor chain, anchor, windlass, and capstan.