2011 turned out for me to be the highlight year of my career in the Diving Industry to date! One of the biggest highlights of the year came in September when I had the chance to work with the Diving Officer and a team of archeologists from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.
The Venue was the Greek Island of Crete, specifically the coastline and small islands around Heraklion on the north coast.
The project was to train the archeological team of divers from Woods Hole and the Greek antiquities ministry on Sentinel CCR and then to join them in a safety role on some of the survey sites.
Base camp was an office on the water side that had been emptied for us and a covered work area next to it on the quay side, in site of the fortified harbour wall building of Heraklion that Cousteau had stored the hundreds of recovered Amphora from his surveys of the wreck sites around the small Island of Dia. This was especially cool for me as I remembered watching the Calypso anchor over the site in early documentaries and the Cousteau divers slip in to the turquoise Mediterranean water to view history when I was young and had re watched the episode prior to heading out on the trip.
My most memorable dives were on an Amphora wreck site in 30-40 Metres off the coast of Dia. The first dive saw us entering the crystal clear and descending to 20 metres on the steep wall which we then followed contouring round the island lead by Theotokis until passing a nose of rock and dropping down to a sand slope between 30 and 40 metres covered in all directions with hundreds of Amphora. It was truly like swimming in a museum, hovering motionless above History. Via Wet-book I learnt from Theotokis that the site included Amphora from 200-300 years BCE. Dive two I partnered one of the Archeologists filming him sketching and measuring the Amphora before following the wall back to the boat.
I was an honour to be involved in such a project with such a group of absolute professionals in such a beautiful place.
With 2011 having involved so many wonderful dives and trips it seemed it would be hard to top, however 2012 has started well already having just returned from a recognisance trip in the Western Desert with Kevin Gurr and Jill Heinerth.
Phil Short. Dive Industry consultant.