By James P. Delgado
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Extra resources for Adventures of a Sea Hunter
The light-filled warm waters on the shallowly submerged deck give way to darkness as we pass beneath the memorial. I look up through the water and notice visitors staring down, some of them seeing me, others gazing out and a few tossing their offerings of flower leis into the sea. We pause here for a drop over the side, past the empty mount for a 5-inch gun, and drop down to the top of the torpedo blister. The blister, a late addition to the ship’s armored sides, was supposed to protect Arizona from submarine attack by absorbing the impact of a torpedo.
It is a blob of oil, no bigger than a child’s marble. It passes the edge of the hatch and floats to the surface, where it turns into an iridescent slick. Six seconds later, another globule of oil follows it, and I, like so many others who have watched this phenomenon, am struck by the fact that Arizona still bleeds. The light-filled warm waters on the shallowly submerged deck give way to darkness as we pass beneath the memorial. I look up through the water and notice visitors staring down, some of them seeing me, others gazing out and a few tossing their offerings of flower leis into the sea.
An account of the dive on USS Arizona appeared in The USS Arizona by Joy Jasper, James P. Delgado and Jim Adams, published by St. Martin’s Press. This is for my mother, who had to tolerate human bones and stone tools in her bathtub as I learned about the past as a teenage archeologist. And for making her cry as a middle-aged archeologist who dives in dangerous places because, as she points out, I’ll always be her little boy. This is also for Ann, who keeps the home fires burning while juggling a career and an often missing-in-action archeologist.
Adventures of a Sea Hunter by James P. Delgado