The Coolest Thing in the Shop that is NOT for Sale

Dive shops by nature, have tons of cool stuff in them. The latest computers, the newest toys, LED lights and so on. I’ve been doing this for over 16 years and I still stop into dive shops when I see a new one. I was recently reminded about the coolest thing we have on display here that is not for sale.

ImageOn the foggy evening of July 25, 1956, a vessel named the Stockholm ran into the Italian luxury liner, the Andrea Doria, 50 miles south of Nantucket island. Other than those killed in the inital impact, all survivors where taken off the Andrea Doria before it sunk the next morning.

ImageToday, the Andrea Doria is considered to be the Mt.Everest of wreck diving. It lies on it’s side at a depth of 160-250 feet. prizes from this wreck are available to those with the technical training, know how and courage to make this extremely dangerous dive. People die trying every year.

A few years ago, a diver named Bruce Laden brought in an old Beachat computer. This was one of the first generation of user changeable batteries. You could change them out but they were sodered in place. He was amazed that we had a few of those old batteries around and knew how to swap them out. As a thank you, he brought us a cup and saucer from one of the china lockers of the Andrea Doria that he had recovered from the wreck a few years earlier.

We made a nice little display with a picture of the ship and two paragraphs detailing the significance of the little espresso set. Bruce came back 2 years later, was impressed with our display and gave us 3 more cups, a small dish and 2 small silver table pieces.

All of our Andrea Doria pieces are on display in the shop. Stop by and see a bit of history. For more information about this type of diving read the book “Shadow Divers.”