Saturday, June 5, 2010

The guns from Le Scipoin

This gun was recovered from the dive site and completely rebuilt by my son in law Cohwen Eggli, Nick Snow, Allan Baird and myself. The blocks under the back of the gun are called site blocks and we built those pretty much to spec. The gun truck itself was built using blueprints that showed the exact size of the truck... We turned the wheels and the axels on a lathe.
The sides and all the Black Smith work was all completed here in Salt Lake City. The DE 18 was painted by my wife. All of the restoration was completed here in Salt Lake City. We actually have two of these guns now. They are the mid size 18 pounders. The trailer this gun sits on is tanden axle 24 foot trailer, so that gives you an idea of the size.
The ship carried 28 guns of this size, 28 that are twice this large and 18 that are only half this large. A big one wieghs in at 8500lbs, this one is only 4555 lbs The bbig one shot a ball that wieghed in at 36 pounds and using 12 pounds of black powder the ball can penetrate 39 inches of oak at 600 yards. That is a real lot of fire power. If you want to see some video or more footage of these go to our website at
Thanks for visiting

Friday, June 4, 2010

This artifact was recovered by myself and a Dominican diver named Dario. We found it under a cannon along with a wine bottle and a clay jar. It is interesting to note that once a cannon is loaded onto a ship it is called a gun. And cannon balls are called shot. So if I write about guns or shot you will know what I'm writing about.

This little jar is actually a Mustard Pot. Just below it and to the right you can see a brass sort of pencil looking thing that has three rings on it. That really is a pencil. During this time in history mechanical pencils were common place. In the movie "Master and Commander" the ships doctor is using one to keep notes. Well that one in this photo is the real deal.

This small jar was a beautiful example of the earthen ware artifacts we brought up.

I was lucky enough to dive this wreck site for over two years. My twin daughters Karli and Kerri spent a lot of time diving there with me. My oldest daughter, Amber , does not dive but she did come with me to Florida and spent time there on the boat with me. She has two little children and so getting away is a lot harder for her than it is for her younger sisters.

I found most of the really good artifacts under guns, but I did find one area where there were a lot of coins and a few personal weapons. Kerri and I pulled up a musket and a sword from that area. But even then it was all buried around five guns that we had found. Two 18 pounders, which weigh in at 4500lbs each and three 36 pounders that weighed 8500lbs each. The size of the gun is determined by the weight of the shot or ball it shoots. A 18 pounder shoots a 51/4 inch round shot that weighs in at 18 lbs. A 36 lb shot is 7 inches round.

Where Kerri and dug up the musket and sword we also found a complete 36 lb gun still in the truck under about three feet of sand. It took us three days to dig that one out. We found the ropes and the blocks that were used to run the gun in and out. Also we recovered the jacking bards, shot and one wheel from the gun truck, or carriage as it is called.

Around that hole there were also several musket balls recovered, and some nice glass wear.

We also found a hair brush and a comb. So some French fellow must have lost his personal travel kit there.

These French really knew how to go to war. There were three ovens on the ship all made from brick. the Glass and crystal pieces we found were very beautiful, but most were broken. The ship carried 350 sailors and 350 soldiers, plus a kitchen and service crew of about 36 men. She was very large for the day. 171 feet long, five stories tall and the masts ran up 168 feet. She weighed in at 1700 tons.

I wanted to put in a few more photos, but I can't quite figure it out yet.

So maybe one at a time


Thursday, June 3, 2010

I did my first dive in 1975. Several years later I got tired of looking at fish and decided to hang up my fins.

In 2005 I had the chance to go to Florida and do some recovery work down there. I enjoyed it so much I started a company named Deep Blue Marine Inc. Deep Blue has brought the joy and pleasure of diving back into my life.

Today I work in the Dominican Republic as a recovery diver on ship wrecks that date all the way back to the time of Christopher Columbus. For the last two years I worked on a wreck named Le Scipion. She was a French ship that fought for America in the revolutionary war. She sank October 18th 1782 as she was trying to anchor in Samana Bay. She had just come through a 34 hour running gun battle with three English ships. Le Scipion was a 74 gun class ship, she had fought off the London 98 guns, the Torbay 88 guns and the Badger 44 guns. During that battle 15 men on her decks were killed and 46 wounded. (Those are numbers I remeber, but I could be wrong)

I have tried to include some photos of recovered artifacts. Being new at this I may mess it up.

Hope you enjoy this. We have recovered several hundred different artifacts, the vast majority of which are going on display in our very own museum in the City od Samana Dominican Republic.