Scrapbook One Hundred Eleven…



The Salvador


If you think Dal is the type who sits at a computer all day long and types then you need to reboot your frontal lobes. Actually, he’s been all over the place.
Crayton Fenn, who is Skippy’s son, and a professional deep-sea diver, sent me a few photos. Since Dal’s face is plastered on most of them I asked him to give me some short descriptions. Instead, he wrote a book. But the stuff is kind of interesting so I begged him to post a couple of stories and illustrate them with the photos.f

Juan Doe, one of about 500 Juan Does on the shipwreck of the Salvador

Juan Doe

This is a photo of neither me nor Crayton. This fellow is one of about 400 who’s bones rest, often unarticulated, in Maldonado Bay on the shipwreck of the Salvador off the coast Uruguay.

If you look closely you can see an old brass button from his shirt just right of center in the picture, just as it was found. His shirt has long since rotted away. Juan rests quietly now but the chaotic moments leading up to his death were anything but peaceful. He was terrified and fighting for his very existence against a terrible storm that unleashed itself on the armed troop ship Salvador in 1812, breaking the ship apart and drowning most aboard.

In Uruguay, the story of the Salvador is entrenched in colorful South American history and lore. This great wooden ship, a hundred and fifty feet in length, carried over 500 war hardened Spanish soldiers as it stealthily approached the coast of Uruguay. Their purpose was to attack and seize almighty control for the mother country and mercilessly put down a growing revolution by the disenfranchised and disgruntled patriots of Spanish South America. If the Salvador and it’s cargo of well trained and tested infantry had reached shore that late summer day over 200 years ago, the face of South America and the lives of those living there would most certainly be very different today. Many Uruguayans considered it nothing short of a miracle that this ship never made it to shore.


The salvage crew enjoying a moment after their first canon lift from the Salvador

I am in the center in the back and Crayton Fenn is next to me on camera right in the blue/green checked shirt. The town of Punta del Este, Uruguay is behind us. Crayton was the leader and operations manager of this project in which we had a contract with the Uruguayan government allowing us to search and salvage in an area known to be riddled with ships from the 15th century to the present and loaded with everything from gold bars to French wines.

In the 19th century, Spanish canons did not have serial numbers. Instead they were each baptized with the name of a saint, typically the name of the saint whose day it was when the canon was “born”. The canon in front of us is named S. Rafael (Saint Rafael). It was created in 1801. S. Miguel and S. Graviel were the next canons brought up. In addition to its name each canon also carries the inscription, “Domingo Soriano Me Fecit”, which means, “Domingo Soriano made me”.

A smaller canon laying on the bottom, just as it was found.

Another canon laying on the bottom, just as it was found.

You can see from this photo how thousands of artifacts were laying on the bottom, as if they had simply “spilled” off the ship yesterday. Of course there were tens of thousands of artifacts hidden under the sand as well. The salvage of the items here was a precise archeological dig, except under water. Artifacts included everything from weapons to buttons to jewelry to coins to crystal wine glasses to medical supplies, there were also the skeletons of nearly four hundred soldiers and sailors who drowned while trying desperately and impossibly to keep their ship from sinking under their feet. Some of the skeletons were still wearing leather boots. Some linen shirts survived and many skeletons had items such as beads or a crucifix circling the neck, coins in their pockets and swords at their sides The Oxford Encyclopedia called the artifacts we found on the Salvador “the most significant collection of Napoleonic era artifacts surviving today”.

A few artifacts from the Salvador

A few silver and brass artifacts from the Salvador


Posing with one of our 200 year old canons

Crayton Fenn on the left and me behind the canon, taking careful aim I guess…

You will note that we are wearing our nice crew shirts and clean socks in this photo. We are coming into the harbor in Punta del Este to unload our first cargo of bronze canons. We heard that a crowd had formed on the dock to meet and greet us. Although we wanted to look sharp for the crowd, we had no idea we were about to be treated like heroes.


We were the lead story in every newspaper and on every news report in Uruguay

Hundreds of folks came down to the dock to see and hopefully touch the canons. When we placed these beautiful relics on the dock, hundreds and hundreds of Punta del Este residents reached out to touch the canons and then make the sign of the cross and bless both themselves and the muzzles. Many Uruguayans believe that it was divine intervention that prevented these deadly weapons from being used against the patriots. They wanted to treat the canons with respect because the artillery pieces “refused” to be used against their ancestors.

For the next two weeks we were not able to pay for dinner in that town. The President of Uruguay and the Chief Admiral of the Navy visited us on our boat and thanked us. It was a humbling experience.


three brass earrings from the wreck of the Salvador

"Surveyor", our research and salvage vehicle built especially for work off the coast of Uruguay.

“Surveyor”, our research and salvage vehicle built especially for work off the coast of Uruguay

This is our 50ft survey vessel, “Surveyor”. She was deigned by Crayton and built in Seattle especially for our work in  Uruguay. That’s Crayton at the helm putting her through test paces and making as much wake as possible before freighting her down to Montevideo.

Crayton next to a treasure chest off a shipwreck

Crayton next to a provocative treasure chest off the Salvador

We didn’t open it until it was on the deck of Surveyor.


Taking pictures in one of the many areas where artifacts were exposed on the bottom

All told, the project here resulted in locating hundreds of historic shipwrecks containing everything from gold to beans, over a period of five years. In the end, the government did not honor their contract with the us. We were never allowed to fully recover the tens of thousands of artifacts that we discovered because policies were amended, governments changed and historical research and recovery became increasingly difficult in South America. As the word “nationalization” began to get louder, the crew loaded up Surveyor with as much research gear as possible and ran as fast as possible up the coast to Rio de Janeiro where Surveyor was placed on a container ship headed for Texas.

In shear volume of discovered shipwrecks and unrecovered historical artifacts this project was a stellar success. However, since the 50/50 agreement with the Uruguayan government was never honored by them, the project was never able to recoup its considerable expenses.

Marine archeological work in South America can be difficult and expensive.


139 thoughts on “Scrapbook One Hundred Eleven…

  1. Dal you will never cease to amaze me.
    It’s a pirate’s life for me yo ho yo ho yo ho. 🙂

    Thanks so much Forrest.

  2. Dal, looks like you beat us to the “brass ring” since we are all still under the mighty influence of food and beverage.

  3. Precisely the problem with finding sunken treasure. What’s in it for the divers–nothing really, in most cases the country it belongs to steps in and takes everything.

    • Believe it or not that shipwreck was in 30 feet of water and Crayton was the first to find it even though folklore and rumors persisted that it was in Maldonado Bay where it was found.

      Uruguay simply had no research crews or equipment capable of finding that vessel or any of the others…

      Scuba diving was a prohibited activity reserved only for the military.

      You would not believe the ordeal, inspections, exams and testing we had to undergo to become “certified” divers in Uruguay..

      • We had an armed military guard on board at all times whose job it was to make sure we did not bring up artifacts.

        • What were the guards doing? Sleeping? How’d you get that pile of booty on the ship if the guards were watching? Hopefully, you weren’t doing the criminal type “dash and stash.” Ouch! Lol, I’m teasing, you know.

          • Mindy-
            I wasn’t very clear. The booty you see pics of was from the Salvador. That ship was in a search zone that belonged to another group, a Uruguayan group. Crayton found those vessels for them but they had the salvage rights. We were all good friends and worked together and partied together.

            They had salvage rights on those two vessels. We would move over to their area and give them a hand on days we could not work in our own area.
            Our area was in open water and we had many fewer days we could work it. But the Salvador and HMS Agamemnon were in a protected bay and could be worked even when our area was “rocking and rollin” in a storm.

            To survey you need pretty flat water. Otherwise you get bad results from the up and down movement over waves and turbulence in the water itself. You could miss a lot of shipwrecks.

            So their area had already been surveyed and they were now in the salvage mode.
            At that time we were still surveying our area. After we finished surveying and identified the shipwrecks we filed for salvage rights. That’s when we got hosed.

            So those items in the photos were from the Salvador, where a different project team had rights to salvage. They preferred to use our vessel for salvage work because it was a superior work platform to the vessel they had…We had a 50ft beautiful, state of the art boat with a galley and a head and lots of lift capability. We also had support personnel and a microwave oven…ha!!
            They had a rubber raft…

            The Salvador and Agamemnon were somewhat salvaged…that is to say when we left there was still more work to be done on them. So I don’t know if they were ever completely salvaged. Even so, that Uruguayan group had problems too. Their canons were glommed onto by the Navy and I don’t know if the group ever got them back. So although thousands of artifacts were brought up legally, I don’t know exactly what happened after we fled the country. But I have a pretty good idea.

            Even in our survey zone we were allowed to dive on shipwrecks to identify them. To see what nation they came from, to take photos, to see if they could be identified…and in that regard we were allowed to bring up artifacts. We could use the artifacts to help identify the heritage of the vessel…If you found a simple pottery urn for example, you might be able to establish from its mark who made it and when…this would give you a clue to the ship’s ownership.

            So we could bring some things up and we could photograph them and then they would have to be returned to the shipwreck until we received the “salvage” permit….which of course never came…
            After five years of researching, searching, surveying, identifying and charting the English Banks..we left empty handed..

            The guards were on board with loaded weapons to check what we brought up and to make sure we returned them before we left the shipwreck. But you are right..they did a lot of sleeping and coffee drinking and shooting at birds…They were not terribly efficient…some we liked, others we did not.

      • I love the shallow dives like that. More bottom time.

        I have never had problems like that, I was “detained” once by customs in Costa Rica when I was doing a job there. A little misunderstanding about some parts I was bringing into the country.

      • There are supposedly quite a few shipwrecks off the coast of Florida that have yet to be found. One of the biggest is off Amelia Island, which is just a couple hours north of me. One day after a tropical storm or hurricane, I’m going to race out there with the $1500 metal detector I’ve hardly ever used and dig up some treasure. 🙂

      • What an adventure!! I was in Palau in the early 80’s when they discovered a ship in the channel from the war. Wish I was allowed to dive it but they had to have the Japanese government go down first.

      • Stories like this whet my appetite. Everybody looks so happy, I guess that’s what treasure does except in Sierra Madre.

  4. Yo-ho Dal…Very cool life that you lead! Do you continue doing underwater recovery with Creighton? I sincerely hope Forrest’s treasure is found during your lifetime so that you can write the movie script. Well done as always Dal.

    • 42-
      I do not. I now manage a small TV station so I can’t get months off to go hang out with the guys and explore the world’s oceans. However this was not the only cookie in the jar. Crayton and I also went looking for a WWII era B-17 bomber lost when trying to find Goose Bay on Christmas Eve 1947. There were over 13,000 B-17 bombers made by Boeing. Today there are just 13 of them left. Parts are impossible to find. The wings are worth a cool $million each. We went after one with a wonderful story…

      We also went after the Japanese submarine I-52 which was carrying a few tons of gold to Nazi Germany in WWII and was sunk by an American Torpedo Bomber.

      Crayton is one of the top side-scan sonar operators in the known universe. His prowess with underwater search tools is highly respected. When the Space Shuttle Columbia exploded into a million pieces he was called in by the military to find them.

      Crayton and I have gone on several “body searches”. When local divers and the police cannot find a drowning victim or murder victim in lakes, they call Crayton. We pack up a few hundred pounds of side scan survey tools and fly wherever to help the authorities look when everyone else has failed. Our goal is to bring closure for the family. Erase the doubt of a terrible event in their history. It’s conflicting…both sweet and sour… to be hugged by the mom of the son whose body you just located.

      And there have been other adventures as well..Looking for the bow of a steamship coming back from Alaska with Klondike gold. It struck an iceberg and sank carrying millions of dollars in gold bullion, dust and nuggets…

      What I love about all these adventures is the camaraderie, of course. And the travel and adventure, certainly. But what I appreciate most of all is being tossed into a piece of history. A puzzle that has to be solved…where is it? What happened? What are the unknown factors that could have changed what we think we know…

      It’s real life adventure and research…and it’s truly fascinating…

      • Dal, early on in my totc research I enjoyed reading about Crayton’s work linked through Forrest’s website. After following your blog for months its rewarding now to learn that you and Crayton are diving friends who give of your time and talent to assist families of drowning victims. Were you guys Navy divers when you met?

        I would love to hear more of your adventure searching for the B-17.

        [Forrest, thanks for riding in the rumble seat so we could learn more about Dal and Crayton].

        • Sorry to hear about the down side of your talents. At least you are able to look at the positive side of it in giving the families closer. That must be tough but from what i know about you so… far tough is not hard for you. Thanks for sharing…

      • Dal, thank you for sharing all of this!
        I have Lorance side scanning sonar on my fish and ski boat. I’ve never seen anything as wild as these pictures.

      • Hello Dal. Thank you for sharing this link with us. It’s amazing to see the beautiful photos over the years. Quite the adventures everyone experienced. Do you miss it and would you go back if you could or wanted to?

      • Mindy-
        Out here in the Pacific Northwest the water hovers around 54 degrees all year long. So people dive in drysuits. In a drysuit you wear your clothes and a jacket or sometimes a big fuzz zip up from toe to head…makes you look like a teddy bear and keeps you very warm. Then the dry suit goes over all that. You stay nice and warm.
        Wet suits keep you warmer than the water too…but they have their warmth limitations depending on the temperature of the water and the length of time you spend in that water.
        The fun thing to do is to go to the Caribbean and take one of those one day diving excursions. They rent you the gear and give you some lessons and take you out in pretty comfortable, clear water. If you liked that then you would probably like to go home and get certified and start collecting equipment.
        Dive gear can be expensive and a lot of people don’t dive for that reason.
        Once you are certified you can always find a dive club where you head out with a group of like-minded individuals and make a day of enjoying some reef or spring or lake.
        If you don’t want to buy gear you can rent it on a daily basis pretty cheap..

        • I actually did the day dive in Key West. It was so much fun. I loved being under the water for so long, and the colors and sizes of the fish and coral were so diverse and amazing.
          I’ve heard that scuba is expensive, and I also heard that you should always dive with a buddy. I don’t have any diving friends, and I’m trying to budget for Christmas and a trip to treasure hunt near Santa Fe in the spring, so no new hobbies til summer!

        • I like anthing that involves warm fuzzy fleece I’m in… Also a fan of the Caribbean reference… It’s down to 26 degrees here…

    • Forrest, thanks for sharing the photos of Dal and Crayton’s treasure hunting adventures! Are you sure Dal isn’t related to you? 😉

      Dal, have you, Forrest and Crayton ever thought about creating a reality TV show with Surveyor? It would be a hit!

      • Wendy-
        Yet another twist..
        The crew put Surveyor on a container ship destined for Texas. The container ship crew chained her to their deck and welded the chains in place.
        A few days after that container ship left Rio it ran into a terrible storm. Containers broke loose on the deck and started ramming into one another and Surveyor was knocked loose and eventually overboard in the process. The last time the container ship crew saw Surveyor she was stern up and headed for the bottom…or so they reported.
        We have always suspected she is still being used in Columbia as a drug runner…

        Crayton now has Surveyor II and uses her extensively around the Northwest.

        • Yes, amazing twist. Sounds like you’ve got plenty of exciting adventure stories to fill a book or a TV show.

  5. Dal, do you know if Uruguay was ever able to salvage the wreck, or did their greed prevent it from getting done?

    • It’s complicated but I believe that ship and another, which was Lord Admiral Nelson’s favorite ship…the Agamemnon…were both searched and a great deal of the artifacts salvaged. How much of that material ended up where it should have is altogether another question. Both the Agamemnon and the Salvador were the subjects of a TV documentary series hosted by Mensun Bound who was a marine archeologist from Oxford University. The series aired on Discovery.

      We worked on both these ships as a “favor” to their projects. However neither of these vessels were shipwrecked in our zone a few miles away. In our zone none of the found vessels were properly surveyed or artifacts recovered…to my knowledge.

      I would imagine that by now many of the Uruguayan wrecks in shallow water have been looted and the artifacts and history of those vessels will never be known. Uruguay, due to it’s coastline is an area rich in historic shipwrecks. But the government there has created a situation where much of it will never be known before looters swim away with it.

  6. Must have been quite the adventure. I’m not a certified diver but my brother and brother in law are. Maybe we should go diving for Fenn’s treasure 🙂 I’ve been to Chile, Peru and Bolivia but never to Uruguay. Dal if you hadn’t met Creighton you would never have met his larger than life uncle. I like the bogus name you gave him. Hi Forrest I’m Mike.

  7. Dal, What an incredible adventure! I don’t know how you can’t find Fenn’s treasure after finding a sunken ship in the ocean…do you still get the opportunity to search for sunken ships, or are you relegated to searches only on land? Regardless, your life’s adventures have way surpassed mine…love your stories. Please continue to post them. cynthia

  8. Dal I am impressed, spite the value of the artifacts you’ve found it looks like a fun adventure.
    PS for the love of god please give them legs a tan man! 🙂

  9. Dal, what an exciting adventure. I have always had an interest in sunken treasure and the history surrounding it.

    As a matter of fact my wife and I along with Cynthia had the privilege of meeting Mel Fisher at his museum in Key West during the summer of 1994.

    You have certainly lead an interesting life.

    • Thomas-
      That’s a rudder post on a shipwreck about 18 miles southeast of Montevideo, in the Atlantic Ocean. The water here is very shallow. This was our search zone. It is called the English Banks. A huge moving sand bank at the mouth of the Rio de la Plata (river of silver). The mouth of that river is immense. Nearly 150 miles across and the bank rears up very suddenly and for 600 years ships have been grounding on that huge bank of sand as they ship goods into the region or explored the coast.

      What’s more, the bank moves around every time there is a storm. So mariners had no idea exactly where the bank would be. What was blue water last year might be occupied by the bank this year.

      Remember that in the days of sailing ships these big vessels liked to stay off the coast in safe water but close enough that they could see land and explore. So at 18 miles out the English Banks was a constant trap for ships headed into Buenos Aires, Montevideo and further up the Rio de la Plata. There are literally thousands of shipwrecks there from the 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st century piled up there. They get buried and unburied after storms.

      This was our search area. This was the area the Uruguayan government leased to us to search. It’s kind of like a mining lease. We have the exclusive right to search there and locate shipwrecks. Then we can apply for a salvage permit to remove artifacts under the supervision of a Marine Archeologist. We split the find 50/50 with the government.

      Here is a photo of the mouth of the Rio de la Plata. East is up in this photo. Argentina is on the right side of the river and Uruguay is on the left. Buenos Aires, Argentina is the brownish area on the bottom right. Montevideo, Uruguay is the brownish area on the top left.

      Out in the blue water, to the east of Montevideo you can see some areas that look like islands. They are not really islands but that is the approximate area of the English Banks. It stretches a good way across the river out there. A serious obstacle to navigation….and therefore a wonderful place for history to become frozen in the sand as ship after ship piled up on the bank.

      Very few of the thousands of shipwrecks on the Banks are above water. Many are just below the surface. So a vessel must be very cautious when moving around out there. Even if the water is 20 feet deep…a shipwreck can be lurking just inches below the surface.

      We were the first operation to systematically survey the entire banks and beyond at the mouth of the Rio de la Plata. We were stunned to find the vast number of shipwrecks that are there.

      • Do you need a good cook on board for the salvage season? I don’t get seasick, am a lifeguard, make great apple pie and will work for recovered jewels 🙂

        • Hey, I’d like that job too! I was a second mate on a 72′, 84′, and 109′ boat in the Caribbean when I was in my 20’s (we won’t go into how long ago that was) and I am great cook too. I would love to be on a crew looking for treasures. How fun.

          • Raven, maybe we can job share, alternating between looking for forrest’s treasure and cooking for Skippy’s team.
            Talking my husband into this scheme may be more difficult than finding Forrest’s treasure 🙂

          • I’m a horrible cook, but would be able to provide some comic relief with my clumsy boat antics. 🙂
            Actually, I’m a pretty decent comfort food cook.

          • Raven, If Skippy and Dal are as smart as I believe, we have to interview with their wives for the job on board. I interviewed with a bosses wife once and was hired. Not sure if that’s because she trusted me or I was ugly enough to be no threat! I ended up working for the whole family.

      • Dal, Thank you for the detailed description of the area that you were searching for shipwrecks.
        The photograph really helps to put this in perspective. It really boggles the mind.
        What an adventure!
        Thanks for sharing.

  10. That is very cool, Dal and Forrest. What an incredible find and an awesome adventure. I can see now how you two got together. It makes me cringe to learn how the government dishonored their original agreement. Unfortunately, that story is way too common in a world of malice and greed. Those who have power typically use that power to enrich themselves at the cost of others…their fortunes and their lives. It’s good to see that, at least, your story was told giving many people great admiration and appreciation for your accomplishment…also allowing many to witness and touch with their own hands the saving hand of The Almighty. Stories like this need to be told. Well done.

  11. Dal,
    That is amazing. What a fun, exciting job that must have been. To see such things first hand must of been *almost* as good as seeing a moose in the wild! 🙂

      • I just want to see Yellowstone one day…moose or not. I’ve never been. 🙂 Do they allow diving in some of those pretty blue pools?

        • @Dal; Moose like cold weather……so if you’re there in the summer time you probably won’t see any. If they are in the area they will bed down during the day to avoid the heat. I use to see them in that area all the time in my younger days. The fire in 88 really changed their roaming areas. I have run into (literally run into) moose as far south as the Green River in Southwestern Wyoming when I was young.

          @JC1117, the pools are great if you don’t mind breathing hydrogen sulfide and bathing in battery acid. The pH of those pools can be as low as 1.2, nearly identical to the pH of battery acid. There have been several cases of herds of animals killed by a plume of hydrogen sulfide; it is a heaver than air hydro carbon and tends to concentrate in low lying areas……Mother nature is beautiful but she has no pity for those that don’t understand her.

          • Thanks, Goof. You talked me into leaving my swim trunks at home. Speaking of battery acid, I hope the battery in my truck can keep up the charge through this winter. It’s been quite cold already…and likely to get colder.

        • Sorry, having some problems posting on Dals blog.Anyone else or just me?

          Dal if all it takes to make your life complete is a moose, may I suggest a bucket list? LOL

    • Wendy

      I have studied AE extensively (because of this chase) and read many books about her. Thank you FF, time well invested. I remember one book in particular that discussed a small piece of her plane that had fallen off during her crash in Hawaii. She survived but the plane was badly damaged. Imagine my astonishment when I too read the recent internet article/press release. What a coincidence? IMO the TIGHAR people/project is a fraud. The airplane piece they just now reported as found by them was originally from the Hawaii AE plane crash in 1936/1937? Same size same description. Yep, right piece of metal but not found on Nikomuru/Gardner Island.

      I don’t believe FF is/was involved with these people but I know at one time his friend Mike Kammerer was. Very interesting connection that led me to Kirwin WY where I spent a few weeks searching this last summer. Hope to go back again someday! Great place but no treasure.

      Best advice, don’t believe everything you see or read on the internet. Wish FF would remark about his friend and his connection to this ongoing search for her plane….???

      • JC, I also wondered about the article. They seemed to have everything all buttoned up. Yet, asked for additional funding to have people come join them on the chase oh.. I mean search for the plane??? I think I will go back and look at the article again. Oh wait… what… not everything on the internet is true???

      • JC, I hear ya! I don’t believe everything I read on the internet, but there were multiple articles this past summer, from many different news sources talking about the same piece of metal, and other artifacts that were found. It’s interesting what you said about the similar piece of metal found back in the 1930’s.

        I too, have been to beautiful Kirwin WY to see AE’s cabin spot and to search for the treasure. I’ve always admired Amelia, and so the optimist in me hopes that someday soon, they’ll find out what happended to her.

        Thanks for sharing that info with me, and yes it would be great to hear what Forrest thinks about the recent reports and searches.

      • If the treasure’s not in the general area of Kirwin, Forrest must have known the poem would lead many people there. WAY too many clues match up! Did he do it on purpose?

  12. Dal, that was awesome! BTW, hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! My husband and I are both certified divers; he is a divemaster. We would love to go on a recovery expedition like that if you can swing it. We have done tons of diving all over. It’s an adventure every time.

  13. Dal, Off topic – you mention the names of the canons. In some cultures, the name days are still important. In Greece for example, your friends might not know your birthday, but all they have to do is look at a calendar to know your name day. On your name day, you can expect to receive cards, gifts, phone calls etc. My son (half greek) has his name day this Sunday (St. Andrews Day). When deciding his name, we had to consider which saint he would be named after. When my wife asked me if I was okay with naming him after St. Andrew, I of course said yes. Who wouldn’t want their son named after the patron saint of golf and all things Scottish. She looked at me like I did not know what I was talking about.

    • William-
      I wondered if anyone was curious about that chest. As you can imagine once we got it on board everyone gathered around to see what would be there when the lid was lifted.

      Mud was what was left inside it. It evidently had held important papers which never stood up to the sea and had turned to complete muck.

      But there were other wonderful little surprises to make up for the loss of what was secreted into the chest.

  14. Dal..
    As a child and having grown up by the ocean, I remember free diving for fun as children into shallow waters to see canons which littered and still do the ocean floors in Papua New Guinea..I always imagined what it was like to be able to scuba dive but never learnt. My imagination ran wild,dreaming about finding sunken treasure. The ocean has a lot of hidden secrets and it takes a few like yourself to discover and reveal its secrets..I applaud you.

  15. Thanks, F, for the opportunity to see where Dal’s true talent lies. Maybe, someday, he will find your treasure, if Crayton helps! Still love you, Dal!

  16. Dal you mention “crystal wine glasses” did they really find some of those??? Intact??? Are there any pictures anywhere of them I would love to see that.

    • Oh, Sorry Dal I went through and looked at your amazing pictures again and I see where there is some glasses. Really quite an amazing feat they survived so long. You would have thought they would have broken under the pressure of the waves…

  17. Another great adventure Dal! You’ve led an exciting life and you and Esmarelda seem to be continuing that tradition. 🙂 I’m glad Forrest asked you to post this one so we could see what you’ve been up to in the past. It sounds like you were probably lucky you didn’t end up in one of their jails down there!

  18. What are you trying to say Forrest? That we need to get in action. Is that what you’re saying? That’s what I’m hearing.

  19. Awesome photos, to have a job full of adventure and discovery. The real Indiana jones or James Bond, if there’s some espionage or action 🙂

  20. Thank you mr. forrest for letting us see a part of dal and the work he does when he has time.crayton sure took after his dad.He must be one of the best divers,etc. around for people to call on all them to help out ,when needed.He sure is smart like his uncle Forrest.The boat he designed sure is a beautiful thing.and built to endure such adventures he goes on.May God bless you all for helping people when you are called upon.Dal the pictures are amazing.I would of loved to have been there if I was young.those cannons are something else.can you imagion those things on a ship ready to blow people and things to pieces such horrible weapons during those times, but now are part of history and are great,because,you think who made them,who fired them,etc.very interesting stories.gosh I love history of all sorts forrest thanks for getting me interested in history,as a youth in school,i hated history,thought it was boring,but because of you ,dal and crayton,I love history.a big hugh book of history of life,great job.

  21. Now we know why Dal sing’s “Row, Row, Row, Your Boat”, in bear country. Great share. Thank you Mr. Fenn, and Dal.

    • old miner, I am a miner too. Do you think that a boat was “Put in” by forrest to hide the chest? How many have taken boats to find a treasure?, this kind of thought, keeps me up half the night.
      Lou Lee chased by Brown Bears in Jelly stone park. LOL True and lived to tell the …….

  22. Dal, Thank you for the history lesson and letting us see what your life is like. Never stop having adventures!!!

  23. Very interesting story and always nice to see what others do from day to day. To be connected to documenting anything of historical value is such a privilege. Hats off to you Dal ! Frustrating and sad to know that the deal was not sealed and all that hard work went without compensation. Thanks for sharing !

  24. Dal

    You have such great adventure in your life I love all the photos 🙂

    I said to my husband thank God Forrest did not put this chest in the ocean because I wouldn’t dive for it 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your adventures with us they are awesome 🙂

  25. Fascinating story Dal. I’m glad William asked about the “chest” and its contents. I was anxious to hear what was in it and eagerly read the rest of your tale to get the answer. I was relieved when I went through the posts and found the answer. That’s the kind of find that would have me hyperventilating to say the least no matter its contents. Interesting area, I can see from the latest pic you posted why so many ships had problems. More please!

  26. Dal I am really impressed with the adventures you have been fortunate to do! This sure blows my first impression of you as a person who had several hundred thousand miles on their van. Never judge a book by its cover! You have had some truly amazing adventures! I think you and Mr. Fenn probably get a laugh out of all us greenhorns…I hope one day to find the FF treasure and prove my worth to Mr. Fenn! Thanks for the inspiration!

  27. St. Cyril of Jerusalem down in Taylor from 2nd grade to 8th. I lived in Allen Park. When it came time to go to high school I was given a choice of Catholic or public. I choose public and graduated from Allen Park High.

  28. Great story Dal. Proves that you are a real treasure hunter. We have nothing on you. Very exciting life. I admire you.

  29. Just like finding gold you gotta have faith and use your nose. Start with the Rockies and narrow it down. Keep ringing that bell.

  30. Dal,

    I’m currently working on a theory for a story To have posted. Could you clarify something for me about this SB.

    Did Forrest send you these particular photos for this SB and ask you to write about them or did he send you a group of photos and you picked and chose what to publish.

    I can’t tell from the wording what Forrest in the “foreword” meant. Go figure, right?!?!



  31. James-
    Forrest conspired with Crayton who sent him those photos from our five year adventure in Uruguay. Then Forrest sent the photos to me and asked me to write something about them…or maybe he just asked me for captions I can’t recall. Somewhere in that time line he asked me to connect the dots and write a story about our trip based on those photos…I did, Forrest then wrote an intro paragraph and I posted the whole thing..Typos and all…boy….I need to correct some of those words…
    I left out the photo of me being stranded on the shipwreck because I thought it was a little “narcissistic”.
    After the story was published on the blog Forrest wrote and complained that I left out the “best” photo and said I should add it…so I added it in a comment…

    Does that help??

  32. What a find!!! I can’t imagine how fascinating this was. The vibe I get off of the ring just left of center is that of incompleteness. Almost as though it didn’t arrive to it’s destination. Amazing story and thank you for sharing so much with us.

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