SHIP OF GOLD IN THE DEEP BLUE SEA
All of the characters in this story are real. I have changed no names, created no scenes from imagination, made up no dialogue. To protect proprietary information. I have minimally altered some material concerning technology and procedures. I gleaned the historical narrative from diaries of passengers aboard the Central America and hundreds of contemporary articles and interviews with the survivors of the sinking in 1857. I read several books on the California Gold Rush; particularly helpful were The Forty-Niners by William Johnson from Time-Life Books and a doctoral thesis by John Kemble titled The Panama Route. I also read Richard Henry Dana's classic, Two Years before the Mast. I referred to drawings of the Central America, a painting of the ship, and woodcuts from scenes along the Panama Route and at the wharves in San Francisco and Aspinwall. For nautical references. I used The Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea and Bowditch's American Practical Navigator. To reconstruct the search for the Central America, I had the Columbus-America Discoverer Group's 1986 sonar logs, the ship captain's logs for 1987 and 1988; the pilot's flight log for 1987: other at-sea logs for 1986 and 1987. tape recordings of hostile encounters with rival ships at sea. the navigator's timed artifact recovery log for 1988. personal diaries and occasional letters written by crew members, partnership letters from the Columbus-America Discoverer Group, trial transcripts, photographs of ocean floor sites and from aboard the various work vessels, hours of video on the bottom and topside, several visits to the offices and warehouse in Columbus. Ohio, and to the staging site in Wilmington. North Carolina, and extensive interviews with over a hundred people, including the ship and tech crews, partners. lawyers. CPAs. ensineers, scientists, and families and friends of the main characters. I read half a dozen books about the evolution of submarines and submersibles and man's attempts to penetrate the deep ocean. In August 1989 and again in September 1990.1 traveled on small fishing boats out to the Arctic Discoverer to live on board the ship and observe procedures on deck and in the control room while the Columbus-America Discovery Group explored the site of the Central America. In some instances, besides the recollections of those involved. I also had audio and videotapes of the actual events from which to construct scenes and dialogue...
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