Batman goes scallop diving and finds a torpedo bottle

scallop diving

Although the weather this weekend was not ideal I managed to get out on a scallop charter on Saturday.   With my gear still wet from Scapa Flow I figured another trip into the salt wouldn’t hurt it.  I didn’t bother diving my rebreather mainly out of pure laziness since I didn’t feel like assembling it or filling scrubbers. Honestly sometimes single-tank dives are just easier especially on a 50ft scallop dive with lots of current.

Me and Annie went out with Boston Scuba with Kim, Kevin N. and some other guys from South Shore Neptunes.   It was one of those rare moments where I actually got to fun dive and was not crewing so I could do two nice long dives and not have to worry about cutting my dives short to get back on the boat. The water is still in the 50s but I suspect for not much longer. I was consistently getting 50-51f at depth but then again we weren’t deeper than 60ft.

Diving single-tank is so liberating especially when there is a current. First dive was not so bad but second dive was like a roller coaster. Nothing to do but hang on to the flag. Fly-by scallop diving at it’s finest.

Sadly the visibility was horrendous on both dives; It was probably less than 5ft.  Maybe slightly more on the first dive but definitely not more than 5ft on the second dive.  Me and Annie went down on one flag for the first dive. I managed to grab a mostly full 3/4 bag and Annie probably had slightly less than half a catch bag.  The area we were in was not exactly the most productive.    I also found a teacup that could be old and some vintage 1990 budlight bottles that will probably be real collectors items in about 200 years for some keen future bottle collector. Kim did slightly better filling her catch bag while I think the the guys from South Shore Neptunes did about the same as me. They also found a couple cool bottles but I forgot to take pictures of them.

The 2nd dive Annie decided to forgo since she was still pretty cold from first dive. I did another hour dive at ~50-60ft with 51f water temperatures.  The current was absolutely ripping. I literally took all air out of my wing/drysuit to slow myself down.  I managed to fill my catch bag and found a pretty interesting torpedo blob-top bottle that I hoped was not cracked or broken underneath the scallops.   Sadly there was actually so much current and with the incoming high-tide, my dive flag even with about 80-90ft out scope out managed to get pulled underwater.  We looked for about 10 minutes and couldn’t find it. It WAS on the surface when I left it but it had gotten pulled under.   Thankfully Capt Jim. went back Sunday morning at low tide and recovered it.  I felt really bad but thankfully he was able to recover his flag and line.   He sent me a message this afternoon saying that he had found it so I went back to the dive shop around 1pm today to shuck the rest of my scallops and see if my torpedo bottle managed to survive the ride.

It is nothing super rare from what I can tell. It says Vincent Hathaway & Co Boston Ginger Ale. It is a blob-top torpedo bottle which I really like finding. It is estimated to be around 1870-1880s for age. Still a nice find with the added bonus of scallops or is that the other way around?  Some history..Torpedo bottles have a rounded bottom which prevents them from standing up. The idea behind them is that it kept liquid in contact with the cork and stopped the cork from shrinking. The corks would dry up and shrink on upright bottles which would cause them to lose pressure and carbonation. last thing. I got to test out my new Batman hood that I bought at Scapa Scuba while I was in Scotland.  I figured it would be nice to wear something a little more unique when I have students.  “Follow the batman” can now be part of my dive briefings if in fact we are not diving at Calf Island with less than 5ft of visibility in the mud/silt.  The batman hood is quite comfortable and warm.  It seems warmer than my Fourth Element 7mm but that’s probably because at this point it’s compressed down to a 3-4mm hood.


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