SECONN Skin Divers Club Presents Exhibition NEW LONDON AND OUR MARITIME HERITAGE: AN UNDERWATER VIEW
The New London Maritime Society - Custom House Maritime Museum hosts SECONN Skin Divers Club's exhibition, New London and our Maritime Heritage: An Underwater View. Artifacts in the exhibition, salvaged by club members in the waters off of New London, represent southeastern Connecticut's collective maritime history and connect to maritime casualties, the shipping trade, and the past life of a working seaport. Individual pieces are linked to the different shipwreck sites where they were found on a large chart of Long Island Sound. From fossilized Megalodon shark teeth millions of year old (this extinct monster was similar to today's Great White), to local industry and daily life over the past two centuries, the influence of two World Wars, and the tragedies associated with marine casualties, this show offers land-lubber's a view of the SECONN Skin Divers' mysterious realm. The SECONN exhibition opening takes placeon Saturday, November 2, from 5 to 7 PM at the Custom House Maritime Museum, 150 Bank Street, New London. The event is free & open to the public.
SECONN Skin Divers was established in 1963 by enthusiasts of a growing underwater sport and hobby, "recreational diving," as a way to exchange information, locate fellow divers, engage in and enjoy social and civic activities, and of course slip underwater. The term Skin Diver links each SECONN member, irrespective of age or experience, back to the Club's very beginning. Skin divers of the 1950's and 60's would today be known as SCUBA divers. Use of this acronym for "self-contained underwater breathing apparatus" did not become mainstream until well-after the club's start. Members are proud to be called SECONN Skin Divers , connecting with those who pioneered this sport.
Although the size of SECONN has varied through the years, the club has operated continuously since it was formed. In addition to monthly meetings, presentations, and diving events, the club hosts popular dive-refresher pool sessions in the spring and the nationally-known Frozen Fins Dive on January 1st of each year.
New Year's Day 2014 marks SECONN's Golden Frozen Fins Dive - the 50th. On this day cold-water equipped intrepid souls will glide under the surface at Eastern Point Beach in Groton to perform a clean-up and to find and recover golden shells. Prizes are awarded for the most trash collected, the most shells, and in a number of other diver categories. SECONN Skin Divers prides itself on environmental stewardship, community outreach, and promoting a healthy start to the New Year. The Frozen Fins Dive showcases this focus.
This is the third of three exhibitions to open at the Custom House Maritime Museum this fall featuring local divers. Already on view: Three's the Charm - Phyllis: A Shipwreck in Fishers Island Sound, Mark Munroe's 5-year search to find, dive, and identify a mysterious shipwreck off our shores; and Vintage Dive Helmets from Two Private Collectors: Jay Kane and Ed Uditis. All three exhibitions remain on view through February 23, 2014.