Good Morning All! If you recall, I posted an article regarding a shipwreck in Coral Bay a few months back with mention of the dive group, Diving With a Purpose (DWP). Well, that spring issue of National Geographic feature (also mentioned in the article) will be available online on February 7, but a six episode podcast featuring the work and “purpose” of this incredible dive group will be live on January 27. And I am so incredibly excited to “dive” into these stories.
National Geographic Explorer, Tara Roberts, has spent the last few years working alongside DWP, a group of divers who visited St. John in July to explore the mysterious Coral Bay shipwreck. This incredible group is comprised of black scuba divers, scientists, historians and archeologists who aim to explore the 1000 missing ships around the globe that carried enslaved Africans. In the podcast, Roberts explores the past of the Henrietta Marie (a British slave ship that sank near the coast of Florida during the 18th century), a 16th Century Tudor shipwreck and the Clodita which was discovered off the coast of Alabama in 2019. This audio journey follows Roberts and DWP as they explore the lost shipwrecks of the transatlantic slave trade.
She takes a scientific approach to these wrecks in the Episode Two interview with DWP founder, Ken Stewart “and with him delves into the history of the Spanish pirate ship, the Guerrero, as well as the technical approach to investigating underwater archeological sites.”
Her personal connection to these stories takes her to a village in Mozambique to recount the impact of the slave trade on the villages there. And, to her home in North Carolina and then to Mobile, Alabama where she connects with direct descendants of Africans who were taken to the United States on the slave ship Clodita. (See Full Episode Guide)
Now, I reference the Coral Bay shipwreck in this article, not because it is featured in this series (according to the episode guide), but because this series focuses on the importance of uncovering these truths from the depths and on the dive group who explored our local wreck in July. A wreck that may help translate the yet to be told stories of the past for native St. Johnians. The series stresses the necessity of discovering and documenting these stories for present day descendants of enslaved Africans. This podcast, and the magazine to follow, may help to paint a picture of the struggles of descendants of slavery to connect the dots of their generational past.
The trailer for the podcast is below, but you can hear a snippet on the National Geographic – Into the Depths website. Episode one airs on January 27 and will be available anywhere you get your podcasts.