by Selene Muldowney
The Andrea Doria lies in 240 feet of water after sinking in 1956, one hundred miles from mainland New York. This wreck has long been considered the pinnacle of wreck diving: the “Mount Everest of Diving”. Exploring the Andrea Doria is a transformative experience which leaves a diver awed by the liner’s fascinating history.
The depth, strong currents, and underwater hazards are well beyond the scope of recreational diving, and exploring the Andrea Doria reasonably and safely requires technical diving skills and equipment. The Andrea Doria has claimed the lives of sixteen divers over the decades, but that does little to discourage the intrepid few who wish to turn their dream of “diving the Doria” into a reality.
While “Setting the Hook” covers the history of the Andrea Doria, and the vivid narrative of underwater panic, nerve wracking escape and rescue as well as near death or failed attempts, it is also a story of a man’s past, present and future as he reassesses his life. Hunt revisits the allure of the Andrea Doria, recounting the sheer physiological and psychological challenges faced with penetrating this watery tomb. He describes his personal challenges as he refined his diving skills as well as introducing readers to the fine art of diving and the constant attention to breathing, buoyancy and decompression.
Peter Hunt crewed on five Andrea Doria expeditions in the early 1980s and braved the depths at a time before dive computers and mixed gases. As an avid Northeast Wreck Diver, Hunt explored the Andrea Doria diving 220 feet—on air! After experiencing a lifetime’s worth of underwater memories, Hunt left technical diving to follow a career as a navy and airline pilot. Twenty years later, Hunt again felt the irresistible pull of the wreck and was drawn back to see how time had changed the Doria, to learn of the amazing advances in the evolution of the technical diving, and to reconnect with the dynamic personalities of the wreck diving community he once knew so well.
He captures our attention with a book which is truly meant for everyone, delivering divers with technical and adventure fronts while illustrating a personal journey of a man who leaves his youth to a more cautious man who discovers his own physical decline. He creates a heartfelt and inspiring story which fueled me to appreciate the technical aspects of diving, the fragility of life and the understanding of Hunt’s personal journey as a reflection on our humanity.
One in six women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. It is the most common cancer amongst women, excluding skin cancers. At the Oregon Health and Science University Knight Cancer Institute, medical experts and scientists are focusing on changing these statistics. Dive for a Cure is an organization dedicated to raise money for this research.
The 5th Annual Dive for a Cure event is rapidly approaching. This year it will be held at the Woahink Lake in the day use area gazebo in Florence, OR. Sept. 30. If you have not registered, please do so now. Registration forms can be found on the Dive for a Cure website. If you can’t make the event, you can certainly send in a donation either thru the Diveforacure.org website or to OHSU Foundation and sent to Eugene Skin Divers Supply.
Recently, Dive for a Cure has hosted a yard sale, a garden party and participated in the DUI Demo Tour. The winery fundraiser is quickly coming on Sept. 7 at LaVelle Vineyards in Elmira, OR. There are also small quantities of hand tie-dyed “We heart Boobie Birds” shirts available from this year’s Dive & Travel Expo. All donations go to the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute for breast cancer research.
Diver and author of Setting the Hook: A Diver’s Return to the Andrea Doria, Peter Hunt believes in the mission set out by Dive for a Cure and has pledged to donate all of the profits from every book sale when you purchase “Setting the Hook” from the Dive News Network Website.