A Week.......plus 149 years...from the night the USS Monitor dropped to the bottom of the Graveyard of the Atlantic.
Tonight in England the moon is out and the sky clear. I think of how it might have been that night off Cape Hatteras USA, and how different sea rescue is today.
The coastline of the British Isles, my home in this lifetime, is dotted with many Lifeboat Stations to which volunteer crews can be summoned to "the Call". Coastguard stations co-ordinate rescues. Ship to shore radios, cellphones, radio-pagers, satellite phones, GPS Satellites, and International Telecommunications Undersea Cable Systems are all involved in many rescues.
The Crew aboard the Lifeboat, she's released sliding faster and faster down the slipway.
In a Mountain of Spray, slipping into the water, powerful marine diesels propel her fast hull through the relentless sea. In this way, a modern Lifeboat is launched in 2012.
How different in 1862. A continuing Civil War. Men rowing a rescue boat in the heaving water towards the "Iron Raft" of the Union Monitor. Kerosene lamps for vision, ropes for rescue, not much to cling to. So many survived the ordeal.
Coal is now bonded to rusted iron in the recovered remnants of that night. The museum curator and conservators of the remains of the Monitor, delicately chip away to reveal the original iron plate. No longer in the corrosive salt water, the Monitor is revealing her secrets.
I wish, to again, be a part of the Monitor's Story.
Click on the image above to see the whole vessel taken in 1974 when the wreck was discovered.