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Bertrand Sciboz, archeologist

January 12, 2013

leo-24-12-07-052January 10, 2013

Today Bertrand Sciboz posted on Facebook pictures of Penny and me near Cherbourg, France, when we went to sprinkle soil from Carl Bonde’s home in Kalispell into the English Channel where Carl’s troopship is laying on its side 150 feet under the surface.  This was just five years ago. We couldn’t have done it without our French friend who had dived the wreck and could show us a sonic image screen that depicted when we were directly over the wreck of the SS Leopoldville.

I had gotten an email from Bertrand, so Christmas Eve 2007 I walked out onto a long stone pier jutting into the bay at Cherbourg and watched as a tiny speck–the Ceres–came into sight.  Exactly two pm.  The boat’s skipper was Bertrand, who tied up to a stone stairway on the side of the pier.  His daughter disembarked to use the facility in the hotel at the other end of the pier.  After Penny and I boarded we waited as a friend of Bertrand arrived to trade for a Christmas lobster.  Bertrand’s daughter returned to the Ceres we roared out on the Channel to visit the wreck and place the soil.  Carl was one of 763 who died Christmas Eve 1944, so to pay respect to them, Bertrand played a recording of a young Black woman singing the national anthem and I tossed a large wreath into the water. “Slap,” it went, and Bertrand snapped a photograph.

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