"Above all, the terrible incongruity of her situation strikes the diver's senses. Perfect (to his eyes), unscarred, seemingly impregnable, still equipped with every appurtenance of her impressive calling, this vast, intricate, luxurious human habitation lies empty and abandoned outside the world of men."
The divers went wherever they could in the little time allowed them. Some worked along the boat deck; others examined the flying bridge. One man left his partner briefly to enter the swimming pools and so reached the mid-line of the ship, 220 feet down. Others swam through the dim, discolored water of the interiors.
"There are documents and charts upon which the ink is still fresh and clear. There are delicate fabrics which show neither stain nor tear. Shoes retain form and color, and even their shine. Metal trinkets glitter as before."
But men may never look again at these human things at the bottom of the sea. The brief visits are ended, and they are so costly and dangerous that there may be no more. The sea change, MacLeish says, has begun: "Silt will gradually fill the lower portions of the hull and, as currents undercut the sandy bottom beneath her, the ship will shift and settle deeper and deeper into the ocean floor...."
He hurled the javelin through the air:
So mighty was his lob
It fell and pierced a relay team
Like so much shish kebab