Mary Celestia, a side paddlewheeler steamer, is a U.S. Civil War blockade runner, built in the United Kingdom. She worked out of Bermuda, and wrecked there in 1864.

Watch a video with the team from the Mary Celestia blog.

The team includes Dr. Philippe Rouja from the Bermuda Department of Conservation Services, Jim, Tane Casserley, and Wayne Lusardi from NOAA, Dr. Dominque Rissolo from the Waitt Institute of Discovery, and others.

This video by LookBermuda shows wonderful imagery of the wreck and gives a glimpse of the teamwork being done to excavate and recover wine bottles from Mary Celestia‘s bow.

The Charleston Mercury, July 26, 2011Blockader Runner: Mary Celestia and Her Charleston Connections

Excerpt: Lying 55 feet beneath the sea’s surface, the bow has now been carefully cleared, and finds from the excavation have yielded leather shoes, a rope hairbrush, a wooden form for a shoe and, most importantly, five corked bottles of wine still in their wooden crate. “The ocean is a vast repository of human history; some of it is encompassed in maritime protected areas and sanctuaries,” stated Dr. Delgado. “Our team was pleased to join this project to help protect and interpret our joint heritage.”

The Royal Gazette Online, June 24, 2011

Wine found on Marie Celestia wreck

Excerpt: James Delgado, US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) director of marine heritage, said it was exciting that they had accessed our heritage in a “real and tangible” way. …He said: “We all thought it was the rusted iron bones of a wreck, little did we realise what lurked inside the bow. …“This speaks powerfully about what history is all about. It demonstrates why history matters and why it is important.”

Bermuda Sun, June 23, 2011

Wreck team toasts discovery of wine stash

Excerpt: “It’s not until we have really done the digging and mapping and laboratory analysis that we will be able to say more and that’s the excitement of it — even when you go to a site like this that is well known, you always can learn more.”

BerNews, June 23, 2011

150 Yr Old Wine Found in Shipwreck

Excerpt: “The ocean is a vast repository of human history, some of it encompassed in marine protected areas and sanctuaries. Our team was pleased to join this project to help protect and interpret our joint heritage that links this protected shipwreck sites in Bermuda to Wilmington, North Carolina and our nearby sanctuary.” said Dr. Delgado.