A Unique Underwater Discovery
I am blessed. My life consists of diving every day in the Caribbean of the United States, the beautiful Florida Keys. I do realize how fortunate I am, but after 8,000 dives in these waters it, at times, seems routine. The ocean became much smaller in my mind the more I explored her, to a point where I assumed there wasn’t much in our waters I hadn’t seen or experienced. I was reminded how wrong I was.
The day was like any other day. I had a dive charter in the morning and a private spearfishing charter in the afternoon. The private spearfishing charter was a birthday gift from a mom to her 17 year old son. So birthday boy and I were off in search of hogs and snapper. I decided to have the captain hot drop us on the edge of a reef so we could drift dive in hopes of covering more ground so we splashed in and kicked away. Because the current was pretty decent that day we kicked our way to the end of the reef very quickly. It was this moment that was critical to our discovery. I had a decision to make, stay on the reef or kick off into the sand to see if we could find more hunting grounds. I decided to go exploring. So we kicked from patch to patch finding a few hogs and some nice size lionfish. Each patch would run out and we would kick to the next and then the next and so on and so on. So when it was time to surface we had covered an insane amount of distance. We surfaced, hailed the boat to come get us and then just bobbed along with safety sausages and waited to get picked up. As the boat arrived we just happened to look down. About 50 feet down I could barely make out something that didn’t belong there. I looked at Jeff and said “We need to go check that out”.
Over the past 440 years weather, war, and chance have claimed several thousand vessels off Florida’s shores. Many of which have been discovered, especially ones in clear, shallow Florida Keys water. Old Spanish galleons and wooden Civil War schooners all have perished in the Keys. Because they are constructed of wood, over time all that’s left are ballast stones, cannons and anchors. All, I thought, had been discovered and salvaged. I was wrong. Jeff and I descended down to this odd shaped thing we saw from the surface and as it came into focus I was floored. What lay in front of us, gently propped up in the sand like it was dropped there yesterday, was a nine foot Civil War era anchor! I couldn’t believe my eyes! How had no one found this?
Since then, I have contacted many experts and have shown them pictures of the anchor. They have confirmed it to be from the Civil War era, and it is an exceptionally rare find. Many have asked me to raise it, move it, put it on display; but I think I like it right where it is. She’s laid there for a hundred or so years and I like the idea of her remaining there for hundreds more.
Leave a comment
Comments will be approved before showing up.