Day 6

1

Toady was the by farthest hardest day to get up despite going to bed pretty early. I snoozed my alarm until 6:47 am instead of waking up at the usual time of 6:00 am. This is the day I had been looking foreword to all week because the dive masters told us that the RMS Rhone was the best shipwreck and the most famous. It is such an old shipwreck form 1867 that it will be 150 years old next year. The way this skinny 300 foot long and 40 foot wide sail and steamboat crashed is an interesting story. It starts Captain Hammock and Captain Willie sailed twin ships named the RMS London and the RMS Rhone. These two ships were caught in a tropical storm and Captain Hammock’s ship the RMS London went down while Hammock survived and joined Willie with the RMS Rhone. A little while later they were going to dock on St. Thomas Virgin Island after getting coal and salt from salt island but caught wind of some gossip saying that yellow fever was spreading on St. Thomas. They decided to anchor together with another boat to have a party and just hire a transport to deliver stuff back and forth from St. Thomas. The next morning they woke up and the barometer was dropping fast as clouds rolled in and the swells grew bigger. They decided to pull in the anchor and head for open seas to ride out the storm and in the process the anchor was disconnected and they had to try and slip by Salt island. Rumor has it that captain Willie’s hands were seen sliding off the bow. This sent the boat into panic and next time they saw land that is when the boat hit jagged rocks, sunk, and blew up into two pieces. The first dive on this wreck consisted of us looking around the crows nest of the ship where we saw a spotted moray eel and then exploring the bow of the ship. The bow was the most interesting part of the Rhone to me because we were able to go inside and I saw a lot of mall grooper along with bait balls swarming the insides. After exiting out the other side we were able to go around the bow and see a lot of snapper wedged under the very tip. This dive I noticed that I ran out of air faster than usual but I dismissed it thinking it was because we were so deep. After the 45 minute interval we were back in the water diving again and this time I noticed myself using and unusual amount of air again and this time I fixed it by finding the regulator’s nob to adjust the air but it was to late because nearing the end off the dive I started to run low on air and Ben took me up. I ended with 250 psi which is half the amount a diver should have on the end of a dive. With that close call I was glad that we didn’t have another dive. One of the other highlights of the day is the short trip to Cooper Island for some delicious Mahi Mahi wraps and conch fritters. This was a small resort island that only had one inhabitant other than staff that ran a pig farm on the opposite side of the island. We wrapped up the last activity on the boat with a Cooper Island snorkel where we saw two 5 foot barracuda. We came back to guava for a delicious cookout and a night snorkel. On the snorkel we were able to see phytoplankton light up like sparks and a squid ink when It was spooked by the dark figure of Ben. Tomorrow is service which I am looking foreword to because the island has given so much to us. 

  • Marcella Cave

    This is not something a Mom/Grandmother wants to read (running out of air)! Fantastic learning and life experience.