In June of 1998 Captain Bob joined buddies on their boat for a journey to the Florida Middle Grounds. As a lot of you already know that is an space roughly 100 miles from the west coast of Florida. It is, arguably, probably the most prolific marine habitats close to Florida. The 37′ Trojan was provisioned and loaded for a three day dive journey. We had a crew of 5: John, the boat’s Captain; Sally, his spouse; Ben, Trudy and myself.
We shoved off at about 1800 and our bearing was 240° from John’s Pass. The huge orange ball disappearing in entrance of us was beautiful. Out about 5 miles we set the autopilot, established our watch shifts and settled in to life on board.
We arrived at our first dive website at 0900. We anchored and broke out the breakfast. We have been all wanting to get moist and rapidly established dive groups the dive order. I used to be within the final workforce. I had forgotten how spectacular the Middle Grounds are. The measurement of the fish, the variety of fish and the peak of the ledge was overwhelming. I new this dive was for acclimation. I might knock ’em useless the following dive.
On ascending from my second dive I had a decompression obligation of two minutes. During the cease I thought of modifying my methods to make sure extra fish on the following dive. When I acquired to the dive platform I seen my buddies shifting across the salon and aft deck. As quickly as I surfaced Sally started yelling at me: “Get on the boat, we’re sinking.” Now why would I need to board a sinking boat? I heeded her orders and stripped dive gear. I moved to assist bail. I did not imagine this was taking place. There was water as much as the strict deck plates and nonetheless rising.
We eliminated all of the deck plates for entry to attempt to decide the supply of the leak all to no avail. By this time one other personal boat had arrived and was standing by to help. John had contacted a constitution fishing boat who, in flip, radioed the Coast Guard. Remember VHF transmission and reception is line of sight. The Coast Guard was en-route. Meanwhile, the constitution boat moved in nearer to cross over a hand pump. Ben, Trudy and I pumped and bailed (5 gallon buckets) barely staying even with the stream. Sally and John readied an abandon ship bag and pumped up the life raft on the fore deck. A crew member from the constitution boat even swam over to assist discover the leak. Thank God for calm seas! After what appeared like an eternity, I heard the thumping sound of a helicopter. I now have a deep appreciation for that sound.
The Coast Guard radioed directions on their procedures for dropping gasoline powered pumps. They emphasised that the prop wash would blow over something not stowed or tied down. John, Ben and the constitution crew member have been on the aft deck, Sally was within the life raft holding it down and Trudy was within the salon. I moved ahead to remain out of the way in which of the pumps. As the helicopter moved nearer, I heard Sally screaming for assist. I acquired ahead and located that she was pinned to the bow rail by the life raft. The first pump was set-up and the second pump was on its approach. I took about 15 minutes for each pumps to empty the water.
We discovered the supply of the leak. The generator had been eliminated previous to the journey and overboard port plug had dislodged. To compound this, the ahead bilge pump was jammed with a piece of wire tie and the aft pump had shorted out. Mechanically, water seeped into the transmission and block. With gap plugged and the water pumped out and no propulsion, we organized for a tow from a industrial fisherman. It can be three hours till he arrived.
We cannot go anyplace; we’re nonetheless anchored to a nice ledge. Let’s do one other dive!!!
You can discover this website in essentially the most GPS coordinates. I’m positive there are nonetheless fish there.