Thursday, April 23, 2015

RECOVERY STAGE


The RMS Rhone was built in 1865 starting a new class of British Steamships. It was 310ft long and 40ft wide. In 1867 the Captain of the Rhone was traveling through the Caribbean and thought he was safe from the hurricane season as he sailed across Salt Island.  But Neptune had other plans and as hurricane winds crashed over his boat he decided best to come ashore and wait out the storm. Some say this was a mistake and he might have been better off at sea.  Then as the eye of storm passed over he thought they might be safer to head out to sea. This is believed to be another error in judgment because he had considerable damage to his boat and he might have been okay if he stayed where he was.  As soon as the second bands hit the ship it started to sink. Only 23 of the 147 passengers survived.

We put Kokoi on a mooring ball and got on our snorkel gear and headed to find the wreck. We saw a group of divers headed down so we knew where to look.  The forward half of the boat lies in about 80 feet of water so I was not able to see much of that section of the wreak, however, the propeller and the stern are in about 20 to 40 feet so that was acceptable to my free diving skill level and even more so for Matt. I took photos as he dived in and out checking out the scene from 150 years ago.






Afterwards we headed over to Virgin Gorda to check out our last site in the BVIs before heading to St. Martin. The Baths and Devils Bay have definitely been one of my favorite things on this sailing adventure so far. The Baths is a series of granite boulders that were once imbedded in volcanic lava and today is a collection of grottos and ponds. We headed over and jumped in the water with our snorkel gear on. It felt like we were traveling through an underwater maze, sometimes you would turn a corner and find that you were blocked by huge rocks and had to find a new route. The currents were strong and pushing you in different directions, I would have loved to play a game of tag through here. I enjoyed every minute including the point we got out of the water and started retracing our steps on foot. Here we traveled through the Devils Bay. I think we were lucky not to encounter many tourist along the way as from what I have read it can get a little hectic sometimes.

We headed back to the boat and prepared to set sail for St. Martin.