Things you've found under water

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LanceLisenby

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Millbrook, AL
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I found a small red snapper trying to get off a hook last weekend. He had tangled the line on some wreckage. I was able to free the hook and save him. But, when I got home one of my percula clowns(Nemo) had perished in the tank. Perhaps I had upset the balance of the universe?!
 

divndoc

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Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S.A.
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I'm a Fish!
Best find was an airboat. Diving in the canal that runs along the Tamiami Trail across South Florida about 30 years ago (looking for a fishing rod that fell off of my friends boat). We came across an intact airboat sitting in the mud.
 

Nanako

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Washington
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That was 10 years ago. In my seventh dive, my dad flashed the light to the curve.
There was the gigantic moray. He was much bigger than me.
In my life I never seen such an huge creature under the sea.
I still remember feeling at that time.
 

Mambo Dave

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Any low-vis site in South Florida
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200 - 499
I found a small red snapper trying to get off a hook last weekend. He had tangled the line on some wreckage. I was able to free the hook and save him. But, when I got home one of my percula clowns(Nemo) had perished in the tank. Perhaps I had upset the balance of the universe?!

I saved a 3-foot (and old looking for that size) barracuda that was in a similar situation under a bridge, against and wrapped up to the piling, last year. Hairy situation with all those teeth and double-treble hooks... would have been great if someone videoed it, or even saw me working on it for so long, but the divers I was with were having issues somewhere else.
Here's hoping I didn't screw up the balance even worse than you did...
 

subsequentially

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HA’APAI OPERATORS OPEN NEW HISTORIC DIVE SITE

In December 2009, Brian Heagney from Fins n Flukes made a remarkable and historic discovery whilst con-ducting a dive course. Almost 203 years to the day after the English ship the Port o Prince was sunk off the coast of Ha’apai, Brian discov-ered the ship’s anchor in a reef off Mui Kuku point on the North West tip of Lifuka in the Ha’apai Island group. Brian recounts his story for the Tin Can Mail of the discovery and the fascinating story of the doomed Port o Prince.

The Port au Prince was an English private ship of war, a vessel of 500 tons armed with 24 long nine and twelve pound guns as well as 8 twelve pound carron-

ades on the quarter deck. She carried a "letter of marque" and this document permitted her Captain and crew to become pirates against the enemies of Eng-land, primarily France and Spain. In payment for their pirate raids any plunder they seized was to be their own.

Commanded by Captain Duck she sailed for the New World on February 12th 1805 having been given a twofold commission by her owner, a Mr. Robert Bent of London. Their primary goal was to attack the Spanish ships of the New World capturing gold and valuables but if she failed in that task her secon-dary objective was to sail into the Pacific in search of Whales to be rendered for their oil.

The Atlantic crossing was rough but uneventful and she lay off the coast of Brazil by April and then rounded Cape Horn in July before proceeding north in search of Spanish Galleons laden with treasure. They cap-tured a number of ships but most yielded little in the way of valuables and at times the men began to get disgruntled by capturing what they contemptuously referred to as dung barges. The Port au Prince was now also on the lookout for whales as well but, although catching a few, experienced little success in this en-deavor.

After leaving Hawaii in Sep-tember under the com-mand of Mr. Brown, she intended to make port at Tahiti but missed the target and instead sailed westward for the Tonga Islands. She arrived in Ha‟apai on No-vember 09th 1806, almost two years since departing England and after numerous engagements, leaking badly and having already witness-ing the death of her captain. She was laden with the spoils of war and cargo amounting to approx twelve thousand dollars plus a considerable amount of copper plus silver and gold ore. A large quantity of silver candlesticks, chalices, incense pans, crucifixes and images complimented the

treasure.

She weighed anchor for what was destined to be the last time in seven fathoms water off the North West Point of Lifuka Island. A number of chiefs visited the ship on the evening of her arrival and brought with them barbequed hogs, yams and a native of Hawaii who spoke some English inform-ing Captain Brown that the Tongans had only friendly intentions. The Port au Prince also had Hawaiian crew who did not trust the situation and expressed concern to the captain that the Tongans were feigning friendliness while planning attack. Captain Brown choose to ignore the warn-ings, therein signing his own death warrant and that of many of his crew.

The next day the natives began to swarm the boat until there were around 300 in different parts of the ship. They invited Captain Duck ashore to see the Island and assured of their friendly motives he agreed. On arrival he was clubbed to death, stripped and left lying in the sand. Simultane-ously the main attack com-menced on the Port au Prince. The sailors were outnumbered and over-whelmed easily. The massa-cre was brutal and swift seeing all but four of the crew members clubbed to

death, their heads so badly beaten as to be unrecogniz-able to the survivors. For the next three days the ship was stripped of her iron, a valuable commodity, and had her guns removed be-fore being burnt to the water line to more readily remove what iron re-mained.

One of the survivors was a boy by the name of William Mariner and Finau, the King of the Islands, had taken a shining to the lad when they first met aboard the Prince. Will reminded the King of his son who had died of illness and when the attack on the ship was being planned Finau had given instructions that the life of Mariner should be spared if at all possible. He was renamed Toki (Iron Axe) and spent the next four years living amongst the islanders. During this time he would witness the attempted unification of the Kingdom by Finau using the very guns seized from the Prince. One long nine still lies on Ha‟anno Island. After rescue and his return to England Mariner related his story to John Martin who penned the famous book "The Tongan Islands, William Mariners account".

On the 8th of December 2009, almost two hundred and three years to the day, we were conducting a dive course when a heavy squall forced us to abandon the planned site and make haste for shelter in the lee of Lifuka Island. We dropped anchor directly off Mui Kuku point on the North

West tip of Lifuka. I had never dived the reef before and made a descent to 18 meters. Visibility had dete-riorated in the squall but upon approaching the bot-tom I began to discern a shape coming out of the murky green. As the curved arms and huge flukes be-came clear I realized it was a great anchor. The 1800‟s style, its historically accu-rate geographical position and depth at 10 fath-oms where it lay could mean only one thing and with it my heart began to race, I had discov-ered the anchor of the Port au Prince. Being the first per-son to lay eyes on it in two centuries was awe inspiring. It is still intact with one fluke now buried into the reef and all faces beautifully overgrown with encrusting life. We make regular historical dives on the site for those who are interested.

But what of the treasure? The anchor most probably lies where her cables were cut before the ship was hauled ashore. Artifacts and even treasure may still lie buried in the area but two centuries of growth may see it stay hidden forever. Each time we dive there I am always hoping to see a glint of light bouncing of the captain‟s sword. Maybe next time!, Kingdom of Tonga.

For more information on dive trips to the fa-mous anchor contact Scuba Diving in Tonga, Ha'apai and Whale Watching/swimming in Tonga, Ha'apai with Fins 'n' Flukes or email Fins 'n' Flukes at: info@finsnflukes.com
 

Tortuga Viejo

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I'm a Fish!
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UntamedSpirit

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Delaware US
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Went diving at Mount Storm Last week, found a pair of sunglasses and a ceramic dog statue ( I think someone put it in there though).
Was wearing the sunglasses a while, Made my dive buddy laugh so hard she apparently flooded her mask :)

We moved the dog to where you could see it from the platform, and put the sunglasses on it.
One of my dive buddies found He-Man
 

King of Snarge

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Florida
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I once found a $20 bill at Alexander Springs, FL.
Weirdest stuff was in the Peace River two weeks ago; car batteries, cameras, baseball caps, shirts, and a hatchet.
 

Deuchler

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Port Douglas, Queensland & Spokane, WA
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I've found the normal boatload of fins, weight belts, masks, hair ties, etc.

The most interesting thing I found was a men's wedding ring. It was under a big patch of stag-horn coral partially buried in sand. After I retrieved the ring, I went to the captain of our boat and had him contact the other boats who use the dive-site. Nobody claimed the ring, so it was apparently mine (it even fit my ring finger.) Several days later I stopped by our dive shop and told the story about the ring, which I was wearing, to the desk gals and they remembered a couple who had lost one. Long story short, in the shop existed a drawing of the very ring I found from about three weeks prior. We contacted the guy and told him I'd found the ring and off it went back into his hands. Eventually the gentleman wrote me an email thanking me, along with a picture of the new couple.

It was a really cool thing to have found, but even cooler that I got the ring back to him.
 
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