A tropical storm swept across Bermuda last week, decimating our diving operation. We are finally back on track, and are working double shifts to make up lost time.
We had severe gusts for days, the worst of which reached 67 knots in Castle Harbor. A number of local boats wrecked, and we have a much better idea of how Warwick met her end. The tall limestone cliffs provide shelter from southerlies, but compound the surge generated by northerlies. According to local observers, we had extraordinary 5 to 7 ft. seas at our normally calm site.
Knowing that we were in danger of loosing several days to weather, we worked the site for as long as possible. With the Museum boat tossing violently about, we decided to call the day, and leave in the early afternoon. James Davidson dived on our four barge anchors to make sure they were secure, and even put out a fifth. Regardless, two broke in the storm, one severing its cable, and the other breaking an arm. We watched dark clouds swelling ominously behind the cliffs as we sped away.
After the storm swept back out to sea, we had a few days of gentle breeze to pick up the pieces. The bad news is that Tropical Storm Debby is on it’s way back.
Its time to batten down the hatches. This morning, Mike, Josh and I loaded the Museum’s Parker boat, and motored out to the dive barge for a visual inspection. We redistributed the on-deck gear, and chained the pumps to the center of the barge. All hatch pins are locked in place, and the barge seems to be on an even keel.
Although we expected dark black skies and gusts of wind, they have not arrived yet. It could be that we will get a lucky break, on the other hand, we might just be waiting out the calm before the storm.
– Doug Inglis
Assistant Director, Warwick Project