Diving the Rhone

Espen Aalstad
Tue 8 Apr 2008 21:02
West of Salt Island 18:22.2N 64:32.3 W

School on Sunday wasn't great, but a famous dive today  paid off.
The Rhone is a 315 ft wreck off Salt Island. This was a steamer/sailboat
that sank on October 29th, 1867. She was escaping from what she thought was
a northerly storm. A lot of bad luck and seamanship. After cutting the
anchor tangled with another boat, the crew realised this was more than a bad
storm: a hurricane... Having no anchor she tried to make her way out to sea
and out of the hurricane center. Instead she ended up washing onto some
sharp rocks on Salt Island and sank in about 80 feet. Since none of the crew
could swim, only five crew and one passenger survived. The passenger held
onto the mast  (sticking out of the water) for twenty hours of the whole
Now this is an awesome wreck with several swim throughs including one that
is on the film 'Deep Water'. I swam inside her for 40 meters. Dad and I saw
a turtle that had been tagged, a spotted moray eel, an eagle ray and several
huge lobsters... The Rhone's propeller and rudder were so big we could swim
in between. There was also a silver spoon (some say this was Captain Wooly's
spoon, but who knows) and a lucky hatch which everyone rubs so it's shiny.
Dad says it was one of his best dives including the Red Sea... hard to
explain the feeling, you have got to see it yourself!

Espen's comment: Elin is already a better diver than me. Also this time she
gets flowers from the dive instructor (with 1050 dives on the Rhone): 'I
will dive with your daughter anytime: she is a great diver!'