“We have a couple of Germans coming along and an American lady. She lectures archaeology at Harvard University.’
“So there is only going to be the six of us asked Tom?’
“Yes six is enough; a smaller group is easier to keep track of.’
“Have you used scuba gear before?’
“No I haven’t, but Shirley has she has ran me through the procedure.’
“Well I will go over it again with you just in case.’
Sergio started the engines as the Germans and the American came running along the pier.
They hopped on board with their gear then shook hands with the skipper of the Santa Lucia.
Sergio took all their money that they owed for the trip before setting sail.’
He told them that the first wreck was two hours to the north; It was marked by a buoy so that they couldn’t miss it.’
Both Gunter Schneider and Remy Norlunder had diving qualifications and ran Tom on the safety procedures and how to use the re-breathers.
Pat Devlin was from Manhattan. She was about twenty six and very beautiful with natural blonde hair and a perfect smile. The dental work must have cost her a fortune Tom thought to himself as she introduced herself.’
Shirley and Pat got into conversation about archaeology and they never stopped talking for the duration of the trip.’
They put on their diving suits and flippers then helped each other with their air tanks. They rinsed their masks then placed them over their faces before dropping backwards into the water.
Down and down they went with the help of the weighted belts they were wearing.
Gunter and Remy went off on their own whilst Sergio, Pat, Shirley, and Tom stuck together. Tom didn’t have a clue what they were looking for but followed anyway. Then Nancy pointed out the first of the large cannons that must have been fifteen feet long. They were made of iron and must have weighed a couple of ton each.’
They carried on and saw other pieces of artefacts like broken pottery from the big Urns they used to store wine and spices in.
Tom made a signal to Sergio asking where the ship was. He wrote on a board in pencil that the ship had withered over time. There was very little in the way of evidence that a naval battle had taken place.’
Even so Shirley was fascinated.
They came to the surface after an hour and the came back on board. Shirley had taken lots of photos; she changed the film for a fresh roll.
The dived on a total of four wrecks before they ate a light meal and chattered about their discoveries. Pat Devlin asked if Shirley could send her some copies of the photos that she had taken and they swapped addresses. Pat invited her to come and stay at her apartment in Manhattan where she said that she would take her to the maritime museum in Washington DC which was one of the largest in the world.
It was near four thirty when they got back.
“This has been the highlight of my holiday Tom thank you.’
I’m glad you enjoyed it, diving is fun once you get the breathing right. Tom helped Shirley out of he wetsuit and in turn she reciprocated. The sun was still beating down on them as the boat set off back from where they had came.
“I could murder a cup of tea said Tom as they sat in the wheel house.’
“I wonder what Mickey and Alison have been up to said Shirley.’