Our first trip to the site was a success, with all four anchors set in place. (I previously mentioned their weight as being 2000lb each, but in reality they were 10,000lbs each). The four buoys (made from 1000 gallon propane tanks) were also in place. We had painted them bright yellow and stenciled the M/V Sea Hunter across the front of each one. It was quite the sight to see them bobbing up and down with each swell. (I would eventually call them,” party barges” for the seagulls, as it was common to see 10 or so gulls resting on top of them). The crew worked long and hard into the night until all work was completed. Greg was quite happy with this and it gave everyone a sense of accomplishment. The only thing wrong, or should I say missing, was Dave. A few weeks prior to our first trip, he took a fall off the gangway and broke his ankle. A ship was no place to be with a broken ankle, so he was at home recuperating, but I know his thoughts were always with us. The two cameramen, Martin and Toryn, filmed the entire process. They would crouch behind something or stand on a rail to get the best footage. They became experts at staying out of the way. The security guards took their assignment seriously. They would walk around the ship, check all the nooks and crannies and peer through binoculars. They kept a close watch on all things happening on the ship. I, of course stayed busy in the galley preparing meals or making snacks, not to mention the endless containers of tea and lemonade. I, along with the crew felt this was a great start to our first season.
Scott (one of the new hires) was running the Son Worshipper, along with two guards and a couple crew members. The Son Worshipper was hipped up to the Sea Hunter, which allowed us to go back and forth on either ship. You had to always be aware when crossing from one to the other. They would rise and fall with each swell and not always together. It could be dangerous during stormy weather so we all looked out after one another.
Another thing I learned right off the bat, was about watching guard. Though the ship was securely anchored, there were a million things that could go wrong and being 100 miles offshore, you don’t want anything going wrong. This meant that everyone had to be aware of what was going on around them at all times. Just watching from the pilot house wasn’t enough. The engine room was monitored throughout the day by someone walking through it and checking different valves. It wasn’t just checking things throughout the day, there was the night watch. It meant that each hour of the night required someone be awake and monitor the ships. Captain Gary would post the night watch list. It would list the names and times of the crew that had duty that particular night. It usually started around 10 pm and each watch would be 2-4 hours (depending on the number of crew). While on watch you stayed mostly in the pilot house and monitored the screens for any type of problem. One of the screens showed the location of the ship with a big circle around it. It was extremely important to keep an eye on this. If the ship wandered outside the circle it was possible we slipped off anchor. In that case you would wake the captain. Each hour or so, you would walk around the ship and check for something out of the ordinary. You would finish with a walk through the engine room. Since the Son Worshipper was hipped up to us, whoever was on guard would check that ship out also. You would then record the date and time and what you observed in the ships log. When your shift ended, it was your responsibility to wake the next person on guard up, and be sure they were fully awake before you headed to bed. Then it was sweet sleep before you woke and started a new day in the life of a treasure hunter.