Diamond in the Rough

The M/V Diamond in Haiti

While the Surveyor was a huge help to the Sub Sea Research crew, they knew they needed a larger ship to take them to places outside of New England. It was September 2001 and the crew had aspirations of traveling back to Haiti, and to a site in Key West, Florida known as the Dragonfly Wreck. My father Greg Brooks found a 105 foot ship for sale out of Chesapeake Bay. He called first thing on September 11th, 2001 to place an offer for $50,000 for the ship. The seller laughed, telling him they had already turned down an offer for $200,000 and so he would have to go higher than that. My dad told him that his offer still stood. While they were on the phone, the 9/11 tragedy occurred. For the time being, the deal was forgotten as everyone struggled to process the horrible thing that had happened.

The next day, the seller called my dad back to tell him they would accept his offer. The world seemed to be in turmoil then, and no one was sure if the country would be at war or what was going to happen. The seller just wanted to be rid of the boat, and my dad’s was the only offer standing at that point in time. A few days later, some of the crew went down to Chesapeake Bay to pick up the ship. They could see the smoke from the towers as they drove by and said it was an extremely eerie and sobering sight.

When they arrived at the ship, they discovered that she definitely had some issues, but it was nothing they couldn’t fix. As they were sailing the ship back, they realized there was a hole in the hull and it was taking on water. They found a shipyard nearby and $45,000 later the hole was fixed. They were able to sail it back to Maine, but as soon as they got it into the harbor the engines died. The 65′ ship, Surveyor, was hooked up to the new 105′ ship, and it had to tug it into the marina. My dad was nervous as he could barely see while steering the Surveyor because the other ship was so large, and he didn’t have any experience operating tugboats. The marina’s security was up because of 9/11, and the Coast Guard didn’t even notice the large ship enter the area. The next day they were shocked to see it sitting there. The Surveyor had done her job!

The new ship was fixed up, redone and christened the M/V Diamond. This was the largest ship that the crew had ever operated and owned, and everyone was excited at the opportunities this would open up to them. This was also the only ship the company would ever own that didn’t have a name starting with ‘S’. From the beginning the Diamond was a special ship, and it would bring the crew on many exciting and unique journeys, that was for sure.

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