In the darkness as we rowed towards these giants, a peculiar thing happened. The water behind us began to glow, a stream of electric blue seawater trailed us, to this day, that Bio-luminescent algae is one of the coolest things I’ve seen in my life.
Our noisy van rocketed through the countryside, it’s a long way here, and we were so close. Someone caught a glimpse of grey on the water, the van skidded to a halt and we started to U-Turn to go back around and have a look. That’s when we got bogged. A nice farmer towed us out, without questioning all the inflatables in the back…
The bay harbored 10 beautiful mothballed battleships, from patrol boats & frigates to cruisers. Our day started on a troop transport ship, but our target was sitting tantalizingly close to us, weighing in at 11300 tonnes, the Colbert was ours for the taking. Once home to 600 men, and just shy of 200m long, she towered above anything else, her red dome just itching for our visit.
Just getting onto her deck involved climbing across several other ships just to get high enough to reach her, but soon enough we’d found ourselves on the decks of the Colbert.
So many levels, so much to see, so little time. The photos paint a better description than anything else.
After exploring all of the mothballed battleships we began our journey back to shore, sliding our Zodiac between two troop carriers, I used the fenders to lower myself in, as someone else straddled the two ships dropping the gear down to me. Eventually we cautiously push out, paddling hard against the strong current, and trying to navigate around the web of steel cables staying the ships that lurk under the surface.
As we drew closer to the shore, our little inflatable scraped against some coral and our boat began to sink. We did our best to rescue her but alas “The Saucy Sue” was left in the mud on the beach. We underestimated how quickly we’d sink in the mud near the waterline, and both struggled to remain upright. We’d parked in a public car park, I can’t imagine how strange it must have looked to see two people, up to their waist in mud, carrying piles of gear…