As we rowed up to the mothballed battleships in the darkness; the water behind us began to glow, and 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.
After getting the van bogged we scrambled down a cliff face towards the beach. Sharp coral everywhere, and an inflatable boat. This was going to be an interesting endeavor.
We paddling out into the calm pre-dawn water & began exploring the dozen mothballed battleships that would be our playground. Our day started on a troop transport ship, but our main target was sitting tantalizingly close to us. Weighing in at 11300 tonnes, the Colbert was ours for the taking. Once home to two and half thousand men men, she towered above anything else, her red dome just itching for our visit.
Just getting onto her involved climbing across several other ships to get high enough to reach her, but soon enough we’d found ourselves on the deck of the Colbert, weaseling our way inside.
So many levels, so much to see, so little time. The photos paint a better description than anything else. The whole adventure made more fun by the welded hatches between levels, leaving us with only one way to get up and one way to get down.
The highlight was finding an Exocet missile left behind in the munitions room, priced at $3,000,000 a pop. I’d like to hope it wasn’t active.
After exploring all of the abandoned ships, we began paddling back, fighting the current and the web of steel cables below the surface. When mere meters from the beach our inflatable boat snagged on a piece of coral and began to sink. Despite our best efforts we waded the rest of the way, and our little inflatable joined the other forgotten boats.