By Dave Tunnicliff
I am the cook aboard the boat and spend most days listening to music on my Ipod. My nickname is ‘Disco Dave’, but more about that later…
Awhile back I hear about some crusty old guys coming down to look for wrecks for three weeks, and to be honest that was about all I knew. I normally work as a Dive Instructor on the back deck, but I cover for Stan (the legend) in the galley when he is on vacation. My first task on this trip was to attempt to provision the boat for a three-week stint at sea. That was a struggle as we don’t have a whole lot of storage space, but it got done and I filled the storeroom with boxes of fruit and Snickers for all the packed lunches I had heard I would be making.
When the guys arrived, a couple of them weren’t feeling well – maybe stress, or just plain old bugs which people get when flying these days. It’s quite normal for the odd guest to spend a day or two in bed on our boat, so I wasn’t overly concerned about that.
First week was filled with uncertainty because of hurricane Bertha, and we spent the whole week at the northwest point of Provo which was cool because that’s where the guys saw the whale shark. I got to go out and look at the cannons and hunt for other metal things which was fun and also quite tiring. I didn’t know it at the time but I was catching a bug also…..the bug for wreck hunting!! Once you are actually in the water looking at an artifact, you just want to know the whole story behind it.
Second week we moved to East Caicos where the Black Rock Wreck is located (the one we think is the Trouvadore), and while the guys are doing their thing I was busy feeding them all. Banoffee Pie was a big hit, and Chicken Parmesan. Sandwiches for lunch and a regular meal for dinner, all washed down with a copious amount of beverage, (rather like the old sailors on the ships I guess.)
I spent some time reading the files about the Trouvadore and found the story quite fascinating, so when they took me out on the site last Wednesday, it was great to see it and help uncover it with the dredge. I spent three hours working an area of about one square meter..totally concentrated, and now I know how to do the secret archeologists wave!!
I have learnt lots of stuff in a couple of weeks with these guys, and I have really enjoyed being involved,…albeit on the fringes of the expedition. As a Dive Instructor I love to be able to tell guests some local history, and try to bring the past into the present, so to speak. Now I have a new interest, ie. learning about wrecks and the associated story behind them.
Oh yes, as for my nickname ‘Disco Dave’, well when I first started here, I spent a couple of days asking the other crew members “where does dis go? Where does dis go?? And hence my nickname, courtesy of a fellow crew member.