The year was 1996. Location — 3 miles off Harbour Island in the Bahamas. It was a clear day, the sun was shining, the seas were calm, we had a boat, some beer, all the dive gear you could want, and the hangover from the night before was wearing off just fine… A couple of young, adventurous mugs were ready for some drama on the high seas. We persuaded a local Bahamian, Kenny, with a bottle of rum to help us navigate to a shipwreck located not far off the Devil’s Backbone, a huge reef that runs the length of the island.
The ship was The Cienfuegos. On February 5, 1895, The Cienfuegos, an American steamship went aground on the “Backbone.” Thanks to the native Eleutherians, not one passenger or crew member lost their lives. The Cienfuegos did, however. Down she went. Flashing forward a hundred years to 1996, here we were, ready to pillage. A couple of dive masters told us on shore that they’d give us $500 if we could rip off one of her port windows, so we packed the tools before leaving port. We were bound and determined to take something from that wreck — anything. (Yeah, you’re probably not supposed to do this kind of stuff, but it’s the Bahamas; the laws are interpreted loosely if you know what I mean.)
I’d write more of the day and the ensuing adventure, but I finally took the video footage we shot that day, put on my best film maker hat, and made it into something that speaks well enough for itself. I’ll let it do the work for me.
So, in all its Technicolor glory, here it is…
(It runs about 13 minutes; give it a chance!)