’06 Any old Iron… or how we made some friends

August 2006

Down in the valley by the waterside lives Louise, who has a dock and boat ramp… and lets us launch our kayak into the water. The latitude of the Island which is very similar to Perth should mean that the waters are too cold for coral to develop. However the Gulf stream runs close to the Bermudan Islands and has allowed the “colder coral reef’ to

form. yet as with most societies where there is a cliff face there’s a dump! So Louise asked if we’d give a hand and help recover about 46 dumped scooters from along 2 km of coastline. We had our hands up so fast saying “pick me, pick me” that our berth’s on the barge were assured.

“Early one morning, just as the sun was rising…” we trotted down the hill and loaded our cooler, snorkel & flippers, sun-block and selves onto the barge [OK Ok it was closer to 9:00 am]

A motley crew set sail… there was Louise, her son & a few of his mates, all surviving on less than 3 hours sleep from the night before, [Bermudians] who boarded at various points as we motored around the coast. Then there was Curtis, Dinah & I [the Ex-Pats]. When we arrived at Admiralty cove, a 2nd barge with crane was already working with a hooker diver and 2 policemen with scuba gear – they’d started at the original start time of 8. Soon we were all at work. Haul a scooter from 2 – 3 m deep, via the 2nd barge and swing it across onto our barge. Easy work with a crane and ‘divers’. Alas the crane barge was only with us until noon. We’d pulled about 10 scooters in this time.

Now we really started to work. Curtis & I snorkelling down, down deeper into the clear waters. Rope a scooter, surface and connect the rope to a hauling line. I didn’t appreciate the weight that was being manually lifted by the 3 on board until later. By 12:30 we’d hauled 20+ scooters from about 1 km of coast line. The barge headed south to a jetty where the police were waiting. I now found out how heavy and cumbersome these pieces of scooter were. There was three of us lifting a scooter up chest high onto the jetty where they were then dragged across the landing to be identified.

After they’d been unloaded it was back to where we’d left off to pull the next 23 scooters, one of which was only 3 days wet. We’d lost one volunteer by this time and Louise & Dinah were now on the ropes hauling wrecks from the deep. By 4:30 all 46 had been lifted and landed… time to head home. We Ex-Pats were tired, scratched and pleased that our day was a way to return something to a community that had welcomed us… a top day which was finished with a cooling Ale as I washed down the barge deck!

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