By Robert Krieble, Ships of Discovery
As a kid I remember a dinner time conversation between my Father and Grandfather discussing the cannons off Fort George. I couldn’t believe that “real cannons” could be right there in the water across from Pine Cay and nobody had gone and taken them away. Since then I have continued to find Fort George and its famous cannons fascinating and hope in the future I will be able to show my children the cannons and fort I found so impressive as a child. The urgent need to document and preserve this site as it literally erodes in front of our eyes is why I am very excited to be invited back to work with the museum after my initiation into archaeology on the 2008 Trouvadore expedition. With Fort George dominating the view from our house on Pine Cay, this project is truly right in my backyard. As a result of my proximity and familiarity with the island and the responsibility of arranging for transportation to the job site I have not been able to spend as much time as everyone else on Ft. George.
Instead I have had the jobs of water taxi driver, marine mechanic, carpenter and general gofer (go for this…go for that…).
Trying to do multiple things at once makes it very easy to forget something important. We have had problems with our smaller Boston Whaler since the beginning of the trip. When cold it’s very difficult to start. As a result we drained the battery multiple times trying to start the boat. Each time we killed the battery it would go on the charger for a few hours and we would try again. Eventually the boat is started and off we go to the site. We finish the day and I swim out to the boat and expect it will start up perfectly. Instead the battery explodes the instant I touch the key, the team on shore hears the loud bang and smoke pours out of the central console. Luckily there was no fire and nobody was injured. We are now stranded, tired and dehydrated. The marine staff on Pine Cay was gone as was their boat. Fortunately my wife Andrea who is four months pregnant had a set of keys for the 27′ Whaler and the skill to drive it to Fort George and quickly rescue us. Our hero quickly arrives and casually tows us back home. So, from the whole team, THANKS ANDREA!
I on the other hand feel a little stupid because if I had checked the water level in the battery after charging it could have avoided the entire problem.