In September 2007, I did a bareboat charter for two weeks in the BVI with friends and family. It was a great experience and gave me lots of knowledge….even leading me to the lifestyle I have now. But that is not the point of this blog.
One thing that really stuck in my mind during this trip was a shipwreck sitting up on the rocks called Broken Jerusalem between Fallen Jerusalem and Round Rock. It was a large fishing vessel or more likely a small freighter. We wanted to explore it, but were told it was new and still under investigation.
Now fast forward five years to when I came back with my own boat and running charters in the Virgin Islands. The same boat was up on the rocks. Over the last six years I watched as different hurricane seasons slowly pushed the wreck off the rocks and into the water. For the last two years or so all you could see was the antenna and radar tower sticking out of the water.
Since the first time I saw the wreck I have wanted to check it out, but it is a mile or two off the route from Cooper to the Baths and in a really exposed area. Every time I have been near it I have either had guest that wanted to get to the Baths and not deviate or the weather has been too rough to get the boat near enough to snorkel.
But finally, I had the perfect combination. I had a family that enjoyed slow relaxing sails and the weather was 5-10 knots for a few days. We happened to be on a tack that took us right next to the tower sticking out of the water and I told the dad about the wreck. He said it sounded pretty cool and we rolled in the jib to look at it. We were right at the edge of it in 40 feet of water and I had the auto pilot on with the engine just in gear. It was a perfect combination since we did not move.
That is when we realized the reason we were not moving is there was a three-knot current pushing against us. He opted out of snorkeling it, so I did instead. As soon as I left the boat I took off in the current. I passed over the boat, swam hard against the current to see all I could, and got spat out the other side where he drove the boat to pick me up. It was exhilarating and very cool to see the wreck finally….even if it was just fleeting as I whipped across it.
It clearly was a small, flat deck freighter that has been broken into two pieces. The bow section was sitting on the rocks just under the water and the hold was slanted down from 15 to 40 feet. I wish I could tell you more but the entire experience was less than two minutes, and it was only that long because I swam against the current for a bit. Of course, when I did that I was too busy swimming to notice much, haha.
It was only for a short time, but I finally got to explore a shipwreck I saw 10 years ago and it was worth the wait for me.