And so there I was. I had discovered the wreck. I had found a sunken treasure. But I wanted to find out more about it and maybe bring up some of the metal bars before I reported it to a local university.
The next day I loaded up the Sunshine again and headed out to the open sea. When I reached my destination I heaved the heavy anchor overboard and watched it sink until it disappeared into the greenish-blue depths. I hauled on my oxygen tanks and pulled on my face mask and flippers and flipped overboard, carrying a canvas bag with a parachute material hood over it attached with strings. As I sank beneath the surface I caught my breath at the awe-inspiring underwater beauty. But today was no site-seeing trip. I was here to do business. I swam towards the wreck, checking my watch every few minutes.
I got to the ship ten minutes later. It was the same as when I had left it the afternoon before except for a school of striped blue-and-yellow fish that darted in and out between the broken masts. I swam through the gaping hole, flicking on my flashlight. I swam around, picking a bar of metal from each pile until I had one of steel, one of bronze, one of silver and one of gold.
By now my bag was full, so I left it at the gold pile and swam on. I found another hole leading into another part of the ship. This room was a moss-and-seaweed version of what must have been a captain’s office. There were overturned chairs and a table with rusted dinnerware on it. I swam into six more rooms, the purpose of which I was unsure.
I returned to the piles. I dragged my bag to the edge of the hole and let it drag me to the bottom. Then I took a deep breath and jerked out my mouthpiece, placing it under the parachute hood. The bag slowly rose to the surface, taking me with it. Halfway to the top I ran out of air and was forced to drop a few feet as I took a breath. I continued on my way to the surface and was almost there when I felt need for more air. I refused, thinking I could hold out longer. I was wrong. Due to lack of air and the changing water pressure, I blacked out.