The Vandenberg is Down!

Just after the explosions

Just after the explosions

Well, it’s over…the Vandenberg is sunk and today crews are out putting mooring balls on it and checking it.  We saw a crew of Navy guys loading up one of the party fishing boats at Garrison Bight, which they must have chartered to take them out to the site.  They had brand new shiny moorings with them.

The morning of the sinking, so many boats were heading out at 9am the seas were choppy all the way out to the site, from so many wakes crashing into each other.  What a ride.  One guy took out a jet ski!  There were little boats, too, so they must have been totally covered in salt water by the time they got out there.  We heard you would have to stay a mile away, but seems like we were a lot closer than that.  Most of the boats came from east of Key West, from up the Keys or from Stock Island, looked like.  There were some VIP boats allowed to go closer, most infamously the Key West Express.  This behemoth ferry holding VIPS blocked the view of dozens of boats, according to the radio.  Salty language filled the airwaves on Channel 16, minutes before the detonation.  After it was all over, a very disappointed captain got on the horn and gave his feelings, “Key West Express, you pieceof s*%t”.

After the flare warning, there were some loud explosive noises, then dark gray smoke poured out of the ship.  The smoke obscured the ship, and suddenly there was no ship.  The sinking took less than two minutes.  It was more like a magic trick, where something large disappears in a cloud of smoke, and less like the slow sinking of large ships you see in movies.  Usually, sinking isn’t intentional.   It happens when the hull is breached in one or several spots, but those holes are smaller than the ones caused by explosives.     Intentional sinkings go fast and the ship stays upright.