This is a day of consequence for Key West!
One which will be remembered in its history!
The town is excited!
The USS Hoyt S. Vandenberg is being sunk off Key West to create an artificial reef! One for marine life and divers alike to enjoy!
Tourism is the major industry of Key West. It is the only industry! The reef will be a major attraction.
There were Sink the Vandenberg parties all over Key West last night in celebration of the event. Pulic and private parties alike.
The Vandenberg is a proud ship. It is entering what might be described as its third life.
The ship was first commissioned in the midst of World War II. It was named the USS Harry Taylor. It carried soldiers and supplies first to the Pacific. Later across the Atlantic. It served best at the end of World War II when it returned soldiers home from Europe.
It was mothballed in 1958.
Then in 1961 the US Air Force needed a ship to spy on the Russians. It was Cold War time. The Taylor was taken out of mothballs. It was recommissioned and renamed the USS Hoyt S. Vandenberg. It spent much time in the Bering Sea between Alaska and Russia watching over Russia’s activities.
The ship was retired again in 1983.
Two names, two lives. It was time to rest in peace and enjoy that long rest in rusted splendor with all the other vessels that had protected us over the years.
But rest was not to be.
Ten years ago some locals decided that what Key West needed was a new and more vibrant reef. We have a natural one, but time and man have diminished its beauty and effectiveness. It was decided to buy a retired vessel and sink it!
The process had already been tried twice in 2 other places in the world. With success! Fish naturally gravitate to the site and a new reef is developed. A divers’ heaven!
The vessel was found. The Vandenberg. Now 10 years and $8.6 million later, the day has arrived! The feeling of anticipation is similar to a long awaited childbirth.
Explosives have been set. Later this morning they will be exploded. Assuming all goes well, the ship will sink within minutes to the bottom of the sea.
A site has been selected 6.5 miles out. The depth is 140 feet.
Four 4 ton anchors will lock the Vandenberg into position.
The Vandenberg is 522 feet long and 100 feet tall. The top of the ship will rest 40 feet below the surface.
A big day in the making! No question. A major Key West day!
Now for an update on the grandchildren.
I thought they were getting better. They were not. Both now have been diagnosed with walking pneumonia.
Robert is making headway. Ally got worse. The medicines were not working for her.
This has to end soon. Their poor little bodies are taking a beating. Actually, they both look good. And are active. However both continue to run low grade fevers, cough and are tired off and on.
Lisa is staying home the rest of the week to make sure they get proper attention. I have been fired! No, not really. She is being the good mother and doing what must be done.
Today is Wednesday. Golf day!
I have a choice this morning. I can go out on a boat and watch the Vandenberg sink or play golf. Perhaps my head is not in the right place. Golf is my choice! I know that which I enjoy!
Have a good day!