It was the summer of '72 I had just finished training for another marathon in between my work as a search and recovery diver for a salvage company out of Boston Harbor. Many of these dives were actually in the Charles River. Water so black you couldn't see your hand in front of your face then. We dove in pairs, tied with life lines equipped with underwater flood lights, sometimes descending to well over 40 feet. Most of these dives were to locate sunken small to medium size boats always with the intention of salvage when ever possible. After finding these vessels most often we used balloon type devises to float these boats back up to the surface.
As before any dive was the arduous task of preparation. Most times just as daunting a task as the dive itself. Many a time we heard of other divers experiencing the bends, air-embolisms or other tragic incidences. This of course was well before the US Navy revised the decompression tables that came some 15 years later. I was fortunate thou where other crew leaders insisted on the quickness of completion where as are's was more about safety and quality in not damaging further any boat we salvaged or attempted to salvage.
There was this one particular dive we were commissioned to that sparks a recurring memory. In the heat of that summer off the coast of Glouster down some 65 feet lay a 45 ft. fiberglass hulled cruiser. Lucky for us the seas were relatively calm that day. Lowering down a tether line attached were three air tanks spaced at 33 ft. intervals just in case it took longer in bottom time to decompress upon ascending to the surface. When we finally found that cruiser some 15 minutes had already passed when suddenly out from under the sea floor scurried what had to be the biggest lobster we had ever seen.
That day it took two dives. One to complete the salvage operation and the other to capture what had to be a 25 pounder of better. We finally managed to put that lobster into a holding tank we always had on board. When we got back to Boston Harbor towing that cruiser we managed to float to the surface we were near enough to transport this large, gigantic lobster to Anthony's Pier 4 where they immediately put it on display. A little stipend didn't hurt either. I remember that lobster as big as it was and as old it had to be to attain that massive size. May not have been a world record but it was huge.
To this day I wonder how old it got to be or if anyone was willing to shell out enough dough to but it. But, as lobsters go that crustacean is tougher as it gets older not only in survival tactics but to the conisuer it is not as appealing as younger lobsters are. Unfortunatly when summer came to an end so did this salvage company. No longer able to compete with the bigger operations I ended one career only to continue with another. This time as fitness trainer for the Boston YMCA. A Y career that was to last another 26 years.