Weird stuff underwater or offshore

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Weird stuff underwater or offshore

Postby NaClAddict » January 23rd, 2019, 2:03 pm

This is a little bit of a takeoff on threads I’ve seen on hunting and fishing boards. What’s the weirdest stuff you’ve found underwater or seen offshore.

Once saw a square grouper (weed bale) off El Segundo. Wasn’t sure what it was as it floated by about 25 yds away. Went into MDR and saw the sheriffs had dozens of them loaded on the docks. Gave them the coordinates of the one we saw.

Once while on a RnR charter offshore we found a floating metal toolbox with about 100 yds of yellow rope tied off to it. Captain circled it and kept going.

Another time we were diving the frontside of Clemente Island. The plan was to hit the backside of the east end as soon as the closure lifted. We were bombing full throttle towards the closure line as a big cabin cruiser weighed anchor about 50 yds from shore a few miles ahead of us. They put a little row boat in and a fat guy in a white suit and straw hat sat on the bow while another guy rowed him ashore. As we were passing I just wanted to keep my head down but curiosity got the best of me. The rowboat was beached and the guy in the suit was hiking up a gulley. A few minutes later I turned around again and el Jefe was getting rowed back and the cruiser took off.

Also have found urns, a prosthetic leg, and some of those byrd scooters.
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Re: Weird stuff underwater or offshore

Postby Bill McIntyre » January 23rd, 2019, 3:13 pm

Interesting idea for a thread. Since I've been on boats since I was a little kid and I'm 80 now I feel like I must have seen a lot of weird stuff, but I'm too old to remember. The best I can come up with now was what appeared to be a 600 gallon external fuel tank from an aircraft. Or at least it looked about like the 600 gallon centerline tanks that we hung under the F-4s I flew. A Marine A-6 had crashed in the water near Catalina a couple of days before, so I thought maybe this tank was from that aircraft. I called the Coast Guard and gave them the coordinates. Even if it wasn't essential to an accident investigation, it was a hazard to navigation floating vertically with the nose just at the surface.
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Re: Weird stuff underwater or offshore

Postby dam » January 23rd, 2019, 6:57 pm

Ditto on the interesting idea for a thread. I've heard a crazy story about a square grouper. These guys were diving off Panama when they ran across one of those. They took it aboard with full intention of keeping it. During the ride back to shore, the deckhand was acting weird, so the boat captain told the divers to stay in a different tent/hut that night. Sure enough, in the middle of the night, there was a lot of lights shining around camp. The next day, they took a few bricks back with them to the States (this was pre-911) and left the rest to the captain. When they came back the next year, everyone in the village was driving brand new trucks. :confusion-shrug:

As far as personal story goes, me and Oakster found a drone with a deployed parachute off East end San Clemente once. It was a proper drone, too, about as long as a car. Oak hopped in for some photos and maybe a yellow or two, but there was nobody home. Maybe Oak and dig up the photos... :gay:
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Re: Weird stuff underwater or offshore

Postby Austin Balk » January 23rd, 2019, 11:01 pm

I’ve found two sets of “Cremains” on the beach. One of them was in a duffel bag that had a bunch of outdated electronics in it, presumably for weight. Probably not what uncle Vern had in mind when he asked for a burial at sea.

Every winter when we get big NW swells at Ocean Beach (SF) there are these little pumice balls that wash up in the high-tide line. My friend said that they are “ejectoids” (I haven’t googled it) from volcanic eruptions. The theory is that they are adrift at sea and then get pushed ashore by the NW winds and swell.
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Re: Weird stuff underwater or offshore

Postby chris oak » January 24th, 2019, 7:55 am

dam wrote:As far as personal story goes, me and Oakster found a drone with a deployed parachute off East end San Clemente once. It was a proper drone, too, about as long as a car. Oak hopped in for some photos and maybe a yellow or two, but there was nobody home. Maybe Oak and dig up the photos... :gay:


Thats funny Dam, I was going to post that story last night but didn't have time, I'll look up the pix later.

We also found a navy target rowboat looking thing the last time out in almost the same area of sci.
Had a gray whale go under me when I was diving seabass once, it looked like the whole bottom was moving, scared the shit out of me. One time at cat I ran into a super school of about 100 black sea bass, it was amazing.

The scariest was on my way to cat in the early am, I saw a bright red light. It looked like part of the island was on fire. We headed towards it and it turned out it was a dude and his gf with a flare, they rented one of those red boats at avalon and the motor quit. Right before we got there a bigger whaler pulled up to them, I think it was the guys who rent the boats. The next day I was working on the island and heard the locals say that couple was scared shitless, they were there all night till the morning and didn't have any water or food. Man if that current had went the wrong way they couldve drifted waaaaay off and it could have ended badly.

I'll have to think about it and add to this thread because I know there were other oddities.
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Re: Weird stuff underwater or offshore

Postby dam » January 24th, 2019, 9:59 am

Austin Balk wrote:Every winter when we get big NW swells at Ocean Beach (SF) there are these little pumice balls that wash up in the high-tide line. My friend said that they are “ejectoids” (I haven’t googled it) from volcanic eruptions. The theory is that they are adrift at sea and then get pushed ashore by the NW winds and swell.

That is interesting! From Chile, maybe?
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Re: Weird stuff underwater or offshore

Postby byronq » February 5th, 2019, 8:34 pm

Saw many weird things, but I thing the Tuna chasing is pushing us further to sea, and we're seeing more odd stuff out there. A few years back, Mel Mitchell (LA Bugman), Paul (Flattie) and I ran into a huge floating metal container. Don't know what it was, but it would have certainly ruined someones day if running into it by night.

But by far, the weirdest thing was the FLIP. I remember reading about this in High School, and in my old Jacques Cousteau books (my family bought the entire series for my brothers and I). Oak, I'm sure you can appreciate this. For those of you who don't know, the FLIP is a 355 ft. floating oceanographic research vessel, or FLoating Instrument Platform. It looks like a long tanker, and the hull is purposely flooded to "flip" the boat, allowing deep research. I've read even the toilets and sinks flip to accommodate the change.

Anyways, it's something I've read about since probably grade school, but finally saw it out at sea.

Anyone else ever see this?

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Re: Weird stuff underwater or offshore

Postby dam » February 6th, 2019, 11:12 am

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Re: Weird stuff underwater or offshore

Postby dctrjayyy » February 11th, 2019, 10:55 am

Byron-Yeah, I remember when that flip ship was out there for a few weeks. Entertaining day debating wtf it was until we got back home and figured it out.
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Re: Weird stuff underwater or offshore

Postby gringo sushi » February 11th, 2019, 3:09 pm

Great thread and stories.

I'll toss one in...

Was on a Tony Reyes trip out of San Felipe years ago to fish and dive Midriff Islands in the Sea of Cortez. On a number of occasions our pangero commented that a speeding boat in the distance was likely an illegal totoaba fishing boat. At one point we were contacted by the Mex Navy and on the deck of their boat was a confiscated illegal net piled up and a couple of totoaba that had to be well over 80 lbs.

Toward the end of a day later in the trip we were in our panga south of the mother ship and we see another overpowered panga screaming south past us. Shortly after, the same panga is zipping back north with the Mex Navy giving chase, guy manning the machine gun on the bow and all. We headed back to the Tony Reyes in time to see the Navy beaching their boat and start a search on foot directly in from our anchorage. Shortly before this our shipmates watched as the fleeing panga was beached and the crew headed up the mountain. The search went on into dark until we could see their flashlights slowly coming down hill seemingly indicating a clean getaway.

Reinforcements arrived to help deal with the situation. They side tied the panga to the Tony Reyes and traded the belongings of the fleeing fishermen for gas enough to run the fishing panga to wherever they were taking it (rather than having to tow it). The crew of our boat made out pretty good with upgraded gear of all sorts. That was an interesting bit of entertainment to go with what was already an awesome trip.
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Re: Weird stuff underwater or offshore

Postby rhyne » February 13th, 2019, 10:18 am

This will be a fun thread to keep tabs on...
you guys who mention FLIP, that thing is frikken awesome! Once upon a time during a baja trip to Mulege we met a guy who had done a few projects aboard that ship. i remember one story where they were researching humbolt squid and well, hot damn, that sounded like some very exciting times.
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Re: Weird stuff underwater or offshore

Postby Bill McIntyre » February 13th, 2019, 10:33 am

How deep is the end of that thing when it’s flipped?
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Re: Weird stuff underwater or offshore

Postby dariian » February 13th, 2019, 1:43 pm

a bunch of empty ammo cans, ended up being pretty useful. a freaking submarine popped up on us multiple times last year near the 302. bags and bags of trash for aircraft carriers... found some type of buoy with a phone number on it. my friend called it in and it was a recording of some sort. i'll always have my eyes out for a square grouper full of USD!
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Re: Weird stuff underwater or offshore

Postby NaClAddict » February 13th, 2019, 9:12 pm

dariian wrote:a bunch of empty ammo cans, ended up being pretty useful. a freaking submarine popped up on us multiple times last year near the 302. bags and bags of trash for aircraft carriers... found some type of buoy with a phone number on it. my friend called it in and it was a recording of some sort. i'll always have my eyes out for a square grouper full of USD!


I’d be too afraid the guy from No Country For Old Men would show up at my door.
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Re: Weird stuff underwater or offshore

Postby dariian » February 14th, 2019, 1:25 pm

NaClAddict wrote:
dariian wrote:a bunch of empty ammo cans, ended up being pretty useful. a freaking submarine popped up on us multiple times last year near the 302. bags and bags of trash for aircraft carriers... found some type of buoy with a phone number on it. my friend called it in and it was a recording of some sort. i'll always have my eyes out for a square grouper full of USD!


I’d be too afraid the guy from No Country For Old Men would show up at my door.



Hahaha, good point. That movie ruined it for everyone.

I saw a whale in the LJ kelp once, it was just smashing right through. Went right under me. I didn't realize how huge whales actually were until you see them underwater.
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Re: Weird stuff underwater or offshore

Postby Freeryde » March 2nd, 2019, 9:43 pm

1.Found some sort of orange float with a metal box attached and a digital readout. It had a big wire running down a line as far as we could see to something else below. I was told it was a sea monitoring device that was dropped by the navy to map the deep sea floor.
2. Found survival suit with a bunch of sludge looking stuff inside. It had been in the water long enough to grow barnacles on it so maybe that was once a person?
3. Stopped to pick up a large bottle with a cork in it and a message floating about 40 miles offshore. I fished out the paper towel with a message written in small print. It was hard to read as the print was very small but it clearly read
“I jerked off in this napkin! Haha!!”
WTF
4. Found a big net wrapped around a small grey whale
The whale was cut badly by the net and almost dead from exhaustion. I jumped in and cut the net off. Not sure if the whale survived or not.
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Re: Weird stuff underwater or offshore

Postby chris oak » March 3rd, 2019, 10:39 pm

Freeryde wrote:3. Stopped to pick up a large bottle with a cork in it and a message floating about 40 miles offshore. I fished out the paper towel with a message written in small print. It was hard to read as the print was very small but it clearly read
“I jerked off in this napkin! Haha!!”
WTF
4. Found a big net wrapped around a small grey whale
The whale was cut badly by the net and almost dead from exhaustion. I jumped in and cut the net off. Not sure if the whale survived or not.


number 3 is extra gnarly lol. Number 4 is way cool.

I remember hearing along time ago some spearos came across bundles across the border when checking out paddies. I can't remember if they were full of coke or weed. I know that Hughes and Ron found a panga in p v and it turned out later to be full of weed I think. It was crazy for like two months there were a ton of pangas washing up all over so cal from coyotes coming in from mexico with people and drugs.
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Re: Weird stuff underwater or offshore

Postby John Hughes » March 21st, 2019, 5:17 am

Freeryde wrote:1.Found some sort of orange float with a metal box attached and a digital readout. It had a big wire running down a line as far as we could see to something else below. I was told it was a sea monitoring device that was dropped by the navy to map the deep sea floor.
2. Found survival suit with a bunch of sludge looking stuff inside. It had been in the water long enough to grow barnacles on it so maybe that was once a person?
3. Stopped to pick up a large bottle with a cork in it and a message floating about 40 miles offshore. I fished out the paper towel with a message written in small print. It was hard to read as the print was very small but it clearly read
“I jerked off in this napkin! Haha!!”
WTF
4. Found a big net wrapped around a small grey whale
The whale was cut badly by the net and almost dead from exhaustion. I jumped in and cut the net off. Not sure if the whale survived or not.


#3 for the WIN!! Hahahaha!! I'm curious to know whether you quickly threw it down in disgust or put it back in the bottle for the next guy? :bowrofl:
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Re: Weird stuff underwater or offshore

Postby dam » March 21st, 2019, 10:02 am

John Hughes wrote:
Freeryde wrote:1.Found some sort of orange float with a metal box attached and a digital readout. It had a big wire running down a line as far as we could see to something else below. I was told it was a sea monitoring device that was dropped by the navy to map the deep sea floor.
2. Found survival suit with a bunch of sludge looking stuff inside. It had been in the water long enough to grow barnacles on it so maybe that was once a person?
3. Stopped to pick up a large bottle with a cork in it and a message floating about 40 miles offshore. I fished out the paper towel with a message written in small print. It was hard to read as the print was very small but it clearly read
“I jerked off in this napkin! Haha!!”
WTF
4. Found a big net wrapped around a small grey whale
The whale was cut badly by the net and almost dead from exhaustion. I jumped in and cut the net off. Not sure if the whale survived or not.


#3 for the WIN!! Hahahaha!! I'm curious to know whether you quickly threw it down in disgust or put it back in the bottle for the next guy? :bowrofl:

After adding your own? :bowrofl: #3 wins this thread for me. :bowrofl: #4 follows closely behind, though! :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: Weird stuff underwater or offshore

Postby 32juan » May 20th, 2019, 1:19 pm

As some of you may know, I work for USC's Wrigley Marine Science Center here on Santa Catalina Island. I was a deckhand for a couple of years before getting my captain's license, so I've spent a lot of time back and forth in the channel.

The boat I work on is the Miss Christi, and she's come across some neat things. I wasn't on it that day, but they found a square grouper. The captain called it in, and the coast guard had them pull it on deck, and bring it back to port. When they got to the gate, there was a flotilla of law enforcement waiting for them.

The weirdest thing we found while I was on board was a float attached to nearly a quarter mile of 3/4" poly line, weighted, with many different attachment points. There was even a couple scraps of fabric, one that had a patch sewn in that had some city in Baja written on it. Here's a pic.
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