Friday, July 14, 2006

Wreck of the Ten Sails

Wreck of the Ten Sails, Grand CaymanI am still in the Cayman Islands as of this writing and I was frustrated that I could not find better information on something that fascinated me as we drove around the east side of Grand Cayman.

The one and only road that parallels the coast, (sometimes the lane is at the ocean's edge!), took us out to East End. We stopped when glancing at the map in the left-hand seat I noticed this was the area of the "Wreck of the Ten Sails!"

We looked out, me in the driver's seat and my wife and daughter in the back, to the reef, almost a mile offshore. I was explaining to my wife that this was where a large sailing vessel struck the reef in the late 1700's.

From shore, we could see the channel markers near the reef. But, there was something else sticking out of the water. It looked rather large - time to get out the binoculars. We peered out and saw pieces of other things, which looked like they could have been from a ship - sticking out of the surf.

Okay, let me read the caption from the Cayman tourist magazine. What IS this out here?

I read it out loud - It was common for merchant ships to carry goods from Jamaica to Britain in the late 1700's. Many times they went in convoys. On February 8, 1794, ten merchant vessels took off during the night and made way by Grand Cayman.

The vessel leading the convoy, HMS Convert, made a really bad mistake misjudging how far out the reef ran from the shoreline.

Boom! The Convert hit the reef! In an effort to warn the nine other vessels, a signal was given (at night) - however, the signal was misunderstood - and instead, the nine vessels thought it was to follow closer to the Convert through this area.

All 10 ships ran aground right off the East End that night.

That led me to think about how much tragedy one error can turn into. I started to make the comparison to much of what is out there on the Internet - many people with books and products to offer as maps to prosperity.

The responsibility is great. Because the Internet is still a pretty level playing field, it is hard to determine if the seller has ever helped anyone become a success like themselves. Customers purchase the goods and follow the "leader" in hopes they will be successful.

Nobody wants to hit a reef.

Okay, so now, how to apply this to what we do here? You and I both know there are a myriad of products and ebooks out there on AdSense, AdWords, CPC's, PPC's, etc. We don't want to miss anything - so it's easy to become fanatical about this and buy everything that comes out - but don't. Do a little homework. See if there is a blog you can read, or a forum. Ask questions - see if they answer.

Ask God for help.

When you choose a strategy, you are following a plan someone has drawn out. It pays to be careful - yes, many make it. Many don't.

East End, Grand Cayman - near Wreck of the Ten SailsThe Wreck of the Ten Sails is a fascinating story that ends with heroism. The people living in the East End showed great heroism that night. They heard and saw the wreck that stormy night. They got in their boats in total darkness and went out to the reef and saved everyone.

For this act of heroism, it is said King George III of Britain granted the Cayman Islands freedom from taxes. I could find nothing online that backs up the part about no taxation, even though they have no taxes here. And the other puzzling part is those things sticking up out of the water - which local maps claim to be remnants of vessels from 1794. Doesn't wood deteriorate in the elements in a few hundred years? Plus, you can't see a thing in my picture... and I couldn't find a picture of the Wreck of the Ten Sails, anywhere.

Liberty Ship Ridgefield, East End, Grand CaymanHowever, after a little more investigation, I found out that what you can see off the reef is the wreck of the Ridgefield, one of the 2700 Liberty Ships that were constructed during WWII. It exchanged a few hands and was a tramp steamer when in 1962 it was traveling from Maracaibo, Venezuela for a Gulf port and lost power and blew into the reef. Salvage efforts proved fruitless.

'Til next time... Dave in Grand Cayman

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