Diary of the Trip to Haiti in search of the Ghost Ship "MARY CELESTE".
Day 1 (Wed March 28, 2001)The Eco-Nova group arrive at the homeport (Highland Beach, Florida), of the "ELLA WARLEY III". The crew spent the day provisioning the vessel for the long trip.
Day 2The Seas were too rough for crossing the gulf stream so the ELLA WARLEY III decided to travel
south via the inter coastal waterway andanchored in Biscayne Bay for the night. The Captain of the ELLA WARLEY III (Allan Gardner) let one of the Eco-Novacrew pilot the ship through the Florida Inter Coastal waterways. Not knowing the channel they ran aground and damaged on of her props. At 9 PM, the shamed crewmember and Allan replaced the prop in the dark while a wicked thunderstorm raged above them.
Day 3The seas were still rough, however the anxious crew wanted to be under way, so the left the harbor in Biscayne Bay and headed for Cat Cay, BS despite the 10 foot swells in the Gulf Stream. Once at Cat Cay they cleared customs, topped off their fuel and headed out for the NW passage to anchor for the night.
Day 4 & 5Underway at 6:30AM for the long 35 1/2 hour run south to Great Inagua. On day 5 at 5PM they arrived.
Day 6Arrived at Cap Haitian on the North coast of Haiti. Clive Cussler and Jean Claude, owner of the Comier Plage Hotel and long time friend of Captain Allan Gardner, joined the group. They waited for morning to clear customs.
Day 7They traveled through very rough seas for 8 hours to reach the NW tip of Haiti and then anchored for the night.
Day 8They travel to the SE tip of Ile de la Gonave. Once they arrived they anchored and checked their equipment for the search. They decided to search for reported bronze cannons in the area and had no success.
The search begins. They traveled to the reef area where the Mary Celeste went down and analyzed old maps to determine where to begin. Early in the hunt the Ella Warley III and their crew discover a FOURTH WORLD, a village built on an Island made out of conch shells. Using a magnetometer they systematically search an area around the Conch Reef Island. That's when they found traces of the Mary Celeste. At 10 PM the wind picked up and forced them to head back to Ile de la Gonave.
They headed back to the reef to do some photography. The crew took a Haitian boat over to the conch reef island village to film it. No one could believe that human beings could exist in such conditions. 10 miles from land, nothing but huts on top of thousands and thousands of conch shells that rise out of the water on top of a shallow reef. It was hard to believe families could spend their entire life at that place. At 8 PM the left for the NW tip of Haiti to anchor for the night.
Day 11Traveled all day, very rough seas, to reach the Comier Plage Hotel and have the victory party.
Day 12Spent the day at the beautiful Comier Plage Hotel for some much needed R & R.
Day 13Clive left by plane from Cap Haitian, but Jean Claude stayed with ELLA for the return trip to Florida. Traveled to Great Inagua for fuel and to spend the night.
Day 14 & 1536 straight hours underway. Stopped at Nassau for fuel, but there was no fuel!. Continued on to Chub Cay for fuel. Anchored on the Bahamas banks at NW Light for the night.
Day 16Arrive back home in Highland Beach, FL at 4:30 PM. The trip was a success.
See and read other underwater discoveries from the deck of the ELLA WARLEY III.
Read about the Mary Celeste and see why she is named one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of the sea.
See artifacts, wood samples, and remarkable underwater scenes.