Think of it like a message in a bottle … only much larger.
On Jan. 25, a nasty swell hit North West Point – “one of the worst I’ve seen,” said Divetech owner Jo Mikutowicz.
Crashing waves reached the spot where Divetech keeps its equipment, dragging a handful of scuba tanks (each of which weighs about 30 pounds, empty) out into the bay.
Some of them washed ashore over the next several days, while divers recovered others.
One, however, drifted out to sea, presumed to be lost forever.
So it came as a surprise for Ms. Mikutowicz when her business received a phone call last week from a man from a very unlikely place, saying that he found the tank on a nearby beach … Panama City Beach, to be precise.
“We were just shocked it made it all the way to Florida,” said Ms. Mikutowicz. “I think it is impressive that it made it around Cuba.”
At about $100, the Divetech owner said, it’s not worth the cost to ship the tank back here.
“It’s probably not any good either,” she said. We’ll just let them keep it as a souvenir.”
Nevertheless, Ms. Mikutowicz said the tank’s 800-plus mile journey makes for a good story. Apparently it has also inspired others to see if they can repeat the feat and return the favor.
“I think I’ll drop one of my tanks into the Gulf and see if it ends up at your place!” Tampa resident Rita Fitzpatrick posted on Divetech’s Facebook page. “Then you just keep it there. I’ll keep coming down, pay for fills and dive with you all!”