I have spent the past couple weeks mentally running over every aspect of Project Mustard Seed’s (v. 1.0), making calculations and phone calls, and have come to three general hypotheses about what could have happened.
- Colonel Mustard. In the Water. With a Knife. Except sub Lake Erie for Colonel Mustard. And 20 foot waves for the knife. Due to Lake Erie’s shallow waters, it is considered to be one of the roughest lakes in the U.S. This is what had initially attracted us to Lake Erie as the site for our project. But it could have also meant that larger waves were able to break the anchor line (which supposedly could hold up to 8,000 lbs). If this was the case, and the rig stayed together, I estimate that it should be beached somewhere between Cleveland and Buffalo. Or falling over Niagra Falls.
- Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall! Lake Erie, rip apart these poles! If we use the same reasoning as above, we can hypothesize that the Lake Erie waves were so brutal that they ripped apart both the perimeter ropes (which were rated at 1,200 lbs) AND the tubing structure (rated to hold a minimum of 600 lbs – for each can) that held the individual floats together. Were that to have happened, corner floats would have disbanded and drifted apart, causing other parts to sink. One of our plans for this summer is to rent a boat and send a camera into the water to see if we can see remnants of a wrecked rig.
- The Lake Erie Monsters. Not the hockey team, but the REAL Lake Erie monster, Bessie. She is reported to be snake-like in appearance and about 30 – 40 feet long. But we aren’t the only ones looking for her. Huron Lagoons Marina is offering a $100,000 award for her capture, dead or alive.