Real-life Whidbey Island pirates dig for diamonds on televisionon July 5, 2012 @ 4:02 pm (Updated: 6:00 am - 7/6/12 )
They are a bunch of self-proclaimed pirates from Whidbey Island, that can now add "reality television star" to their resume.
Captain John Aydelotte and his crew sailed from the Washington coast to Africa's "skeleton coast" where a legendary untouched treasure trove of diamonds is said to be buried just below the ocean floor.
Aydelotte hand-picked his crew from Whidbey, and headed to Africa, a place where he said it helps to be "a little crazy."
When they docked, sometimes death was just moments away. "It wasn't unusual to see automatic weapons in the street and towns [...] It's as lawless as any place I've ever been, and that includes Arizona."
When the crew isn't staring down the barrel of a gun, they are encountering danger along the high seas, and Spike documented them for the series "Diamond Divers."
Aydelotte said he envisioned the place where they searched was "chalked full of diamonds."
"So we're diving on the ocean floor with this giant suck machine and pulling the gravel and rocks up, looking for shiny ones," he explained.
The area is renown for shipwrecks and legendary storms. Spike won't let Aydelotte talk about what they did find, still the journey hasn't been without some frightening moments.
During one storm, survival was out of their hands. "It was up to the boat and its integrity; in the motor to keep running and I was as scared as I've ever been on the ocean."
Cornet Bay on Whidbey was sounding pretty good about then. "The thoughts of home are pretty much what kept me going."
The show is almost halfway through its six-part series. Aydelotte and his crew will be at the Swinomish Casino Wednesday to celebrate their third episode and chat with fans.
KIRO Radio's Tony Miner contributed to this report.
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