(Note: The information provided that directly involves me is correct. The rest of the story was received 2nd and 3rd hand, and is therefore suspect, and easily available for embellishment. Any suggestions on the bardic circle version of this story are most welcome)
Many years ago, the gondoliers of Alamitos Bay dropped a floor safe into the bay, which held three or four bottles of wine. Whenever a new gondolier joined the crew, he would have to dive down to the safe with a bottle of wine, open up the safe and exchange it with an old bottle of wine, which he would bring back with him to the surface for a toast with the rest of the gondoliers.
After some time, the lock on the safe became corroded, and the dial fell off, and the tradition was unable to continue. The floor safe lay in the bay for years, until Dan found it during an exceptionally low tide. He and his co-workers hoisted it onto the pier to have a look. This was particularly difficult, as the safe weighed over 300 lbs.
Two days later, Dan invited Brad and myself to move the safe to a better location, so that we could try to open it. Upon inspection of the safe, however, I suggested that we could open it on the pier.
And so we did.
With two crowbars, a hammer, an awl and brute strength as our only tools, we pried off the caps of the hinges, then popped out the pins. Next, we pried off the outer covering of the door. Water poured out of the openings we made with the crowbar, giving of a stench that wasn't altogether pleasant. At this point, a crowd started gathering, speculating what the contents of the safe might be. Even after hearing the history of the safe, people still stood around suggesting that we might have found Al Capone's lost fortune, or the remains of Jimmy Hoffa, refusing to believe that we would go to all this trouble for wine.
After removing the outer cover, we were confronted with the interior of the door, which was filled with cement. Fortunately, years of exposure to salt water had softened the cement, and it was easy to clear out. Finally, the lock casing was exposed to us. prying off the inner shell inadvertantly pulled out the bolts keeping the door in place, and the contents of the safe were ours.
Al Capone's treasure wasn't in the safe. Nor were the remains of Jimmy Hoffa. Nor, to our disappointment, were any full bottles of well-aged wine. Instead, our bounteous harvest consisted of two empty wine bottles and a penny. Having decided that there was nothing left for us to do with the now empty and door-less safe, we cast it back into the dark chasm from whence it came.
So the treasure hunt didn't pay off as well as we had hoped. On the plus side, I have had an experience that you really can't get anywhere easily. I can also now add "safe-cracker" to my Curriculum Vitae. I'm sure some employer will find that fascinating, and if it's between myself and another applicant who matches me line for line, this might be the thing that puts me over the top. :)