Bottle of whisky that sat at the bottom of Otter Lake for six decades recovered
It was a moment Dieter Mueller had been thinking about for almost sixty years.
On July 15, he and two scuba divers set out to Otter Lake, south of Parry Sound, searching for a long-lost case of whisky bottles that sunk to the bottom in 1964.
Mueller was just 15 years old at his family's cottage when his neighbour returned to his cottage by boat with a case of whisky onboard. That's when it happened.
"He ran right into his dock at full speed," says Mueller. "He totalled his boat, the boat listed, and the whisky went down."
Mueller says his neighbour wasn't hurt, but the damage was done.
He tried that same summer to find the whisky, but it was too deep without a scuba tank, and he knows of others who have tried over the years but failed.
Yet, 57 years later, he knew it was down there, and it was time to find them despite was others in the past have said.
"In all the time that I told my friends about it, they said how you do you the whisky is still down there, I don't think it's there."
Mueller reached out to scuba diver and the owner of Barrie Scuba House in Minesing, Dave Davidson, to help him find the lost treasure.
Davidson, who ironically was born the year the bottles sank, says he gets requests from people to find lost items such as watches, cell phones, and even boat motors all the time, but this time it was different.
"When somebody says, hey, I know where some whisky is, you go, that's a lot different than just going to find some drone or a ring or something, that's something that's interesting and intriguing."
In the water, Davidson would make several rounds in the area Mueller believed the bottles were, but he says it was murky and hard to see two feet in front of him.
But when he returned to where he started searching, something caught his eye.
"I could see something brown shiny through the silt, and I knew it was glass, but I had no idea what it was," he says.
At first glance, he thought it could have been a maple syrup bottle and brought what he found to the surface.
"I ascended to the surface and presented the bottle to Dieter, and he informed me that's the bottle," says Davidson.
When his treasure emerged from the depths of the water, it confirmed what the 72-year-old Mueller knew all along.
"It was a brown jug of Gooderham established 1832 bottle of whisky, crystal clear inside., beautiful condition, the real McCoy."
Neither of the men has plans to crack the bottle open and sample the whisky any time soon, allowing the mystery of what it tastes like to live on.
Davidson says he's already been offered a thousand dollars from a Toronto golf club to display it in the clubhouse, but he's not selling.
"What I'd like to do is put it in a display case, put a picture of Dieter and the bottle and myself and Adam who was with us on display so that we can talk about it and it can be a story. "
As for Mueller, he's already making plans for another dive out on Otter Lake, where he believes another dozen or so bottles could be sitting twenty-eight feet down.