Diving the Shipwrecks of The Out Islands
Diving the shipwrecks scattered throughout the Out Islands combines the vibrant life of the coral reef with the romance of exploring a piece of history captured in time.
Every shipwreck has a tale to tell, and the crystal-clear waters of the Out Islands are the ideal place for divers to learn those captivating stories. Since colonial times, the shallow reefs of The Bahamas have brought many a ship to grief. With the passage of time, though, those sunken ships are themselves re-christened as reefs, smothered in sponges and corals and attended by large schools of fish. Wrecks in the Out Islands are also time capsules, offering visitors the chance to literally dive into history.
Shipwrecks in The Abacos
The first U.S.-built steamship, the San Jacinto, veteran of China’s second opium war, sank in the Abacos while she was on blockade duty during the Civil War. Once 234-feet long, the wreck is now completely scattered across the bottom in 40 feet of water. Abacos dive operators can also guide you to the final resting sites of the Violet Mitchell and the Train Wreck, where you’ll see reef fish chasing around the wheels and engine parts of tow ancient locomotives.
Shipwrecks in Andros Island
Divers based on the big island can explore the Marion, a construction barge from the AUTEC navy base that was sunk in 70 feet of water with a tractor and crane aboard.
Shipwrecks in Bimini
The Sapona was a concrete-hulled WW I liberty ship that a rum runner brought across the Gulf Stream to use as a floating booze warehouse during Prohibition. Though it suffered through target practice during WWII, the Sapona still stands proud above the waters off Bimini, it’s cement chunks and rebar providing a home to huge numbers of reef fish and, since it’s in very shallow (15 feet) water, hours of enjoyment to both snorkelers and divers.
Shipwrecks in Eleuthera
Also known as the Egg Island Wreck, the Arimoroa was a 260-foot freighter that ran aground in 1970 after catching fire. The wreck still sticks above the surface, but vast schools of fish gather around its hull in shallow water.
Shipwrecks in The Exumas
The Austin Smith was a 90-foot Bahamian Defense Force patrol boat that was decommissioned and destined to be sunk as an artificial reef off San Salvador. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on where you’re set to dive) the ship sank enroute, in 60 feet in the Exumas.
Shipwrecks in Long Island, The Bahamas
Two wrecks lie within swimming distance in 100 feet of water off Long Island. The most interesting is the 110-foot freighter, Comberbach, which attracts spiraling schools of jacks above its superstructure. The other wreck is a small sailboat.