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A Visit to the Antilles Star One Year After the Sinking
July 5, 2005


John Lane and Cliff Norris visited the Antilles Star on the Sea Urchin on 7/5/05. The Antilles was scuttled about one year ago. Since then, the wreck has become a popular diving and fishing location.

The ship was easy to locate because it was marked by a large school of bait fish, with a turtle and several dolphins swimming among the fish on the surface.

We anchored at 29 19.199 N, 80 44.771 W. Going down the anchor line in the clear blue, 82 degree water we came to a thermocline at 50 ft. Below the thermocline the temperature was a pleasant 74 degrees. The ship is in the same position that she was at the time of her sinking. She lies in a general southernly direction and is intact. However, she is no longer lying on her port side. The 2004 hurricanes have righted the ship so that that there is only a 20-30 degree list to port. The visibility on the bottom was about 25 feet. It was about 25-30 feet when we were on or above the main deck of the ship.

We anchored in the sand along the port side, about amidships. Looking toward the ship at the anchor, we noticed a 5 foot nurse shark in a scoured out area next to the hull. The shark quickly moved away from us . Moving up to the main deck and to the bridge, we found a large goliath grouper, next to the captain's chair, looking back at us.

We saw three more goliath grouper who seemed to follow us as we toured the ship.

The fish on the ship were mostly tomtate grunts. There were also some porkfish, spadefish, sheepshead, mangrove snapper and amberjack

On the stern, we noticed several large colorful orange and white sea pork tunicates.

Coming back up slowly on the anchor line, in the clearer water, we were among hundreds of small cigar minnows along with some bar jacks, comb jellies and barracudas.

All in all, it was an interesting and easy dive.

John Lane
Volusia County Reef Research Dive Team

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