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Dive into history with Florida’s Panhandle Shipwreck Trail

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Miles off the Florida Panhandle’s coast rest vessels of history.

The Florida Panhandle Shipwreck Trail is made up of twelve unique shipwrecks, each of which has its own draw and history. The trail was launched in 2012 with the idea of attracting visitors to the Panhandle.

“In order to complete the trail, people would have to travel across the Panhandle,” said Franklin Price, senior archaeologist with the Florida Department of State’s Underwater Archaeology team.

They would also likely have to plan multiple trips to complete the trail, Price said.

The trail was created in part by the archaeology team soliciting  dive operators in the area for the shipwrecks that best represented the Panhandle, Price said. Each wreck’s popularity, ecological diversity and history was considered.

For scuba divers, the trail is not to be missed.

panhandle map

“Even if they’re not divers, I hope they still get a better appreciation of the value of what’s down there, of our submerged heritage and the opportunity to explore the shipwrecks and natural reefs,” continued Price.

Passport 

Divers who take on the Shipwreck Trail can mark each dive with their “passport.”

Dive masters will sign and place a sticker on the passport after the diver visits each wreck.

Locally, you can get your passport from Emerald Coast Scuba, located at 503 U.S. Highway 98 in Destin, or Scuba Tech, located at the corner of Harbor Boulevard and Marler Street.

The Shipwrecks

Destin: 

Miss Louise—A push tugboat that was sunk in 1997. The 95-foot tug lies upright in shallow water about 60 feet down. Storms have flattened some of the top of the tug, said Carla Moore, co-owner of Scuba Tech in Destin. Although it’s close to shore, it can be difficult to reach with fishermen and other dive boats covering the area.

Sea creatures have flocked to the site. Spanish mackerel, kings, barracuda, and baitfish frequent the site. Goliath Groupers, whale sharks, and Manta Rays have also been seen.

“You have to part the fish to see the wreck,” Moore said.

Pensacola: 

USS Oriskany — An aircraft carrier that has become a popular diving destination. After serving in the Pacific, The “Mighty O” served in the Pacific before being sunk in 2006. Also nicknamed “The Great Carrier Reef,” the Oriskany is one of the most breathtaking dives, Price said.

YDT-14 — This U.S. Navy dive tender was sunk in 2000. The ship’s upper structure is at 65 feet of depth.

San Pablo — From a historical perspective, this freighter is the most interesting. It once hauled fruit from Central America before being sunk by a U-boat during World War II. It was refloated and was later sunk again in a secret military operation off of Pensacola.

Pete Tide II — This offshore oilfield supply vessel became an artificial reef in 1993. It has three decks of superstructure.

Three Coal Barges —These barges were sunk in 1974. They rest in about 50 feet of water.

Panama City: 

Black Bart — A oilfield supply vessel that was sunk in 1977. It sits intact from the top down between 40 and 85 feet of water.

FAMI Tugs — These two tugboats once sat bow to bow, but a storm placed one boat on top of the other.

USS Accokeek — A fleet tugboat that served in both Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. It then became a training vessel for navy salvage divers before being sunk for the last time in 100 feet of water in 2000.

USS Strength — A World War II minesweeper that survived a midget submarine attack and a kamikaze raid.

 USS Chippewa — A veteran Navy tugboat now lies upright in 100 feet of water.

Port St. Joe: 

Vamar — This ship lies in 25 feet of water. It was a support ship for Admiral Richard Byrd’s 1928 Antarctic expedition, then as a tramp steamer it sank under mysterious circumstances in 1942. Of all the trail’s wreckages, this is the most suitable for snorkelers, but it is still best seen on a dive, Price said.

Shipwreck descriptions courtesy of the Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research.

More details as well as photos and video on each of the trail’s shipwrecks can be found at www.floridapanhandledivetrail.com. Marine forecast and nearby dive shops for each site can also be found.

 

Source: www.nwfdailynews.com

Main Photo: Tim Thorsen (www.mbtdivers.com)

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The Ocean Cleanup to Complete 100th Extraction Live from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

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the ocean cleanup
  • The Ocean Cleanup marks 100th extraction of plastic pollution from the Pacific Ocean by livestreaming entire cleaning operation from start to finish.
  • Occasion brings together supporters, partners, donors and followers as the project readies its cleanup technology for scale-up.
  • Founder and CEO Boyan Slat to provide insight on the plans ahead.

The Ocean Cleanup is set to reach a milestone of 100 plastic extractions from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Extraction #100, scheduled for 28 or 29 May 2024, will be the first ever to be livestreamed direct from the Pacific Ocean, allowing supporters and partners around the world to see up close how the organization has removed over 385,000 kilograms (nearly 850,000 lbs) of plastic from the GPGP so far – more than double the bare weight of the Statue of Liberty.

the ocean cleanup

The mission of The Ocean Cleanup is to rid the oceans of plastic. To do this, the non-profit project employs a dual strategy: cleaning up legacy floating plastic in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (the world’s largest accumulation of floating plastic), while stopping the flow of plastic from the world’s most polluting rivers.

The Ocean Cleanup captured its first plastic (the first ‘extraction’) in the GPGP in 2019 with System 001, following years of trials and testing with a variety of concepts. Through System 002 and now the larger and more efficient System 03, the organization has consistently improved and optimized operations, and is now preparing to extract plastic trash from the GPGP for the 100th time.

the ocean cleanup

Extraction #100 will be an interactive broadcast showing the entire extraction procedure live and in detail, with insight provided by representatives from across The Ocean Cleanup and partners contributing to the operations.

This is an important milestone in a key year for The Ocean Cleanup.’ said Boyan Slat, Founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup. ‘We’ve come a long way since our first extraction in 2019. During the 2024 season, with System 03, we aim to demonstrate that we are ready to scale up, and with it, confine the Great Pacific Garbage Patch to the history books.

the ocean cleanup

The livestream will be hosted on The Ocean Cleanup’s YouTube channel and via X. Monitor @theoceancleanup for confirmed timings.

www.theoceancleanup.com

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𝗕𝗩𝗜 𝗪𝗿𝗲𝗰𝗸 𝗪𝗲𝗲𝗸 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟰: 𝗨𝗻𝘃𝗲𝗶𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗧𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘀𝘂𝗿𝗲𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗗𝗲𝗲𝗽

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As the sun sets over the turquoise waters of the British Virgin Islands, adventure enthusiasts and diving aficionados from around the globe are gearing up for the highly anticipated event of the year – BVI Wreck Week 2024. Set to take place from 𝗝𝘂𝗻𝗲 𝟭𝟲-𝟮𝟮, this thrilling week long extravaganza promises an unparalleled exploration of maritime history and underwater wonders.
Organized by the BVI Scuba Organization, BVI Wreck Week 2024 is a celebration of the rich maritime heritage and natural beauty that the British Virgin Islands have to offer. From seasoned wreck divers to curious beginners, this event caters to all levels of experience, offering a diverse range of activities and experiences both above and below the waterline.
Highlighting the event are the meticulously preserved wrecks and art-reefs that dot the sea floor of the British Virgin Islands.
𝗣𝗮𝗿𝘁𝗶𝗰𝗶𝗽𝗮𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝘄𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗼𝗽𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁𝘂𝗻𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝘁𝗼 𝗱𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗼 𝗵𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗿𝘆 𝗮𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝘆 𝗲𝘅𝗽𝗹𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝘀𝗲 𝗳𝗮𝘀𝗰𝗶𝗻𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘂𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗿𝘄𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝘀𝗶𝘁𝗲𝘀, 𝗲𝗮𝗰𝗵 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗶𝘁𝘀 𝗼𝘄𝗻 𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗿𝘆 𝘁𝗼 𝘁𝗲𝗹𝗹.
From legendary “Pirate” ships to World War II-era vessels, these wrecks serve as time capsules, offering glimpses into the past and stirring the imagination of all who visit them.
But BVI Wreck Week is not just about diving – it’s a full-fledged festival celebrating the marine environment and the vibrant culture of the British Virgin Islands.
𝗔𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗲𝘀 𝗰𝗮𝗻 𝗹𝗼𝗼𝗸 𝗳𝗼𝗿𝘄𝗮𝗿𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝗮 𝗽𝗮𝗰𝗸𝗲𝗱 𝘀𝗰𝗵𝗲𝗱𝘂𝗹𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘀, 𝗶𝗻𝗰𝗹𝘂𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗯𝗲𝗮𝗰𝗵 𝗽𝗮𝗿𝘁𝗶𝗲𝘀, 𝗹𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗺𝘂𝘀𝗶𝗰 𝗽𝗲𝗿𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲𝘀, 𝗰𝘂𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗮𝗿𝘆 𝗱𝗲𝗹𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁𝘀 𝗳𝗲𝗮𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗹𝗼𝗰𝗮𝗹 𝗰𝘂𝗶𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗲, 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗲𝗱𝘂𝗰𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝘀𝗲𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗮𝗿𝘀 𝗼𝗻 𝗺𝗮𝗿𝗶𝗻𝗲 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝘀𝗲𝗿𝘃𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗽𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗲𝗿𝘃𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻..
We are thrilled to welcome divers and adventurers from around the world to BVI Wreck Week 2024,” said 𝗞𝗶𝗺 𝗛𝘂𝗶𝘀𝗵, 𝗣𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗶𝗱𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗕𝗩𝗜 𝗦𝗰𝘂𝗯𝗮 𝗢𝗿𝗴𝗮𝗻𝗶𝘇𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻. “This event is not only an opportunity to explore some of the most captivating wrecks in the Caribbean butalso a chance to immerse oneself in the beauty and culture of the British Virgin Islands.
BVI Wreck Week 2024 promises an unforgettable experience for all who attend – whether you’re an avid diver, history buff, or simply looking for an exciting getaway. If you can’t get here this year you can still follow along online as there will be daily, often “Live” posts to our socials. Don’t miss your chance to be a part of this one-of-a-kind event!
For more information and to register, visit bviwreckweek.com or follow on BVI Wreck Week and instagram.com/bviwreck/
Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown attended BVI Wreck Week in 2023. Read there 3-part blog about the event here:
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