The Ana Cecilia: West Palm Beaches’ Newest Artificial Reef

grouper today

Totally in love with our dive from yesterday, good vis, wicked current and a brand new multi-level, 170 ft long wreck (artificialgayle II
reef)!   The Ana Cecilia was seized in 2015 with nearly 10 million dollars worth of cocaine on board.  Rather than let the aging cargo ship potentially fall back into the hands of smugglers, it was donated as an underwater divers’ playground and scuttled in West Palm Beach during July of this summer.  Who says our South Florida wrecks don’t have history!

rickHot-dropping the wreck, we descend through the water and current, to find the final resting spot of the ship– perfectly upright!  US customs/Border Protection was kind to us, so many great cut-outs, swim through, rooms and corridors to hide from the current. Pulling and gliding, we brave the strong current, moving down the huge anchor chain to chill out at 85 feet with a giant friendly grouper.  Larger than me, the giant fish hovers just feet away.  We slither through many chambers, up and down staircases, multiple levels.  Amazingly, knobs and steering wheels, not corroded by rust yet, still turn and function. The confiscation notice is still posted, reminding us of its’ sorted past. impound notice

We make our way forward for the final ascent, then to the mast.  Flapping in the ripping current we move up the mast till reaching the top. Then 1,2,3 – we let go, flying over the entire wreck, past divers and through huge school of yellow fin hovering on the new boat.  To ascend!

Let’s do it again :D! So we drop back down for a double dip!! Thanks to all for a great dive!

group shot

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *