The complete scuba divers guide to shipwrecks around the Island of Bermuda




   Capt. Dan Berg's Wreck Valley Collection   

    MARI CELESTE shipwreck painting Bermuda   MARI CELESTE shipwrek paddle wheel Bermuda reef    

By Capt. Dan Berg

Photo: Mari Celeste sinking courtesy Alan Marquardt collection. Bermuda wreck series postage stamp. Courtesy Postmaster General.

MARI CELESTE shipwreck postage stamp BermudaThe Mari Celeste was a 207 ton, civil war blockade runner owned by the Crenshaw Brothers. The Confederate paddle wheel steamer which, according to the Bermuda Royal Gazette, was known as "one of the swiftest and most fortunate of her class" had made at least five successful trips delivering goods into the south.

On September 13, 1864, under the command of Captain Sinclair and piloted by Bermudian, John Virgin, with a cargo of "classified merchandise" which included beef, bacon, ammunition and much needed rifles for the war effort, she left port enroute to Wilmington, North Carolina. The Mari Celeste made an unusually fast run through the east end channel and up the south side of the island. First officer Stuart announced some breakers he had spotted ahead, but the local pilot  who was steering the vessel replied  " I know every rock here as well as I know my own house" Within moments, the vessel had slammed hard into the reef. She sank bow first within eight minutes. The ship's cook, who was the only casualty, had returned to his cabin against orders for some personal belongings and never made it out of the sinking ship.

Underwater sketch of the Mari Celeste. Courtesy Professor Gordon Watts, East Carolina University.

Today, the Mari Celeste sits in a sand hole in  55 feet of water about one half mile off the south coast of Bermuda. Her wreckage lies in a straight line with amidships being the highest wreckage left uncovered by sand. Divers can see and recognize both of her paddle wheels and her engine. Her bow section leans on its port side. This site is excellent for underwater photography especially when using the starboard side paddle wheel, which is standing upright, as a background.


The information listed above was taken with permission from the Book:
A Vacationing Divers Guide to Bermudas Shipwrecks,
by Dan and Denise Berg, 6x9 softcover,73 pages.
Retail $14.95




Now also Available as an instant download printable PDF eBook

A Vacationing Divers Guide to Bermudas Shipwrecks

Buy Now  only $9.95
4.5 MB instant download, printable  PDF file

by Dan and Denise Berg, 6x9, 73 page downloadable ebook. From the first quarter of the 16th century, Bermuda became a landmark for Spanish ships sailing back to Spain from the New World. The desire to sight Bermuda to confirm their position often ended their voyage as they wrecked on Bermuda's outer reefs. To this day Bermuda's treacherous reefs have taken their toll on shipping. The reefs have claimed vessels ranging from ocean lines to small fishing boats. Bermuda Shipwrecks is the most comprehensive, accurate, illustrated collection of information, photographs, sketches and stories ever written about the legendary wrecks around Bermuda. Bermuda Shipwrecks includes over 100 illustrations comprised of 61 sensational color photos, 17 rare b&w historical images, 19 stamps, 4 sketches plus one map. Bermuda Shipwrecks contains a wealth of enlightening information that gives the readers a nostalgic glimpse into the history and present condition of over 55 of Bermuda's most popular Shipwrecks. 

Check out Capt. Dan's other shipwreck and Diving eBooks


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All photographs, sketches, images and text

Copyright Capt. Dan Berg / Aqua Explorers Inc

2745 Cheshire Dr
Baldwin NY 11510


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