The Abacos islands are located in the northeast section of the
approximately 170 miles from Miami, Florida. The two largest islands
Great Abaco and Little Abaco.
The best diving off Abaco is between its eastern shores and cays
protected from the Atlantic Ocean by barrier reefs. Green Turtle
Cay and Man of War Cay all offer excellent diving. Diving Abaco
around a reef that is one of the longest in the world, measuring
For more information about the Bahamas visit the Bahamas Board of
Tourism’s official website –
Adirondack class warship with crew manning the yards. Courtesy U.S.
Naval Historical Foundation
The U.S. S. Adirondack was an Ossipee class wooden screw sloop built
1861 at the New York Navy Yard. She was launched on February 22,
and commissioned in June of the same year. This union gun boat was
feet long, had a 38 foot beam, weighed 1,240 gross tons, and was
by both sail and steam. The Adironduck was part of the South
Blockading Squadron. On August 23, 1862, while on a voyage from Port
Royal to Nassau, she ran aground on Little Bahama Bank. Her crew was
rescued by the vessel Canadaigua, but all salvage attempts of the
failed. The Adirondack broke up in the surf and sunk.
The scattered remains
of this warship rest in l0 to 30 feet of water. Divers
can still see two of her I I inch bore cannons that are about twelve
long and weigh about 10,000 pounds each. Twelve smaller cannons can
also be sighted while exploring the wreckage.
The Borge wreck is the remains of a World War II landing craft. She
in a small channel off Fiddle Key, in 40 feet of water and is badly
deteriorated. The wreck has broken apart and scattered over a large
but remains to be an absolutely fantastic site for macro
The Bonita, also known as Bonvita, was once utilized by the British
evacuate soldiers from Dunkirk and was later used as a houseboat.
the owner of Brendal's Dive shop, purchased the vessel in order to
as a dive site and fish haven. She now rests in 60 feet of water and
as a feeding station for groupers.
Originally built in the Bahamas, the Demira was a 4l l foot [ong,
hulled sailing freighter. She was sunk by damage incurred from a
The Denlira has
become a nice shallow water dive. Sitting in only 30 feet
of water, she allows divers plenty of bottom time to fully explore
Bow of the USS
San Jacinto. Drawing courtesy U.S. Naval Historical center.
S.,S. SAN JACINTO
This warship is yet another civil war gunboat. The U.S.S. San
one of the earliest American built steam vessels. In fact, she was
an experimental ship to test the technology of new propulsion
She was laid down by the New York Navy Yard in August of 1847 and
launched on April 16, 1850. A screw frigate, the Jacinto was 234
and had a 38 foot beam. During her life on the sea she was plagued
unreliable machinery which was always in need of repair. naval
support to northern troops, capturing the blockade runners Lizzie
Davis, Fox, Edward, Roebuck and Lealtad; diplomatic missions
overseas; and involvement in China's Second Opium War, the San
Jacinto met her
doom by running aground on New Year's Day, 1865. At the time of her
demise, she was engaged in blockade duty for the U.S. Navy. Her guns
some of her provisions were recovered, but all efforts to salvage
Steamship Historical Society Collection, University of Baltimore
This wreck sits on a slope with a maximum depth of 40 feet. Her
is scattered due to the constant pounding of the sea which leaves us
clue as to the shape she once held. On our visit we encountered a
friendly green moray eel (Gymnothorax Funebris). To say the least,
eager for a free handout, and became a very willing model.
SAN JUAN EVANGELISTA
The Spanish Galleon San Juon Evangelista was part of the Armada de
Barlovento of Spain.
In the year 1714, she was en route from Veracruz to Puerto Rico,
a military payroll of 300,000 pesos, when a violent storm forced her
The ship was left resting high and dry on a reef which made for easy
operations. Her treasure and her cannons were recovered.
The H.M.S. Mermaid, an English warship under the command of Captain
James Hackman, set sail from Charleston, South Carolina to New
on December I , 1759. On the morning of December 4th, the ship was
into the breakers by gail force winds blowing from the northeast
her to anchor. The Mermaid had tried to anchor three times, but on
attempt the force of the storm snapped her line, driving her closer
to a shallow
reef. At 8:00 AM Captain Hackman, in an attempt to lighten his
the hopes of allowing her to pass over the reef, ordered her guns to
overboard. This attempt only prolonged the inevitable fate. The
ran aground a half mile from shore. For a month the vessel's hull
stood up to the ocean's pounding, allowing time for all of her
stores to be
salvaged. On January 6, 17ffi, the Mermaid finally collapsed and
H.M.S. Mermaid in her present condition on the ocean floor. Courtesy
Carl Fismer, Spanish Main Treasure Company.
The location of this site remained unknown until 1987 when the
Main Treasure Company with the use of a proton magnetometer was able
to find her resting spot. According to Carl Fismer, a noted treasure
the site was found after locating one of her anchors in about 40
water. This clue lead the team to a second anchor, a third, and then
fourth. Each anchor brought the treasure hunters closer to the
Mermaid. They found her cannons in 30 feet of water, and finally the
remains of her hull were found in only ten feet.
the H.M.S. Mermaid.
Photo courtesy Carl Fismer, Spanish
Main Treasure Company.
The Spanish Main Treasure Company preserved the historical integrity
the site. Duke Long, the company's cartographer, drew up detailed
of the wreckage. Although this site was never thought to contain
the group did recover some very interesting artifacts including two
complete cooking hearths, which are the first intact ones ever to be
surveying the Mermaid wreck. Photo courtesy Carl Fismer.
Today, the wreck can be found off Mermaid Beach and explored by
divers and snorkelers. Walkers Cay Diving runs trips to the wreck
and who knows what a lucky diver might find.
Barbara Doerenbach explores the Train Wreck near Abaco. Photo bv
The Train Wreck is not one, but two steam locomotive wrecks. We have
not found any historical information, but they were most likely
transported on a barge when struck by some bad weather.
This site is sitting in only ten feet of water, and is excellent for
The wreckage is scattered, so don't expect to see two complete
on the bottom. While exploring the wreckage, divers are able to see
locomotive's wheels, ballast pile, boilers, and engines.
This area is covered with fire coral, so be careful not to touch
unless you're sure of what it is. Wearing gloves for protection is
information and images for the Bahamas section of this site was
taken with permission from the book Tropical Shipwrecks by Daniel
and Denise Berg. You are invited to submit your shipwreck related
articles, images and information. As long as the text, photographs,
sketches etc are of professional quality we will showcase them. Full
credit will be provide and a same page link to your web site can be