Wrecks of South Florida Part Two

 Giant Goliath Grouper photographed on the Sea Emperor


 

  The Ancient Mariner: Formerly USCG Nemesis and Fort Lauderdale, Florida restaurant, 165' long and sunk in 70' of water

 

 

Trying to map out and draw a shipwreck while diving on it had its own challenges and dangers. I first dove a wreck several times to familiarize myself with every nook and cranny. I have a pretty good photographic memory when I remember to take the lens cap off my brain. The first wreck I attempted to sketch was the Ancient Mariner, it was only in 70' of water. The currents were usually mild by comparison and visibility was usually good enough to see large sections of this 165' ship. (About a year after I illustrated this wreck I was able to get some great photos of it. The one shown in the header of part one was during the best vis (visibility) I had seen ever.)

 The Sea Emperor: barge sunk in 70' of water

 

I dove with a large dive slate and made rough sketches (using a regular pencil), making notes of approximate dimensions and notable features. When I got back to my studio I tightened up the roughs, filling in details. I was able to find photos or profile drawings of some of the ships before they were sunk and that was helpful. The deeper wrecks were very tricky. If currents were stronger and vis limited, I would have to hold on to a mast or prop myself against a section of a ship, trying to sketch without having the slate ripped from my grasp, being careful not to damage any coral growth--major multi-tasking. Most importantly, I had to be mindful of the time and my air supply.

The USS Jimmy Carter: aircraft carrier sunk after the president killed the defense budget in 1976 (just kidding, I drew this just for a joke)

 There are dozen of these wrecks scattered up and down the east coast from North Palm Beach to the Keys. Anyone into scuba diving should check them out. It is a good idea to get a specialty certification first or dive with a divemaster guide--that's my divemaster worldly advise speaking.

I used some the the ship wreck drawings in t-shirt designs shown below

I thought you would like to see one of the dive briefing charts I produced for the Seahorse Dive Boat

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Edrianna Stilwell: Energy Healer-myhealingcottage.com