A S S O C I A T I O N   OF   U N D E R W A T E R   E X P L O R E R S  

May 6-7, 2006
"Bear Wreck," ARAWAK, PECONIC, and ESPARTA

Had some great dives off the northeast coast of Florida.  Ventured out to the "Bear Wreck," which is an unidentified wreck in approximately 105 feet of water offshore of St. Augustine.  It appears to be the remains of a steamer barge, as there is no engine or superstructure present on the wreck.  The site consists largely of pancaked hull plates resulting from the vessel resting on her port side.  Numerous lionfish were present, as well as abundant tropical life.  After a stop at Red Snapper Sink and checking out some other numbers, we headed to the ARAWAK, the remains of a small steamer that burned in 1941.  The following day we checked out some more numbers before stopping off at the PECONIC.  The wreck has sanded in more over the winter, with portions of the vessel becoming totally buried.  A few artifacts were recovered, including portholes, some bottles, the bronze letter P from the bow nameplate, and a winch cover with the name of the vessel embossed on its surface.  On the way back, we stopped off at the wreck of the ESPARTA, a freighter torpedoed in WWII.  A great weekend of wreck diving!


(l) Anchor windlass on the "Bear Wreck"; (r) sea turtle taking a nap.


(l) Buzzed by a stingray; (r) one of the two boilers on the "Bear Wreck."


(l) Looking forward at the chain locker; (r) steering quadrant on the "Bear Wreck."


(l) Clouds of baitfish over the PECONIC; (r) a view of the starboard anchor.


(l) A disadvantage of a rebreather -- being swarmed by spadefish; (r) The letter P from the name off a section of the starboard bow.