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AUE Weekend Trip Report, May 20-21, 2006

Finally, the good weather is upon us!  On Saturday we rounded Cape Canaveral and headed north to the wreck of the tanker LUBRAFOL. She was attacked by a German U-boat off South Florida but drifted north until finally sinking in 180 feet of water equidistant between Ponce Inlet and Port Canaveral.  Resting almost inverted on a bare limestone bottom, she still leaks oil to this day.  The wreck now supports abundant snapper and grouper, and artifacts can still be found along the east side of the wreck, with debris extending across the bottom.

(l) view of the portside hull and debris strewn across the seabed; (r) Muzz scootering along the hull.

(l) Lantern resting amongst some debris; (r) Andrew checks out the tanker's signal horn.

(l) Still heading towards the stern; (r) a view of the stern deck gun, which now rests on the bottom.

(l) Andrew buzzes the portside screw; (r) hanging out on deco.

On Sunday, we motored east to the wreck of the tanker CITIES SERVICE EMPIRE.  Having dived this wreck numerous times, you never quite know what to expect -- and this day was no different.  We found a 2.2 knot surface current, which promoted us to drop up current from our shotline.  However, we ultimately missed the wreck due to hazy water and a strong westward current on the bottom.  On the second drop, I hit the line at 60 feet and proceeded to slide my way slowly down the line against the stiff current.  Ten minutes later, the wreck came into view.  Strategically moving around the wreck, I managed to work my way to the stern for a few quick images before heading back and releasing the hook.  On the way back to the dock, a few of the guys splashed on the SCALLOP KING, which is the wreck of a large trawler.  Unfortunately, while the visibility on the surface was excellent, it was a murky five feet on the bottom.  Such is the unpredictable nature of Canaveral diving.

(l) Stern deck gun on the CSE; (r) spare anchor on deck.

(l) Abundant Oculina coral growth on a winch; (r) do you see what I see?

(l) The exposed engine in the collapsing stern; (r) splashing on the SCALLOP KING.