The Gulf of Mexico off Port St. Joe and Mexico Beach is plentiful with wrecks and artificial reefs, all with abundant sea life. With dive sites to delight the beginner and challenge the experienced, a few of our preferred wrecksites are noted.
Almost always included in Daly’s charters, the wreck of the SS Vamar was given status in 2004 as the 9th of Florida’s Underwater Archaeological Preserves. During her career at sea, the Vamar’s most notable voyage was as the Eleanor Bolling when she accompanied Rear-Admiral Richard E. Byrd on his first Antarctic expedition. The subject of an edition of the History Channel’s Deep Sea Detectives, information and memorabilia relating to the SS Vamar and Admiral Byrd’s expedition are on display at Daly’s as Friends of Vamar seek a permanent home. Home to sea turtles, octopus, and abundant reef fish.
Air Force Tower
Just as the name indicates, this wreck is of a metal radio tower that was lost in a storm and has become a favourite dive site. Lying on its side, the Tower rests at 72’ but rises to just 15’ below the surface. Home to sea turtles, barracuda, sharks and other pelagics.
Visible remains of this wooden tugboat include the boiler and heavy machinery which lie in 45-feet of water. Sunk in 1932, it is home to Queen Angels, black snapper and sea turtles.
Barrier Dunes Barge
In the late 1980s, a 170’ barge sank less than a mile off the Gulf side of Cape San Blas. Largely intact, the barge rests in 35-feet of water. Visible on one side of the wreck are the exposed remains of an old forest. Home to sea turtles, sharks (one bull shark in particular), myriads of bait fish.
Sunk as an artificial reef in 1997, the ship sits perfectly upright in 82-feet of water just a few miles from the SS Grierson (Liberty Ship). The top of the wheelhouse is just 60-feet deep making it a great site divers of all skill levels. The Tug attracts a variety of pelagics, bait fish and often, sharks, as well.