This is the first post in my 'Wish list' series off various dives sites I want to visit. Each post will highlight and elaborate on specific subject. In this serie the top 10 dive locations for wreck diving. I do know that these list are very subjective, but then again it's also fun to make them.
The enormous amounts of wrecks is astonishing. After a search on Google and a question in the Scuba Diving community I was overwhelmed with the amount of wrecks for diving. A special thanks goes out to +Simon Morley, who's a personal Google on his own when it comes to diving. He supplemented me with a list miles long and which is going to take some time to research all the names he delivered.
However, despite the vast amounts of wrecks in beautiful warm blue waters, the very first location that came to mind was in Europe. In the cold dark waters of the North Sea near the Orkney Islands in Scotland. Yes… The number one wreck diving site on my wish list is 'Scapa Flow'.
1. Scapa Flow
Now is Scapa Flow not just one diving site, but an accumulation of several sites grouped together. Just to name a few wrecks: The Dresden, Cöln, Karlsruhe, Kronzprinz Wilhelm and the Markgraf. All wrecks from the German High seas fleet (WO2) and are permeated with history. It can can really give you goose bums thinking about it. For more information on the different wrecks, check out this website. It gives detailed information about Scapa Flow and an insight in the history surrounding them.
2. SS Thistlegorm
An other WO2 wreck, British this time, is the SS Thistlegorm found near Sharm El Sheik in the red sea. I have already had the pleasure of diving on this wreck. It's the most beautiful dive I have ever made so far and I definitely want to go back! That's why it's still on this wish list.
3. MS Zenobia
The Zenobia sank close to Larnaca, Cyprus on her maiden voyage in June 1980. She now rests on her port side in approximately 42 meters of water and has been named in The Times top ten wreck diving sites.
4. The Superior Producer
The second wreck I would lover to see again is the Superior Producer in Curcacao (Dutch Antilles). The wreck measures about 50 meters in length and sits upright on a sand plateau only 60 meters away from the shore, at a depth of about 30 meters. You can not only enter the cargo holds, but it is possible to make a walk through the engine room.
5. The Liberty
The USAT Liberty
The Liberty was a United States Army transport ship which was beached on the island of Bali in January 1942. During a volcanic eruption in 1963 the wreck was moved from the beach. Now it is one of the most popular wreck sites in Indonesia. This comes in very handy as Bali is on the top of my lost of places I want to visit.
6. President Coolidge
The President Coolidge was a US luxury ocean liner that sunk in October 1942 near the island Vanuatu. I can almost hear you thinking, where was I when Vanuatu was mentioned during my geography class. Don't worry, you're not alone in this. I looked it up and you can follow the link to Google maps or look at the map on the right side. The President Coolidge is one of the largest and most accessible wrecks in the world. You can happily spend a entire week of diving on this wreck and still haven't seen all there is to see.
7. Numerous wrecks in Palau
On March 30 and 31, 1944, during WW2 more than 60 ships and planes where sunk in and around the lagoon in Palau by the Americans. Think of the almost in tact Japanese 'Jake' seaplanes or the big 152 meters wreck of the Amatsu Maru. For wreck divers this is wreck heaven.
8. The B-17F “Black Jack”
Black Jack, got its nickname from the last two digits in its serial number (21). It lies on a sandy seabed in the deep blue waters need the remote village of Boga Boga on Papua New Guinea. It is said to be one of the most beautiful airplanes wrecks to visit.
9. Bianca C.
This wreck is also known as the 'Titanic of the Caribbean' due to her sheer size and presence. This enormous, 180 meters long, cruise liner sunk in 1961 and has been listed in the top 10 wreck diving sites world wide by many dive magazine. Because of it's ideal location between the open blue waters and an expansive reef system there is many marine live to be found.
The last wreck on my wishlist lies in Australia and is as famous as earlier mentioned sites. The passenger ship SS Yongala sank in the year 1911 and because if the sandy surroundings has become an artificial reef with an abundance of marine life.
Update: February 2014
I have recently dived on the Sonesta Airplanes, a wreck dive site in the Caribbean Sea near the island Aruba. It doesn't stand in the top ten list above, but it definitely could. The site holds two airplanes from which one is still totally intact. You can enter this wreck en swim through the cabin and even enter the cockpit. An amazing dive and a definite plus to this list. Below is a video which gives an impression of the dive site and the wrecks.