With more than 200 shipwrecks in 20 to 100 feet of water, Bermuda is a history, diving, and marine enthusiast’s dream. The Mary Celestia shipwreck, located just off the south shore, is one of the island’s most famous wrecks. This side paddle-wheel steamer was 225 feet long and used during the American Civil War as a blockade runner to smuggle guns, ammo, food, and other supplies to the south. After several successful trips to the south, it left for Wilmington, North Carolina in September of 1864. Dangerous breakers were spotted, but the captain thought he knew every rock and reef in the area and decided to sail on. The ship immediately hit the reef and sank.
In June of 2011, several bottles of wine and perfume were found on board the Mary Celestia. They were in perfect condition and packed in sealed crates near the tip of the bow.
The Mary Celestia wreckage is located in 55 feet of water, and divers can swim among the paddle-wheels, anchors, plating, decking, boilers, and part of the bow. For a short time in June, colorful parrotfish use the area as a breeding grounds. Photo by NOAA/Flickr/Creative Commons.