Pete Tide II
Even a lowly supply boat makes a magnificent sight on the seafloor. Sunk in 1993, the Pete Tide II looks like it’s ready to set sail. It stands eerily upright from 100 to 60 feet of water, luring divers to explore the bridge. Three runaway coal barges scuttled during an emergency in 1974 are home to sea life at 50 feet — a favorite for divers to hone their skills.
Considered the oldest battleship still in existence, the USS Massachusetts has spent the past 97 years rusting at the mouth of Pensacola Bay. In 1920, the retired battleship served as target practice from the battery at Fort Pickens. After weeks of cannon fire, she finally sank in 26 feet of water.
Now an Underwater Archaeological Preserve managed by the state of Florida – the USS Massachusetts takes you back in time more than a century. Her wreckage is a popular shallow diving spot as it is well lit by the sun and swarming with marine life. It is possible to snorkel the Massachusetts at times, as the top of her wheelhouse still breaks the surface at low tide.
IMPORTANT: When diving or snorkeling the Mass, caution is advised. Because of her location in the pass, the current rips through her wreckage at a high velocity, except during slack tide. Arrive at the tail end of high tide, and prepare to dive in the slack hour or two before the water starts rushing back out of the pass.
Remember, diving is an adventure sport. Please pay attention to your local dive providers and heed any warnings and/or directions from local authorities.