2 Great Adventures, 1 Epic Dive—The Wreck Trek and Goliath Groupers
It’s that time of year! The Atlantic goliath groupers are back and hanging out on our wrecks. Come see these gentle giants for yourself! Charter a Wreck Trek dive with Jupiter Dive Center.
The Wreck Trek
In a nutshell, the Wreck Trek is a series of wrecks that include the Zion Train, Miss Jenny, and the ESSO Bonaire. The wrecks offer goliaths large nooks and crannies where they can hide and the wrecks have become a popular aggregation site.
Jupiter Dive Center offers charters to the Wreck Trek every Wednesday mornings and by request. In August and September, we offer frequent trips to the Wreck Trek combined with the MG 1-11 to capitalize on viewing the goliaths. Bring your camera and your sense of adventure!
The Zion Train is 164-foot cargo ship that rests on its port side in 90 feet of water about a mile north of the Jupiter Inlet. Built in the Netherlands in 1962, it moved European cargo for years. Its history tells a bloody tale of docking in Miami where five of its nine Haitian crewmembers were shot and killed by pirates. Three months later, the ship ran aground off South Beach. The ship was seized by Federal authorities and sold to a salvage company. It was scuttled June 2nd, 2003. Today, hurricanes and currents have torn the ship open. Groupers are often found around and inside the wreck.
The Miss Jenny’s history is far more demure. The Maritime Tug & Barge Company donated the 55-foot dredge barge for use as an artificial reef and it was sunk north of the Zion Train. It is currently upside-down and draws its own share of groupers.
The ESSO Bonaire hails from Tegucigaipa, Honduras. The 147-foot oil tanker was seized by U.S. Customs after agents discovered 55,000 pounds of marijuana on board. The Economic Council of Palm Beach County stepped forward and purchased the boat and it was purpose-sunk as an artificial reef on July 23, 1989. The largest of the three wrecks, her deck is about 75 feet below the surface and she sits in 90 feet of water. The cabin at the stern is open, but lower areas should not be explored. In addition to the groupers, spotted eagle rays and cobia also visit.
If you haven’t yet seen one of these huge fish, they are a bit surprising. At maturity, they can reach700 pounds and lengths of at least eight feet. Imagine encountering a VW Bug underwater, and you get the idea. Want to know more? Check out our Goliath Grouper Specialty Course!
So grab your buddy and come dive with us. The water’s fine–and the goliaths are here!