Coming up, Jonathan and cameraman Tim explore a sweet wreck in the Bahamas called the sugar wreck Welcome to Jonathan Bird’s
Blue World Hey everybody! I’m in the Bahamas with cameraman Tim and we’re gonna dive the sugar wreck I tell you what Jonathan I can’t wait to dive this wreck It went down about a hundred fifty years ago And at the time that went down it was one of the few four mast steel halt schooners as opposed to wood Exactly all the wooden wrecks down here our long since gone , from being eaten away by animals and by the storms So it’s only 20 feet (6.1m) deep here. So we’re really not sure How much of the wreck has survived in an area that would get so many storms and get just pounded in this shallow water I can’t wait to see what’s down here Supposedly the wreck was carrying molasses from the Bahamas to the Carolinas -Hence the name sugar wreck
-and I don’t think there’s gonna be any molasses left But I’d like to find out what’s gonna be on this wreck.
-Yeah, man. Let’s go check it out.
-Absolutely Once again, we’re setting sail aboard my favorite dive boat the dolphin dream We’re in the northern Bahamas headed to a wreck called the sugar wreck located in the middle of nowhere We anchor up to the wreck and from the air you can see the shape of the ship Cameraman Tim and I suit up for a long dive Tim demonstrates the classic reverse push entry technique. It takes years of practice. Soon we’re both on our way We meet on the bottom and begin our exploration of the wreck Because it’s only 20 feet (6.1m) deep our scuba tanks will last a long time so we don’t have to rush Cameraman bill is filming the dive. Wait. He took my job! one of the first things we find is the anchor And it’s big We also find something that we think was an engine, but it’s really covered in coral so we’re not quite sure. Then Tim finds a pair of huge cleats called bits used to secure mooring lines. The massive size of these bits illustrates how large the rope needed to be in order to secure this vessel. Since it’s so shallow here storms have smashed the wreck flat so it doesn’t look like a ship anymore But if you look closely there are a lot of things to see This is not just a pile of rocks What I’m trying to say with hand signs is that these are ballast stones that were placed in the bottom of the ship They made it ride at the correct height in the water when it wasn’t carrying a full load of cargo As we swim over to the other side of the wreck. We find a ladder which was probably used to get down into the cargo hold 150 years underwater have taken a toll on the steel hull Bending it flat and breaking all the ribs in the process But it’s still easy to see that this was a ship As we swim towards the bow we are amazed at how the marine life has taken over Just a hundred yards away the seafloor is flat and barren There are almost no fish here because there are no hiding spots Since this wreckage is the only reef lake structure in the area. It’s a magnet for fish A French angelfish is nibbling on sponges that are growing on the ribs A school of grunts and snapper are using the structure for protection A pair of lionfish, invasive species here in the Bahamas, are stalking prey I spot something under one of the masts. It’s a shy nurse shark Tim gives it a little tickle to see if it will come out but it’s scared of my camera With lots of sunlight and clear water the coral is thriving on the wreck Healthy pillar coral is one of the rarest sites in the Caribbean and a big stand of it like this means that conditions here are excellent. As we continue exploring we notice a visitor in the distance A Caribbean reef shark probably here to hunt fish is lurking around the perimeter She’s probably waiting for us to leave because our bubbles spook sharks She must be really hungry because after a while she works up the courage to come in closer She may even be a little curious about us It’s incredibly rare for a shark to come this close without being fed And to me this is a magical encounter with a beautiful wild animal What an awesome shark We follow her for a while to see if we can watch her hunting but I think we’re cramping her style She’s never gonna catch a thing with us hanging around So we let her be It’s hard for me to let her go because I love sharks All these fish are here at the wreck to have a place to hide from predators like sharks Soon Tim spots a porcupine fish Not only do these fish have spines for defense like their namesake But they’re also one of a relatively small number of fish that swim not by swishing their tail but by flapping their pelvic and dorsal fins The porcupine fish is not just adorable but this particular one is not afraid of us at all So when you come across a cooperative subject like this you definitely take some time and observe As we follow it around a little we discover that it has a friend maybe a girlfriend! Together they each take turns coming up to the camera Perhaps they enjoy their reflection in the lens They duck into the protection of the wreck and we think they’re gone But it seems like they went in there to get the rest of the gang, now we have six of them gawking at us I’m not sure who is watching whom Eventually the porcupine fish moves on to other things and it’s time for us to head back to the boat Not all shipwrecks still look like ships But the sugar wreck shows that a shipwreck can create a home for thousands of fish and invertebrates While we often associate a sinking ship with death In fact these derelicts of human society become flourishing habitats of life in the blue world Hey everyone, thanks for watching our latest episode all the way to the end. You’re crazy if you don’t subscribe Hit that subscribe button now So you won’t miss our next episode and check out our merch link in the description for some blue world swag