The City of Washington began her life as a Passenger Carrier, now she’s an artificial reef off the Florida Keys

The City of Washington was built in 1877. She was 320' long and 38' wide. She had a three cylinder engine which was accompanied by three masts for her sails.

She was anchored next to the U.S. Battleship Maine in Havana Harbor. The main exploded. The Washington rescued 90 crew members from the Maine. This event triggered the Spanish American War.

bull shark and divers

During the Spanish American War she was used to take troops from the US to Cuba. In 1908 she was converted to a coal carrying barge. She was being towed by the Edgar F. Luckenback when she ran aground on Elbow Reef and sank. The GPS coordinates are 25'08.786N and 080'15.354W.

She sits upright in 25 feet of water. The hull and keel are about all that’s left of her. There’s lots of marine life here. You can expect to see Barracuda, Sharks , Big Green Moray Eels, Grouper and Jewfish. Many of these fish have been hand fed. You’ll want to keep your hands and fingers close in as they could be mistaken as food and get bit off. And be sure to remove you’re starkly flashy jewelry before doing this or any dive.

This is a great site for snorkelers and scuba divers. There are tons of tropical fish in the shallow as well as the deeper water. The mooring buoys for this site are E9 and E 10.

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