Snorkeling the Regina Sugar Barge - Anna Maria Island, Florida
The Regina is a sugar barge that sunk off Bradenton Beach on Anna Maria Island during a storm in 1940. Its in about 20 feet of water just 150 feet or so off the beach. It is marked with a buoy. The Regina is Florida's 10th Shipwreck Underwater Archaeological Preserve. The wreckage itself is over 200 feet long. It must have carried quite a load of molasses!
This wreck is located conveniently across the street from the Sea Kat Dive Shop (formerly Sea Trek) where you can stop and ask for more information about snorkeling / diving the wreck. Parking is an issue here and they'll be able to give you some tips about where you can legally park. You may be able to park at the dive shop. Otherwise, the north end of Cortez Beach would be the closest parking.
The wreck itself is located at about 7th Street, just north of the intersection of Gulf Drive and Cortez Road. So if you take Cortez Road from Bradenton out to the island, just after you go over the bridge you'll come to a traffic light where Cortez Road dead-ends at the gulf. Turn right and go about two short blocks and look out over the Gulf. You should be able to see the buoy. The dive shop is to your right, across the street. Gulf Drive Cafe is there too, right on the water practically overlooking the wreckage. Great place to eat, and they're open for breakfast.
Best diving conditions: several days in a row of calm water, slack tide, full sun. May frequently has some of the clearest water of the year on Anna Maria Island. No guarantee though.
|Helpful links for more in-depth research on this
Sugar Barge GPS coordinates and other site specific info on waymarking.com
Photos of the wreckage and other important info on the SeaTrek Divers web site
Photos of the Regina and the marine life found there.
View Snorkeling the Sugar Barge in a larger map
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