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Datum: WGS84 [ Help ]
Latitude: 44° 33.222' N
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Halibut Bay close to Halifax Harbour, 1 mile south of Tribune Head. The main intact bow piece rises from 90' of water to about 50' from the surface, directly off a large whitish granite dome of a rock on shore.
How? By boat
Distance Good boat time (< 30min)
Easy to find? Easy to find
Average depth 18.3 m / 60 ft
Max depth 27.4 m / 89.9 ft
Current Low ( < 1 knot)
Visibility Good ( 10 - 30 m)
Dive site quality Great
Experience CMAS * / OW
Bio interest Interesting
- Marine biology
- Dive training
On April 28, 1967 the COSTA RICAN TRADER ran aground just north of the small Halibut Bay at the entrance to Halifax Harbour. COSTA RICAN TRADER lost the ability to steer on her way out of the harbour while in heavy seas. She grounded near enough to shore that the crew was able to walk off the vessel. Looters necessitated the posting of RCMP officers. The Foundation tugs VALIANT & VIGILANT attempted to pull her off without success and the vessel lay on the rocks until her remains were eventually scattered by wave action. She was partially shalvaged, but the entire intact bow section slide off a white, granite "dome-like" rock, sledded down the boulder and cobble slope to lie on her port side in 90' (30m) of water. Today she is still mostly intact and offers a rich "artificial reef" for clouds of the common Cunner, perch-like fish, sponges, tunicates and passing Pollock, Mackerel and other fish that attract divers and rod & reel fisherman alike to the ship. It is often marked by a float by dive and fish charter groups. But it this isn't the case, she is directly out from the bald granite dome, about 50-70m off the shore, in 80-90' of water, and a depth sounder can't miss her bulk as she sticks up to 45' below the waves.
This is a boat dive, and best dived in light winds from any westerly direction, as she is wide open to the east. The NS Museum "On the Rocks" website gives this location for her - Lat. 44 33`05N, Long. 63 33`05W, Halibut Bay, Halifax...But the zoom in map should place the flag where I've dived her repeatedly.
Currents are slight tidal ones, as the tidal range is only 6' (2m). This just helps keep the site clear of particulate matter stirred up by divers. Some divers have penetrated into the cargo areas of the bow, and there is one back corner room with an exit hole cut away in the upper deck and a door out the ripped off back - but penetration should only be done by those with the gear and the experience. She is a pretty basic wreck for this, and is sometimes used for training dives. I enjoy the wealth of marine life on her, and the fact that she is mostly in one, large, intact piece!
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