Goosefish on the wreck of Patriot in Stellwagen Bank

Wreck of F/V Patriot

The trend of good weather continued on Sunday for our charter out to the wreck of the Patriot.  East Coast Divers chartered the boat to dive the wreck of the F/V Patriot in Stellwagen Bank.

The Patriot was a 62ft steel-hulled western rig dragger that sank on January 3 2009 with the loss of her two crew members. Today she sits in approximately 100ft of water in Stellwagen Bank off the coast of Massachusetts.  A Coast Guard investigation found the cause of sinking to be the result of a rapid loss of stability.    In just 8 short years her appearance has changed dramatically on the bottom. In 2012 winter storms moved her approximately 900ft from her original location.   Her outriggers are gone and she is now partially buried in the sand and laying on her starboard side with her port side facing up.

Today it is an extremely popular dive in Stellwagen Bank due to the huge variety of marine life that can be found. Today was no different. We were greeted with walls of schooling pollock while the bottom was blanketed with sculpin and hake.  A large ocean pout and even a few dogfish visited us on the wreck. Nevertheless, the best find of the day was not one but two goosefish that were hanging out in the sand. One near the stern and the other at bow.

In late August divers have also been known to see whales visit them on the bottom (on two separate occasions).  Sadly I have not see a whale underwater yet but last August we had several that were literally breaching less than 100 yards from us on the surface.   Most dives out to the Patriot also turn into impromptu whale watching charters.

Max depth: 98ft
Runtime: 58 minutes
Visibility: 40ft+
Water Temp: 42f on bottom and 56f on deco

You can learn more about the Patriot and other wrecks in Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary here: http://stellwagen.noaa.gov/maritime/shipwrecks.html

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