Crane (and Barge) Wreck
The Crane Wreck is located north of
Gloucester in approximately 150FSW. It's a great training dive for
more technical depths, and is beautiful with every inch covered with life.
The cab and engine sit tilting forward in a hollow in the sand, and the
crane itself sits higher in the water column. The highest part of the
crane can be reached at approximately 120FSW. Visibility is usually
pretty good in my experience, probably due in part to the sandy bottom.
Rumor is the crane was pushed off a barge to collect the insurance money.
If so, the money has purchased a fantastic artificial reef. I'm always
amazed at the amount of life that's attached itself to every square inch of
surface area. It probably has a lot to do with the surface area of the
wreck exposed to the currents.
In any case, this wreck is definitely worth a dive, and
with a set of doubles it's one you can spend a bit of time exploring before
you have to head to the surface.
After many years of
locals diving this wreck, the barge has also been located. I was
riding out to the wreck on Fran Marcouix's boat Day Breaker in late
'07 and Fran said Jack Ahern had run a line from the tip of the crane out
and had found some machinery. Having been on the crane many times, and
with six other divers competing for a small wreck, I decided to look around
as well. I ran the line straight out from the tip of the crane and at
about 100 ft. I saw a large shadow ahead, then ran into the barge.
It's upside down and half buried in the sand, but one end is held above the
sand by a deckhouse partially crushed under the barge. There was
plenty of room to swim beneath the barge, and plenty of junk to look over as
well. At 150FSW this will be another good wreck for new tech divers to
practice some penetration skills, and a nice addition to the crane dive. We
had a good laugh about the close proximity of the barge to the crane and yet
it remained undiscovered for so long. Says something about the
visibility of NE waters no doubt.