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The San Pedro wreck, like the YO-257 was also purposely but down by Atlantis Hawaii Submarine in 1996 for the sake of the submarines' underwater tour. The San Pedro was Japanese built, Korean owned and used for long line fishing. The primary target fish was tuna and swordfish however with lines reaching 500-1000 feet in depth and length at a mind-boggling 50 miles; many creatures were unfortunately caught. The state of Hawaii has very strict fishing rules for these types of boats prohibiting any long line fishing within 70 miles from all points of the Hawaiian archipelago. The San Pedro also served as an inter-island cargo ship before finally being acquired by Atlantis Submarine. The wreck itself is not that deep, mainly bottoming out at around 80 feet. The main decks are situated in only 60 feet of water making this a cool beginner shipwreck dive. But a little bad new, this dive in particular usually has ripping currents so a good brief and back up plans are a great idea before diving this shipwreck. This shipwreck does have very sharp pieces of metal and steel protruding from various angles and areas. I have been cut a few times but nothing bad whatsoever. Wearing gloves is a good idea along with a full wetsuit, shortie wetsuits will have your legs and arms exposed to the sharp metal of the shipwreck.
Length of the San Pedro is around 90 feet long, so this wreck isn't that big. With access to the stern area, rooms and cargo holds, this wreck surprisingly makes up for the small size! The pilot house has now collapsed and is impossible to enter. You can penetrate the main cargo holds however big pieces of steel hang like a lose tooth above your head. Entry is ok, but just don't swim directly under those pieces. You like turtles ? Dive this wreck !You like sharks ? We usually find them there! I have personally seen, (ok this isn't a fish story) Galapagos sharks, gray reef sharks, tiger sharks, mantas, dolphins (bottlenose and spinner) Stingrays of all kinds and cool schools of Heller's Barracuda. One of my good close contacts at the Atlantis Submarine actually has seen Hammerheads from time to time. Once on the San Pedro pay very close attention to your surroundings. You will most likely encounter Hawaiian green sea turtles first. They are great to hang with, however like I stated before watch where you are going divers I noticed seem to forget about their surroundings as soon as the turtles show up ??!!I've seen 50 year old guys swim along with the turtles on the deck only to swim right into the shipwreck OR this is the one that kills me - people who swim off into the abyss with turtles completely forgetting about their family, job, mortgage payment, and our payment.
Penetrating the San Pedro can be a little tricky, just don't shot right in. Stop take a look inside and study the entry a bit. Watch your head and enter into the 4X4 foot sized openings. The main deck where the pilot house has recently had the opening obstructed so theses 4x4 box areas are your best bet. Once inside it is pretty tight, you will have to crawl/swim around in that area. You might find a couple of cool turtles catching some sleep. Be good to them, be like me just walking into your bedroom then poking your legs and taking pictures. Stop there, wait a minute and let your eyes get accustomed to the darkness. Then BAM , you might find a few white tip reef sharks also catching some sleep. Be very good to them ! I've seen very small sharks like a few feet to the big daddies reaching almost 6 feet and FAT.
Although not aggressive towards humans; when corned or threatened I'm sure these sharks will let you have it! They are very nimble and quick, don't let their relaxed manner fool you. At night , white tip reef sharks are some of the most formidable shark predators around stopping at nothing for a meal. Although the sharks do look much bigger underwater, just remember for all you fish story tellers that the laws of refraction say objects underwater look a third bigger than normal. Experienced divers for example don't see sizes as large as a novice diver would see. Therefore if someone tells you they seen a 16 foot long moray eel in Hanauma Bay most likely they don't dive much. ( I once had a customer say this to me, he was so serious I didn't want to refute his claim). Don't forget this wreck is used by the Atlantis Submarine on occasions. Therefore stay well clear of this "underwater bus " after all it isn't equipped with ABS braking system! I can see you now on CNN News being interviewed with a black eye and broken arm telling your story about being run over by a submarine. Refer to Dive Dangers for a more thorough explanation of the Atlantis Submarine. I highly recommend doing this dive. Watch your air and get back to the mooring line at around 1000 psi and you'll do just great! Be safe.
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