Posted by AADIVER on September 30, 2003 at 21:39:10:
In Reply to: Hey Frank. What's that brass in your window? + posted by Max Bottomtime on September 30, 2003 at 17:10:31:
Other Names: Spirit of America Date of Sinking: Unknown (1970s)
Rig/Type: ex-WWII Minesweeper Cause of Sinking: Unknown
Length: 136' Breadth: 24.4' Tons: Cargo: None
Built: November 27, 1943 in Orange, Texas Location: Scorpion Anchorage, Santa Cruz Island
Coordinates: Available to CWD Members
Depth: ~65' Visibility: 20'
There is much to be learned about the Peacock, if that is her real name. Some know the wreck as the Spirit of America, yet there are no known sources that can confirm or disprove either identity. However, it is known that the wreck is a composite hull (steel frame, wood hull) minesweeper from the second World War. The Peacock's first duty was to transit the Panama Canal and sweep the Japanese Islands of mines. Later named the Hornbill and classified as the AMS-371 she served as a training ship until 1953 and decommissioned in 1955. In 1960, she was sold and renamed the Los Buscaderos and used for towing. She was sold again in 1968 and re-named the Peacock. What happened from the late 1960s to the time she sank is not known.
Stories about the minesweeper include that she was used as a barge or source of firewood for Santa Cruz Island. Other stories include that she once served as a floating bordello in San Pedro or Long Beach, judging by the shreds of red cloth and mirrors found on the wreck. Regardless, it is known that her engines were removed prior to her sinking and given her location, it is likely that she sank at anchor. Her soft wood hull, has not stood up well to years and her hull has greatly deteriorated. Once a penetrable wreck, only a portion of the hull remains today.
The wreck lies in 60-70' of water with her bow in deeper water and her stern pointing towards shore. She sits upright on a sandy bottom. Given her location, the wreck is fairly well protected making it an ideal dive site. Divers will find the steel cross members and larger pipes and fitting in the bilge, along with other debris that has long since collapsed.
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