July 26, 2013
A dive trip to the Hebe, a WWII shipwreck sunk about 40 miles off the coast of Myrtle Beach, SC.
The Hebe and the St. Cathan share their history. Referred to as the Twin Cities Wreck, the Hebe was a Dutch merchant vessel and the St. Cathan was a 210 ft. British sub chaser. They ran into each other in 1942. The Hebe rests just off the Myrtle Beach area in approximately 110 ft. of water. The St. Cathan is a few miles away. Large schools of juvenile vermillion and red snapper along with amberjack populate the wrecks. Large grouper also call the Twin Cities Wreck their home and Sand Tiger sharks come out in the Spring and Fall. These wrecks are deep so they lend themselves to more advanced divers.
Some of my "treasures" recovered from the Hebe. The beer bottles were part of the original cargo of the wreck
coming from the Maracaibo, Venezuela. I found a mostly burried crate underwater during the second dive, and
excavated these bottles. There was at least one more bottle that we could not free up. At 110' and a second dive,
there was limited time to continue with the quest.
The above label is from a much later bottle of beer from the same brewery that produced my bottles.
The company was founded in the late 1800's and is still in business today.
The larger bottle is aparently one of the more rare finds on the wreck.
The smaller bottle was the most common beer bottle found on the Hebe.
The smaller bottle, while more common, was a very unique find because it is still sealed. Burried in the sand
and laying on the bottom of the ocean
for more than 70 years, the contents are less than palatable, but nonetheless,
they swirl around in a beautiful "gelatenous" kind of way.
The blackened remnance of the cork in the top of the bottle.
Lionfish were found all over the wreck of the Hebe. Although they are quite beautiful, they are an invasive species that is
very aggressive and displacing indigenous local fish. For divers, they are also poisonous. Many places have placed a
bounty on them. The Hebe is not dived all that often, so the population seems to have exploded there.
An oyster toad fish.
A sea cucumber.
An oyster toadfish peering out from underneath the wreckage.
An eel resting in the wreckage of the ship.
An angelfish visiting the wreck from tropical waters.