Aruba wreck dive

Wrecks of Aruba: SS Perdenales

The SS Perdernales was an American flat-bottomed oil tanker that was torpedoed by a German submarine in 1942.  For some reason, only the midsection of the ship sank leaving the bow and the stern sections afloat after the attack.  The U.S. hauled the bow and stern back to the U.S. and refitted it with a new hull.  Later this new ship was used as a troop transport for the Normandy invasion.

Aruba Wreck Dive

SS Perdenales Bow and Stern Being Towed

The midsection was left in only 8 meters of water in Aruba.  Large pieces of the tanker are spread throughout the site, where you should find everything from pipelines to lavatories, washbasins, and cabins.  without a proper guide it is hard to make out the sections of the boat.

There is a profusion of life including large schools of grunts, silversides and snappers, along with Trumpetfish, Angelfish, Grouper and Squirrelfish.

Matt and I found a school (20-25) of huge porcupine puffer fish swimming around the wreck, which is unusual as they are typically loners.  And when I say huge, I mean huge, one was twice the size of Matt’s head!  Puffers are by far one of my favorite fish so I was full of y joy being able to swim among these beautiful creatures!

We also saw our first frogfish which was camouflaged with the wreck.  I watched him for awhile to try to determine if it was really a frogfish.  It wasn’t until he opening his large mouth  in what appeared to be a yawn that I was convinced – what a fabulous site.

Aruba drive wreck

Frog Fish at SS Perdenales wreck. Photo courtesy of

In addition, we saw a sting ray and a giant spotted eagle ray with a broken tail gliding around majestically checking us out.  Matt also saw a green moray eel but I missed him.  A couple of small lobsters were tucked away in a small section of the wreck – not big enough for a snack though.

All in all I would say that this was a great dive.  We had the entire site to ourselves, clear water, and lots of cool sea creatures.

The Baboo Wreck is a wreck that is hard to find information on as it is not an official dive site.  CC at Aruba Watersport where we are getting our tanks filled told us a little bit about it. Evidently this was sunk to create an artificial reef this ship into 18 meters of water.  However it was not ballasted properly and when hurricane Lenny came through in 1999 it churned it up and now sits in the shallows of Malkom Beach.

Aruba wreck dive - Baboo

Baboo wreck as seen from our dinghy.

The SS California (not the SS Californian which ignored the distress calls from the Titanic) was sunk previous to its construction in 1910 on the NW tip of Aruba. This ship is a wood hulled wreckage located at a depth that of only 8-9 meters.

The NW tip of the island of Aruba was named after the California including its majestic lighthouse which was originally designed to warn ships from the coastline of Aruba, but tis lighthouse does much more that emit a coastal warning light; it beckons visitors to the most spectacular views of the island. The old stone California lighthouse stands as a silent watchman in the area known as “Hudishibana,” near the island’s northwestern tip.

The lighthouse was named after the S.S. California – which sunk previous to its construction in 1910. Perched on a high seaside elevation, the lighthouse has become one of Aruba’s scenic trademarks and offers a picture perfect view of the island’s western coastline of sandy beaches, rocky coral shorelines and of the beautifully landscaped golf course Tierra del Sol.

Aruba lighthouse

California lighthouse at the NW tip of Aruba

Sunset in Aruba

Beautiful sunset to end this blog with…enjoy.

Good night Aruba!