Discover the Wreck of the Georges Valentine with Florida Family Insiders
Did you know there is a shipwreck off the coast at House of Refuge?
Where are they today? Florida Family Insiders are on an exciting adventure at the House of Refuge. Just 100 yards offshore lies the wreck of the Georges Valentine. Travel by drone above the rocky cliffs and blue sea, and learn the history of the Georges Valentine shipwreck from so many years ago.
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A little info on the GEORGES VALENTINE DIVE SITE from the Historical Society of Martin County
Georges Valentine is a pleasure to dive or snorkel because she rests in shallow water, only 100 yards offshore. Visitors can park at the House of Refuge and walk to the entry point, a rocky outcropping l00 yards south.
Learn more about the Georges Valentine shipwreck during your tour of the House of Refuge Museum before you dive. Call us for more information on Guided Tours.
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION OF THE DIVE SITE
Georges Valentine is partially buried in the sand and is broken into five prominent sections. Sand migrates to and from the site depending on seasonal weather and storms. For example, in August 2003 the sand had migrated away, providing a very clear view of the tile deck and the ability to swim under sections of super structure; by August 2004 the sand migrated closer to the wreckage and obscured many features including the debris field. Depth of water around the hull in August 2003 was approximately 32 feet; in August 2004 depth was only 22 feet.
The wreckage lies in positions consistent with reports written by Captain Rea in 1904. An existing photograph (circa 1905) in the Historical Society of Martin County archives shows a large section of upper deck with a mast on the rocks, and the House of Refuge in the background. This wreckage includes the mast and framework 495′ south of the House of Refuge that can be seen today.
BIOLOGICAL DESCRIPTION OF DIVE SITE
Marine life abounds on the wreck of Georges Valentine, including snook, sheepshead, margate, angelfish, kingfish, shiners, shark, moray eels, stingrays, lobster, stone crab, hermit crab, puffer, trigger, parrotfish, wrasse, snapper, and various species of soft corals. Because of the shallow water and migrating sand, the sea life changes from season to season as dramatically as the wreck itself. If not for the unfortunate circumstances of the wreck, there would not be a safe haven for the variety of sea life found there today.
Sea life abounds and is dependent upon the season. Migration of the sand is dramatic; as much as six feet of sand can move in a single year. This change in conditions is a common occurrence and allows divers to enjoy a new adventure with every visit to the shipwreck.
The shoal where Georges Valentine rests is named after the pirate Don Pedro Gilbert who, according to local legend, hung lanterns on the shore in the area where the House of Refuge stands to lure unsuspecting ships onto the rocks. The rock shoreline is the foundation for the Gilbert’s Shoal (Bar) House of Refuge, and is one of the reasons the building is still standing today.
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