The Antilla Shipwreck is one of the largest in the Caribbean. There's a lot of variations of the origin story, but all you need to know for our purposes is that it sank in Malmok Bay, Aruba in 1940 and in 1953, storm damage broke the ship into two pieces.
Since then, it has become a popular site for divers and snorkelers. It's now attracted wildlife like fishes, lobsters, shrimp, and I'm sure much more that I wasn't able to identify. (Not that they're hard to identify, I just don't have much ocean/wildlife knowledge - but I definitely know what fish and lobsters look like.)
When I went snorkeling above the Antilla Shipwreck, I was on an all-day catamaran adventure tour with my family. We stopped in nearby spots to practice - others say that it wasn't practice, but it was, and I'll tell you why.
For the first few stops, the snorkeling was pretty easy. You basically just swam in small circles and looked at the fish. It wasn't complicated by any means.
But when we got to the shipwreck... oh BOY. The tour company let us know before getting in the water that the currents are pretty strong in the area, and walked us through how to safely navigate through them. They also gave us the option to just wait on the boat.
Now, you should know that this is an all-day excursion with free alcohol. So I was a few drinks in, I had been in the sun all day so I was exhausted, but I really wanted to see this shipwreck - it was the whole reason we got on the catamaran in the first place.
My mom and sister decided to stay back on the boat, and my dad and I decided it was worth a shot.
We jumped in the freezing cold water and I immediately felt the currents. It took me about 5 minutes of treading water before I could actually move forward towards the shipwreck. And once I got to it, I only lasted about 10 minutes because of how strong the currents were (also, the alcohol and sun exhaustion probably didn't help).
But I will say, those 10-15 minutes were 100% worth it. It was my first time snorkeling, and I loved seeing all the fish - didn't love them touching my feet, though. As much as I liked the fish, it was way cooler seeing the shipwreck. We pointed out certain rooms on the boat, but that required coming up repeatedly to talk, so mostly we just enjoyed the view.
If you'd like to see a clip of our snorkel, check out this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKWhC42zQyc&t=95s
The snorkeling starts at 2:35.
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