Diving the Fang Ming

Scuba gear drying on the deck of Lodos

Snorkeling in the Sea of Cortez is usually so great that there isn’t much motivation to scuba dive (other than to clean the hull of the boat!), but this past week, we did a great wreck dive that we’ve been wanting to do since we arrived in Mexico.

The Fang Ming is important to Mexico as it was the first intentionally sunken ship to create an artificial reef in all of Latin America. This ship has a happy ending, but a sad tale overall.

The Fang Ming was a 180′ Chinese fishing vessel that was seized by authorities after discovering that they were smuggling almost 100 Chinese migrant workers trying to reach the USA. There were 88 men and 7 women kept aboard this very confined space. Everyone was rescued, processed in the USA and eventually returned to China; it was sunk in November of 1999 and currently sits in 65′ of water.

We anchored just north around the corner at Ensenada de Gallina and took our dinghy to the dive site.

Sunset from Ensenada de Gallina – looking towards the dive site

It’s marked with a yellow buoy, which isn’t attached to the ship, so it’s a bit confusing if you dive it alone. You have to follow the buoy line down and travel south on the bottom for another 40′ or so until you reach the hulking shadow of the ship.

Today, the ship is host to an abundance of wildlife, and there are cool swim throughs and dark corners to explore. It’s in remarkably good condition.

On the day we dove it, we were the only ones there, and we were going to anchor our dinghy near by, but the water was rough, and our dinghy anchor wasn’t holding in the sandy bottom (we likely need some chain rode for our dink anchor), so we just tied off to the buoy on the surface. We saw 8 large Loggerhead and Olive Ridley turtles, parrot fish, box fish, puffer fish, wrasse, hog fish, trigger fish, grunts, angel fish, grouper, jacks and more!

Coming up was a bit of a challenge because the visibility was only about 25 feet, and we overshot our dinghy location, so we had to swim a ways back, but it was a fun afternoon adventure!

Video of our isolated and private anchorage