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El Dorado is a boat accessible salt water dive site, located in Panama City Beach, FL. The maximum depth is 101-110ft/31-34m.

The 144-foot-long El Dorado was under restoration when the storm carried it from its dock across St. Andrew Bay and left it on its side behind a local university.

El Dorado was finally sunk in May 2019. Later that month, the first group of divers got to explore the wreck—now sitting at 103 feet, with its top at 62 feet—with local operator Diver’s Den. The dark-green water was a contrast to the stark white of the ship’s hull—I had never seen a wreck so clean. Even more surprising was the amount of marine life moving from end to end of the wreck. Schooling mackerel swarmed the stern and back deck, where, sure enough, “Happy Holidays” was visible and made for a fun photo op. As I headed back up the mooring line, watching the mackerel and schools of baitfish intertwined in what I can only imagine as a fishy jazz performance, I couldn’t help but wonder what this wreck will look like in the years to come.

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