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Dixie Arrow - Cape Hatteras NC

Dixie Arrow is a boat accessible salt water dive site, located in Cape Hatteras, NC. This dive site has an average rating of 4.30 out of 5 from 10 scuba divers. The maximum depth is 81-90ft/25-27m. The average visibility is 26-30ft/8-9m.

The Dixie Arrow was a 468’ long tanker that was torpedoed off Hatteras, North Carolina, 26 March 1942, by the U-71. She remained afloat, purging crude oil, flames, and profuse quantities of black smoke, visible for miles. She eventually settled in 90’ of water on a clean sandy bottom.

The bow rises almost 30’ off the bottom, with the skeletal frame intact for 80’ until it breaks down into jumbled debris. Anchor chain fills the bow space, with a hull plate holding a couple of portholes peeled off and laying in the sand below the portside quarter. There are deep washouts directly under the bow where copious supplies of seashells collect a great location for a malacologist. The main part of the wreck is a mass of twisted steel, though contiguous and with several landmarks. The three boilers, followed by the large engine are visible as one heads aft. Brass valves and an occasional gauge are found throughout this area. The stern boasts the bronze propeller, buried in the sand. About 60’ off the starboard side of the stern, the remains of the superstructure lie half-buried in the sand. The Arrow is a popular wreck, home to several resident sea turtles and sand tiger.

Name: DIXIE ARROW Type: Tanker Built: 1921 by New York Shipbuilding Corp.
in Camden, NJ Owner: Socony-Vacuumm Oil Co. (Mobil)
Home Port: New York, NY Size (ft.): 485-3 x 62-9 x 28-1 Gross Tonnage: 8,046 tons Propulsion: Single screw reciprocating steam engine/speed 10.5 knts
Date Sunk: 3/26/42 Cause: Torpedoed by U-71 Location Cape Hatteras, NC GPS: N34° 54.011’/W75° 44.972’ DIVING NOTES: Diving Depths: 70-90 ft. Current: Slight to undiveable. The prevailing current direction seems to be across and down the wreck from the starboard/stern direction. Visibility: Usually good to outstanding; 40 ft to 100+ ft. Summer Temperature: mid to high 70s Points of Interest: Boilers, large engine, rudder, propeller; intact bow and foward tank sections Fish/Animal Life: Huge southern stingrays and cobia are common as are loggerhead turtles; barracuda, amberjack, spadefish; there also seems to be several large sandtigers cruising the higher profile sections and outside ends of the wreck Description: The Dixie Arrow is large wreck which lies on it keel. The wreck is contiguous from bow to stern. The stern/engine area is the most interesting, full huge, distinct features, while the bow and forwa rd tank area offers the most relief. The midsection is relatively flat and featureless. At times, the current can be quite stiff, making the trip up or back to the stern quite a swim. In bad viz, the wide, flat, section between the bow and the stern can be confusing if you wander away from the edges. As with most wrecks, the high points on the wreck seem to focus the marine life. The engine and boilers are a great place to ride the current coming across the wreck and wait for marine life to cruise by — it almost never fails. I have seen turtles, sharks, and sting rays swim by at the same time. The Dixie Arrow is one of those fall back wrecks out of Hatteras — if you can’t get out to the shoals or the wrecks farther south, you can almost always get to the Arrow. Because of its generally good conditions, abundance of marine life and size, it can hold up to numerous visits and divers.

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Mo_56 - 3/30/2017 12:12 PM
Rating Added: 3
Easy site - it usually does not have excessive current or surge like some OBX sites.
William_Schuler - 3/15/2013 6:23 AM
Rating Added: 4
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