St. Anthony's Story
The sinking of the St. Anthony, a 65-foot longliner, in October of 1997, marked the latest addition to South Maui’s only official artificial reef. Construction of the reef off Keawakapu Beach in Wailea began in August of 1962 with the sinking of 150 old automobiles, but the combination of thin car metal and saltwater reduced this potential reef to axles and plastic parts within 25 years. The State’s next move was to deposit hundreds of concrete forms embedded with rows of tires. These resulted in tubular caves for marine animals to take up residence. As the tires “seasoned,” corals began to grow on them and the reef subsequently has become home to over 60 species of fish. When the St. Anthony was added, green sea turtles were drawn to the site, and are now common residents on the boat itself. They tuck under the hull, inside the holds and, most fun for us, rest in all kinds of humorous positions on the cabin, using the vertical and horizontal bars to hang from and wedge themselves between. At any given time there are also one or two resident frogfish to find as well as nudibranchs, eels and octopus.