If you have been on the West Coast at all in the past couple months, you have undoubtedly heard the words "El Nino" amid common conversation. El Nino is a cycle of warm and cold temperatures of the Tropical Central and Eastern Pacific Ocean. With this weather pattern, comes high air pressure in the Western Pacific and low air pressure in the Eastern Pacific. For those looking for a less technical term, El Nino has brought insane winds and some gnarly surf.
While El Nino has had SoCal surfers frothing for some perfect swells, it has also unexpectedly unearthed a piece of history, the SS Monte Carlo.
The SS More Carlo was launched in 1921 with the sole purpose of being an Oil Tanker, originally under the name SS McKittrick. Over the years, the boat made the transformation not only by name but in purpose, as it became a tanker known for gambling, prostitution, and drinking during the prohibition era. The SS Monte Carlo was a destination for a man looking for his vice, and he could find it 3 miles off Coronado beach in San Diego. This was technically international waters, which remained outside the jurisdiction of state and federal law.
In 1937, on New Year's Day, a morning undoubtedly filled with hangovers and regret aboard the SS Monte Carlo, the anchor of the tanker lost its hold and the ship drifted towards to coast. The SS Monte Carlo beached itself causing a mass exodus of the ship to a point where no one claimed ownership, as the ship, was now considered illegal.
Through the years of erosion, storms, winds, and waves, the ship was buried in the sand and the tanker was brought to a mere hull. About 30 years ago, while the ship of debauchery started to sink, it just so happened to create a surf break. Locals could be seen at certain tides surfing near the ship. As sets rolled in around the SS Monte Carlo, it would create a rolling break, for those willing to test their wanderlust and surfing skills. Over the years the SS Monte Carlo became further buried and could only be seen underwater at low tide and occasionally slightly exposed during strong storms, until the recent El Nino.
The current El Nino of 2015/2016, has brought some of the largest swells in decades to San Diego and in doing so, unearthed the SS Monte Carlo. The ship is more exposed than ever before and is revealing both the body of the tanker and the history that was buried with it.
If history and a one of a kind San Diego view isn't enough to spike your interest, it has been rumored that there is around $150,000 worth of silver dollar coins among the SS Monte Carlo wreckage. Happy treasure hunting you Scrimshaw scallywags.