Saturday, 18 July 2009

Shipwreck!

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, Tobermory was a busy port for timber and fishing. The two deep sheltered harbours were a refuge during treacherous Lake Huron storms. There are more than 30 shipwrecks in the immediate area, ideal for exploration by divers.
I didn't do any diving, but we could see the outines of the two closest wrecks from the water.

Sweepstakes
The 36.3m Sweepstakes was a two masted centreboard schooner built in Burlington, Ontario, in 1867. In 1885 she ran aground near Cove Island Lighthouse. The crew were rescued by the lighthouse keeper. The following spring she was towed into Big Tub Harbour where her rigging, equipment and cargo of coal was salvaged before she sank.

A small portion of the stern deck has collapsed, but most of the hull, deck, centreboard, windlass and some of the railing is still intact.

City of Grand Rapids
The 37.3m propeller steamer City of Grand Rapids was built at Grand Haven, Michigan, in 1879. She carried general cargo and passengers to ports on Lake Huron and Georgian Bay. In 1907 she caught fire while berthed in Little Tub Harbour. To prevent the fire from spreading, she was towed out of the harbour until the tow line burned and the ship floated free.

The burning hulk drifted into Big Tub Harbour where she ran aground, burnt to the waterline and sank. The port side, the steam engine and the fire box are still visible.

The remains are preserved in such good condition by the cold water of Georgian Bay.

10 comments:

Gina E. said...

Your photos are so clear! Shipwrecks are fascinating, especially when you can see them like this. We have a lot of old shipwrecks off the Victoria coast, but I don't think they can be seen from a boat, as they are probably too deep. (Or the water is too polluted, lol)

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

This is all pretty amazing..! And the pictures are really wonderful! To see the remains of a ship that burned and sank so long ago...Now that is truly amazing! A lot of History there....!

Luke Wiley said...

Interesting place, makes for great shots!

lettuce said...

what great pictures! have you ever been diving? the idea really appeals to me...

Libby said...

What super pics! I find this quite fascinating!

Suldog said...

That's so cool! I had no idea there were any shipwrecks so visible. I always imagined they all were hundreds of feet down in the murky depths. Thanks for enlightening me!

Craver Vii said...

Wow, that water is perfectly transparent!! These pics are nicely done. Polarizing filter??

Xtreme English said...

holy toledo! how did you get those photos if you were not diving? were you in a boat?? do you live near here? gorgeous clear water!!

Shammickite said...

FYI everybody: Pictures were taken from the deck of the tour boat, no special lenses or filters, just using my little digital point'n'shoot. It helps that these particular wrecks are only 2m below the surface, and the water is very cold and clear.

Your EG Tour Guide said...

The water is so clear in these photos. I can really see the wrecks. Interesting photos and information.