Tall & Wooden Ships

Stern of the wreck. The stern post ends to opening in planking, tiller moved in it. The transom has been above this structure. Uppermost planks on the sides of the stern have fallen away.
Stern of the wreck. The stern post ends to opening in planking, tiller moved in it. The transom has been above this structure. Uppermost planks on the sides of the stern have fallen away.

The age of a unique fluit in the Baltic Sea resolved

Badewanne originally discovered the wreck last year at the depth of 85m. This summer, during the filming of the documentary film Fluit, the dive team found the transom of the exceptionally well-preserved wreck.

As the divers succeeded in turning over the transom, which was lying face down on the seabed, an engraving with the year 1636 was revealed, along with an image of a swan. The swan is presumed to represent the name of the ship. The divers also took measurements of the wreck to determine the accurate size of the vessel.

The British cruiser HMS Drake in the United States in 1909.
The British cruiser HMS Drake in the United States in 1909. On October 2nd 1917 HMS Drake was was torpedoed by the German U-boat U-79

Divers reminded not to disturb protected wrecks off Northern Ireland

A prolonged period of sunshine and calm seas over the summer has led to an increase in the numbers of people visiting the historic wrecks which lie off Northern Ireland's shore.

Of the 340 known ship and plane wrecks within Northern Irish waters, only two have special levels of protection;  La Girona, a warship of the Spanish Armada which sank near Portballintrae in 1588, and HMS Drake, a WW1 cruiser that was torpedoed by a German U-Boat in 1917 and sank in Rathlin Bay.

NOAA designates new national marine sanctuary in Wisconsin’s Lake Michigan

An exciting recreational opportunity: a diver swims over the two-masted schooner, Walter B. Allen, which sank in 1880. (Tamara Thomsen, Wisconsin Historical Society)

“Preserving this region furthers the Biden-Harris Administration’s vision of locally-led, collaborative conservation,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This designation is also an exciting opportunity for the public to celebrate and help protect this piece of our nation’s rich maritime history.”

Lake Zurich: Deep Cold-Water Wreck Diving in Switzerland

Ship's wheel on the second wreck recently found in Lake Zurich, Switzerland. Photo by Jens O. Meissner and Helmut Spangler.

Why travel far when good things lie right at your doorstep? In our case, the “good thing” was Lake Zurich, a midsized lake in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. The city of Zurich is located on the northern end of the 40km-long lake, which still holds some secrets in its depths. In this article, we present two wrecks recently found in the lake and the journey of their exploration.

Shipworm: The Scourge of Wooden Wrecks is Really a Mussel

A specimen of shipworm (USGS / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain)

Have you ever wondered why some bodies of water, such as the Baltic, have so many wooden wrecks in great condition while other areas have almost no wooden wrecks at all? It has something to do with salinity; however, it is not the salt in seawater that consumes the wrecks but a mussel, which somewhat confusingly is called a worm—and it only lives in saltwater.

Great Lakes: Lake Michigan Shipwreck Mysteries

Explorer Capt. Jitka Hanakova at stern of EMBA wreck, Lake Michigan. Photo by Becky Kagan Schott.

My first dive in the Great Lakes was 20 years ago. I remember descending into dark green water and limited visibility. My joke for years was, “Do you know why they call it Lake Erie? Because it’s just that—it’s Erie.” Soon after that, I moved to Florida with my family and forgot all about the Great Lakes because I had warm, tropical reefs in my backyard. Fast-forward to five years ago and I had my next experience diving in Lake Superior.

Great Lakes: Shipwrecks of Presque Isle

The year is 1880, and you are working on a wooden schooner, one of the most dangerous jobs during the time. It is late November and it is the last run of the season. The ship is overloaded with coal and the seas start to pick up. It is now dark and the icy waves are crashing over the sides, and all you can do is work to keep the ship afloat. Ice is now forming on the rigging, and out of the fog, the bow of another ship suddenly appears.

Recovery of beer bottle from the Sydney Cove shipwreck site. Intact cork and wax seal.

Beer brewed with yeast believed to be from a 220-year-old shipwreck

The Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery in Launceston, Tasmania has achieved scientific results of interest to beer brewers and drinkers worldwide.

The museum has identified what is believed to be the world's oldest beer, surviving as contents of a bottle salvaged from the protected Historic Shipwreck Sydney Cove (1797) at Preservation Island, Tasmania.

(Unrelated file photo) Drake Wreck Buoy in Church Bay, off Northern Ireland.

Michigan shipwrecks to be marked with buoys

The goal is to help preserve the state's shipwrecks by giving divers another option besides hooking a line directly onto the wreck, as is customary now.

"Putting a mooring buoy on a shipwreck is absolutely, hands-down, the best form of physical protection you can do for a wreck," Wayne Lusardi, a state maritime archaeologist at the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary in Alpena, told Mlive.com