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Great Lakes Wreckdiving

Lake Ontario

has so many wrecks it gets a page to itself.

In about 65' of water just off Humber Bay. Near enough to Toronto that viz is limited especially after storms.

Julia B. Merrill
Near the Sligo, usually done together if it's a day trip.

Lyman Davis
Reputedly a "black wreck in black water", since it was burned as a spectacle for the people of Toronto, and now lies in approximately 140'.

Lake Erie

The Wrecks of Long Point
Over the past several years, the incursion of Zebra Mussels has greatly improved visibility and water quality in Lake Huron. Many of the lake's wrecks lie around Long Point, a long sandspit stretching much of the way across the middle of the lake. Near the point, silty water abounds, and in the summer a layer of near-zero viz can lay on top of crystal-clear water. Fishing nets are a hazard to avoid on most of these wrecks.

This passenger steamer sunk many years ago with great loss of life just off Long Point. It has been the subject of a long court battle, and has been off limits to divers for quite some time, although recent rumour claims it might be diveable again. Believed to be deeper than 140'.

A tugboat of about 80' length; most notable feature is that the wheelhouse is offset to the port side, although this may have happened during the sinking. Research indicates that a double crew of eight men were lost on a "last voyage of the season" passage across the lake. When I first dove this wreck, it was in pristine condition; apparently only three divers had been there before. Depth around 165'.

Mystery X, Mystery Y
A schooner known today only as the "Mystery X" lies off Long Point; people who have been out there report two different depths, leading to a belief there are two of them. The deeper one is at 190' to the mud.

The Persian burned before sinking, today lying almost undisturbed in 196' of water; a 1997 expedition put the 3rd through 6th divers ever on this wreck.

Ohio, or The Arches
This wreck has prominent "hogging arches", looking almost like a bridge on the bottom. Marine Archaeologists differ on whether this is in fact the wreck of the Ohio or not.

A tug wreck in about 70'; proof at least one of these wrecks is shallower than 130'. Actually, there are quite a number that are, but the people I dive with have specialized in exploring the more newly-discovered deeper wrecks.

Lake Huron

A large wreck in Lake Huron, north of Sarnia, laying upside down. We dove it on a charter out of Port Sanilac, Michigan, but I believe it's in reach from Sarnia too. This one is on my to-go-back-to list.

has so many wrecks it gets a page to itself.

A fairly long, shallow wreck, big engines, signs the ship burned before sinking. Lies east of the town of Little Current.

A long, deep wreck west of Little Current, north of Manitoulin. We maxed at 115', and could maybe have gone deeper. This one needs further exploration.

Maple Dawn
A fairly large steel freighter, in shallow water at the south end of Georgian Bay. During WWII, the exposed part of the wreck was cut away as scrap to support the war effort. Subsequently, the wreck was used by commercial diving students to practise their underwater cutting and welding. It's hard to picture what's left as a ship, but it does make a sort of adventure playground for divers. Watch out for things that snag your gear. 30' dive.

The hull of a three-masted wooden ship (no masts anymore, but the evidence is still visible) sitting upright on the bottom not far from the Maple Dawn. Sunk in 1867, just as Canada was getting started. A very popular dive. 38' max.

St. Lawrence River

Current can be very strong in the St. Lawrence, and the diver is advised to be in good physical shape.

Henry C. Daryaw
This steel ship is upside down on the bottom near Brockville, nose into the current, in a bit of a valley. The bouy line goes to the rudder pintles, and the dive plan is that you go down hand-over-hand, drop into the lee of the wreck, work your way forward along the side of the ship (we went to our left, or in other words the ship's starboard) to the bow, staying low and out of the worst of the current. Once you get to the bow, you swim quickly upwards, and let the current take you down the length of the wreck. Stay centred over the keel as you go, and grab that bouy line as you hit it. If you get blown off the wreck at any point, they'll have to come pick you up quite a ways downstream. 91' max was logged here.

Lillie Parsons
A wooden ship near Brockville; the dive plan here is to travel by boat to the island nearest the wreck, tie up to the pier there, and lug your gear across the island to the entrypoint, where an end of one of the wreck's anchor chains has been brought ashore. Follow the chain down to the wreck and explore. The current is quite strong here. When you're done the dive, surface and follow the current back around the island to the boat, exit and reload your gear. 68' dive.


* Around the Great Lakes

* Ships, Shipwrecks, and Wreck Preservation

Last modified 2004-11-17 by Anthony DeBoer.