Woman Enough

Wrecked!

Posted in Uncategorized by womanenough on November 10, 2011

Elias and I were looking at a chart of our home harbor closely the other day, for no other reason than it was in front of us and we don’t have television to stare at in the evening.

“Look!” I pointed, “A shipwreck!”

Shipwrecks are probably my favorite part of charts, except for the parts of charts that keep me from running my boat into things and let me know I’m going where I want to, those are great features, too.

But back to the wrecks. They’re subtly marked, but the mere word conjures up so much mystery. What kind of ship, and when? What happened, and how many souls were lost? Shipwrecks are inherently perfect stories; their setting is always interesting, the characters dynamic, and tragedy hits, unexpected and insurmountable. There are an estimated three million shipwrecks on the ocean floor, a number I find horrifying, and yet still, somehow, loads me with questions about each of them.

So today is the 33rd Anniversary of one of the most famous modern shipwrecks, that of the Edmund Fitzgerald in 1975. In honor of that tragedy, and all the many, many others marked on charts and those that never were, today I have a list for you of some compelling shipwrecks in history.

Warning; reading about all of these is kind of a downer, like reading the police blotter in the paper, without the thrill of maybe seeing someone you work with. I’d check them out one at a time.

Batavia, a real treasure ship!

Yongala, sunk by a cyclone.

The ocean liner Lusitania, struck down by German U-boats in World War I.

Estonia, a more recent and particularly tragic incident

The ship that came to the rescue of Titanic, Carpathia, which went down itself in WWI, and the wreck was just discovered in 1999.

In the meantime, I’m off to the Historical Society to see what they might know about that wreck in one of the shallowest spots of our own harbor. And then again, maybe my imagination doesn’t really want to know.

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