DIVING THE HISTORIC SHIPWRECK OF THE PEWABICJune 25, 2013
We woke up early to get a head start on the lake as our initial plan was to go to the Viator 25 miles off shore. We were able to fill the tanks and get back out on the lake to find 1 to 3's into our bow section of the boat. The forecast called for 15 knot winds but we had a bit more than that out there. We were able to get out of the bay and the waves seemed to lay down for us the farther we got out. We decided to go to the Pewabic since it is a bit closer to shore than the viator and at 165 to the dirt, this wreck will be a good one to check out.
The pewabic is one of the most historic shipwrecks of her time as her sister ship "the meteor" struck her bow/port quarter in 1865. She was carrying 200 tons of iron and hematite so she sank rapidly taking 125 crew members with her. The meteor stayed until day light to make sure they were able to rescue anyone else adrift in the water but she took a number of people down to a depth of 165+ ft. She was a wooden prop ship and a unique one with her railing down the center and on the sides. A beautiful shipwreck but a very historic one.
|coming out of the lower deck inside the Pewabic|
Since she took down so many people, this shipwreck is considered a tomb and there have been sightings of bones found inside the ships lower deck and scattered about in the debris field. The hull is pretty intact but most of her upper workings have been removed by salvors and destroyed by the equipment used to bring up the iron ore. 5 divers lost their lives in the 1880s and early 1990s recovering the iron. Before the destructive efforts the divers claimed that her rigging and structure were still in tact, skeletons in the cabins, trunks were open with clothing and still hanging.
|divers going down to salvage the pewabic|
We got to the site and donned our gear for a deep dive. We made a giant stride into the water and at the last second hear that we have drifted off the wreck. so we had to get back to where the anchor point was originally. We made our decent down and at about 80ft my computer strap broke so I had to hold my computer in my hand so I would not lose it. I had to make sure I can time my decompression schedule. I was equalizing my ears and drysuit, adjusting my bouyency, and taking some pictures all at once. I was'nt able to get the best pictures but I was able to get a few decent ones of the deck, the hull, and the railings.
|in the lower deck looking up on the Pewabic.|