Wreck diving in the Great Lakes

Diving in the Midwest isn’t as glamorous as diving in the tropics, but what the Great Lakes lack in coral reefs and colorful fish, they make up for in sunken ships.

WITH NOTHING TO break, rot, or eat away at wrecks, the Great Lakes are like a giant open-water history museum, preserving sunken ships just as they were when they went down. Many of the intact 19th-century wrecks still left in the world lie scattered around the lakes, in ship graveyards like Thunder Bay and the Straits of Mackinac. Often, they sit in shallow enough water for even novice divers to visit.

Conserving the wrecks continues to be a fight, against invasive wildlife and looters who strip ships of rigging and other artifacts. While no photo will ever be able to communicate how it feels to swim down the deck of a century-old ship, I think these pictures do a good job of conveying the ghost-ship beauty of wreck diving in the Great Lakes.

All photos except for 1, 2, and 3 © their authors. All rights reserved.

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  • http://www.wendmag.com Kyle

    Awesome photo essay, Adam. Those ships are right out of Scooby Doo.

  • http://www.sierrasurvey.com David Page

    Wow. Brr. Crazy fabulous!

  • http://www.candicedoestheworld.com Candice

    This is one hell of a photo essay, Adam!

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  • http://olivaresbound.blogspot.com Cat

    Makes me miss my favorite town in the whole world – Chicago. Born and bred and finding myself making a life in Spain…great essay!

  • http://jonnyontheroad.blogspot.com Jonny

    I’ve never dived a wreck before, looks fantastic. You mentioned that some of these are shallow enough for novice divers to reach, but only listed the depth of one. How deep are the others?

  • http://weifarer.wordpress.com Wiefarer

    Great photos, Adam, and an excellent diving location tip! I hadn’t thought of diving the great lakes before, but what a fantastic way to experience an historical schooner first hand. There just aren’t enough left topside!

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