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.