Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The abyss

Interesting news today about the discovery of the wreck of the Milan, a Great Lakes schooner like this one that went down on Lake Ontario over 150 years ago. In October 1849, she set off from Oswego for Cleveland. Shortly afterward, she slipped quietly beneath the waves after springing a leak. Her crew did their best to steer the boat to shore, but it was too late by the time they discovered the incoming rush of water. The nine men aboard, and the boat’s dog, escaped in a lifeboat and were later rescued.

What’s more fascinating is that the Milan is almost entirely intact, sitting upright with her masts sticking straight up. Sometimes I don’t think we appreciate just how deep Lake Ontario really is: even though it’s the smallest of the Great Lakes, it’s the second deepest, trailing only Superior.

And chilly -- in order to get down to the Milan’s depth of about 60 metres and explore her, the wreck’s discoverers had to enlist the help of students to build them a remote-controlled submersible.

For the full story, click here.

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