Red/Cyan 3D glasses are needed to view some of these photos in 3D.
Since I was a kid, I wanted to have the same glorious life as Indiana Jones or Lara Croft(without the illegal looting and slaughter of endangered species, but definitely with the apparently unlimited budget… and lets be honest, the I’d be willing to revise my views on illegal looting if it resulted in an unlimited budget). I’ve been lucky in that I’ve come across a lot of places that would fit right in with either of these franchises, albeit as a tourist rather than an explorer. Exploring is HARD, being a tourist is easy. Especially being a tourist in cool places.
Abandoned cities? Yeah, yeah. Ancient Ruins? Been there, done that. Deep, remote, forests? Yep. Caves? Of course! Century-old shipwrecks? Well, I swam to my first one when I was ten years old, well before I ever played Tomb Raider, so they don’t even count.
Wait, they do count? Oh. I guess I’d better elaborate then. I really don’t want vengeful pirate ghosts coming after me for insulting their sunken tomb. I have a busy week(which I might write about next week) and can’t give being haunted by hateful souls the time it needs right now. So lets talk about my first shipwrecks.
Tobermory, a small town in Ontario, lies on a peninsula on the south side of Lake Huron. It’s a good tourist destination; good scenery, small town, a regular ferry across Lake Huron. It’s also beside two of Canada’s National Parks: Bruce Peninsula National Park and Fathom Five National Marine Park. One of these parks is on land, the other is in water. Can you guess which is which? Here’s a hint: I’m not going to write about Bruce Peninsula Park at the moment. I visited Fathom Five most recently in 2019. On that trip, I abandoned my plan to explore the Atlantic provinces(you know, ‘cuz hurricane) and instead spent a lot of it in Quebec, Ontario, and Manitoba.
Fathom Five is best known for Flowerpot Island; boat tours go to and from the island daily in summer. I When I reached Tobermory, I had planned to see it, but the winds picked up and the waves were well over a metre( ‘cuz hurricane?), so the boats were cancelled. Still, that wasn’t the main reason I was visiting… that was the shipwrecks. This was the trip I rushed to make my ‘V3.2’ camera rig for; and the shipwrecks were a major reason I wanted it with me(albeit not the only reason, as I had planned a lot of the trip around the oceanside).
Most of the shipwrecks are mainly accessible farther offshore in deeper water… in other words, accessible only to scuba divers. I do have my scuba diving license, but took it long enough ago that I probably shouldn’t be doing anything with it before at least refresher course. As well, I’d have to swim out to these wrecks, trying to locate them while in the water, as boats weren’t going out in the choppy water that day anyways.
However, there are some wrecks closer to shore. When I say closer, I mean that I can reach them from the shore while holding my breath.
I’m a fair swimmer, but even a weak swimmer could probably get to them in less than two minutes… maybe wear a life jacket if you want to test that hypothesis, though. A wet suit might be good too, especially if you’re dumb enough to swim in a Great Lake in September. As someone who is dumb enough to swim in a Great Lake in September, it can become a little brisk(brisk meaning ‘OH $@%# I CAN’T FEEL MY SKIN’). No, I didn’t have a wetsuit, other than the bag of dirty clothes that really needed drying.
These photos were taken from Little Tub Harbour, close enough from the centre of Tobermory that I could walk to the shore. There’s supposed to be some big wrecks that are just as accessible at Big Tub Harbour as well, but I’ve never been there myself. Like I said, I was introduced to Little Tub’s wrecks when I was a kid, and have been there maybe a half-dozen times since then.
If the water is clear, and it usually is, some deeper debris can be seen; I can usually hold my breath and swim down to it, but the water was higher than usual in 2019, and by the time I got close, I didn’t have enough breath to get any good 3D photos. I kind of like having oxygen when taking photos; call it a personal quirk.
Two of the wrecks, however, are very close to shore; They’re the Alice G and the Bob Foote, two tugboats that… wait TUGBOATS? I’ve been worried about the spectres of ancient pirates coming for me, and they’re just tugboats? Come to think about it, did the Great Lakes even have pirates?
… okay, actually that’s a firm yes. Probably no pirate ships sunk in Fathom Five Park, though, at least none that have been identified.
Anyhow, the Alice G sank in 1927 and the Bob Foote in 1902, so I didn’t lie about the ‘Century-old’ part. No one died in either wreck; Alice G was unmoored and ran aground during a wind storm, and Bob Foote was deliberately abandoned. They’re in shallow water; when the water levels were lower in other years, I could touch them and still have my hands above the surface. Even with the deeper water, I had the lung capacity to swim down, investigate, and take photos.
So yes, finally, it is time for some 3D photos!
I think these two might be the Bob Foote, but don’t quote me on that. Both wrecks are very close together, and I couldn’t really distinguish one from the other. These photos seemed to better match photos of the tug that I found online, though.
That would mean that this one is probably the Alice G? Again, I’m an idiot, so could be wrong. I probably am; I accept that. In fact, lets just say that all of these photos are of a single wreck, The famous ‘Alicebob Footeg’. If I’m going to be wrong, I accept it, but I at least want to be uniquely wrong.
And that’s about everything. I didn’t see any ghosts but did see some cool wrecks. After an hour in the water, I was ready to continue on my roadtrip.
… but maybe, just maybe, the ghosts were there, but not visible in daytime. It could just be that the ghosts were the reason for the inexplicable bone-chilling cold I felt afterwards. Or maybe it was a touch of hypothermia from being in the water too long. Do ghosts make your lips turn blue?
Either way, after four hours, I was finally able to turn the car heater off the highest settings. And that’s how you exorcise ghosts.
The above photos were taken with dual Safari 4 4K action cameras.