Diving The Northwind Shipwreck

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The Northwind was built in Cleveland, Ohio by the Globe Iron Works Co., in 1888. The wreck was built 299′ long with a beam of 41′ and a draught of 21.5′. The Northwind was used in the lakes until 1917 when it was cut and taken to the Atlantic where it saw 6 years of saltwater service before returning home to the great lakes.

On July 1st 1926 the Northwind passed through Little Current, Ontario and hit Robertsons Rock just North of Clapperton Island in the North Channel of Lake Huron where it slid to it’s permanent resting place in 120ffw.

Today the Northwind is sitting completely upright and very intact in a maximum depth of 140ffw inside the wreck. The Northwind is an advanced dive offering great diving for recreational divers, wreck divers and technical divers. The bow is diveable at a depth of 75ffw where the diver can view the windlass, bow railings, anchor chains which descend into the chain locker. Divers can view the ships name on each side of the bow as it it still clearly readable. The ships wheel house was blown off when she sank but there are many cargo holds and swim throughs around the bow.


As the diver makes his way mid ship towards the stern they will view the ships spare 4 bladed prop on the deck. The ship’s Smoke Stack lays collapsed pointing off the starboard side stern allowing a great swim through as well. Diver’s can explore the coal bunker, engine room and crews quarters which are all located on the stern. Divers exploring the wreck can see the port holes in place, light bulbs still in tact, pots and pans in the galley, walk in freezer and many other wonderful highlights. If a diver swims off the wreck @120ft the diver will have the feeling of diving on the Moon as the whole area is covered in a very thick clay which has holes and gives the diver a unique experience.

The water is dark, cold and often has sediment in the water. Visibility ranges from 15-60′ depending on the time of year. June/July boasts the best visibility. Inside the wreck, visibility is even better. Despite the challenging conditions, the Northwind remains a favourite dive among divers from this area as the Zebra Muscles are not yet suffocating the wreck. Divers can actually see the wreck for what it was, a great ship with a lot of wonderful features.

Penetration should only be performed by a qualified and certified wreck penetration diver or overhead environment diver. For a list of upcoming Wreck Penetration, Overhead or Cavern Courses please target our courses page.

Take a look at some of the great features of the Northwind in our photos or watch a video to see what you can expect to dive.

Learn more at: Dan’s Dive Shop



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