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Scuba Diving the Schooner St James In Lake Erie

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The Saint James is widely regarded as the best-preserved example of a Great Lakes 19th-century schooner. Anyone with the necessary training and equipment should do this dive.

This dive goes beyond the limits of sport diving as defined by all major certifying agencies. Only very experienced divers with specialized training for depths greater than sport diving limits should attempt it.
She was also shrouded in mystery when she was discovered. Because no one knew who she was, she was dubbed “Schooner X.” She sits in 165 feet of water, with a slight list to port, her anchors in place, her masts rising eighty feet from the bottom of the lake, her wheel and cabins ready for action, and the silt forming waves around her hull. She has a scrolled figurehead and both a wooden and a newer cast iron bilge pump.

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This remarkably intact schooner depicts some excellent details from a bygone era. Two masts are still standing 80 feet below the water’s surface. She has a cargo of grain in her hold, as well as a thick layer of mud. The wheel is still in place, half-buried in the mud, as are two bilge pumps, one of which is made of wood. Zebra Mussels cover the wreck.

Owner(s)C.M. Reed of Erie, Pennsylvania
Built: 1856 at Milan, Ohio by Gay & Merry
Dimensions: 118’  x  25’ Tonnage: 226 76/100 gross
Date of Loss: Late October 1870
Cause of Loss: unknown

Location

7.5 miles SW of tip of Long Point: GPS Shipwreck Location
Latitude:   42° 27′ 6.0012″ N Longitude:   -80° 7′ 19.8012″ W

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About Author

Kathy is the owner of Kirk Scuba Gear, a passionate Scuba Diver, Ocean Advocate and Managing Editor of The Scuba News Canada

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