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F/V's Ocean, Mist, Gale and Wave

We found the first of these four similar vessels in mid-July of 2005, and dove it for the first time on July 31.  It appeared very large on the depth finder, with a profile of approximately 50 ft., leading us to believe it was possibly a small wreck or other obstruction with some large dragger nets suspended above.  However, when we finally hooked it and went down to investigate, we found a large ship in a similar position to the wreck we called the Eagle Boat, with the stern buried solidly in the mud, and the bow pointed upwards at perhaps a 30 - 40 degree angle.  The engine room area emerges from the mud at 250 FSW, and the tip of the bow is right at 200 FSW.  This was obviously a scuttled ship, stripped and empty with holes blown in the sides near the waterline to facilitate sinking.

The ship has a steel hull, wooden deck, and what appears to be a single long deckhouse along the center of the wreck.  The remains of a wheelhouse appears as a second deck above the forward section of the deckhouse.  A "greenhouse" style ventilation roof for the engine room is the first identifiable feature that emerges from the mud.  Going forward, the deckhouse begins with immediate access to the engine room, housing a single steam engine surrounded by a catwalk similar to the one found in the Pug wreck.  The boiler is immediately forward of the engine and appears to pass through a bulkhead in the ship.  Entering the engine room actually takes you below the mud, and there seems to be plenty of open space.

a view into the engine room - photo by Joe Augusto


Lifeboat davits are intact on both sides of the deckhouse.  Portholes have been removed for the most part, and those that remain have what appear to be steel frames.  All hatches are open and allow easy access to most or all of the ship.  Immediately forward of the deckhouse is a single large winch with dual drums, and there are two open cargo hatches between the winch and bow.  Near the bow, two "snorkel" hatches give access below - a raised area in the deck provides a platform at the tip of the bow. Since most of the interesting features of the wreck are near the mud, this is a very deep dive.  Monofilament covers the wreck and requires constant vigilance.  A single large dragger net is draped over the deck immediately forward of the winch, but otherwise the wreck is net free.

Paul's grapple firmly in place on the wreck     

Searching for the identity of this wreck has taken us in some curious directions.  I originally thought it might be the Van, a cargo ship known to have been scuttled in the immediate area, but we always had some suspicion that it was labeled incorrectly.  The Van had some unique features that were not evident on this wreck.  In the summer of 2009, we finally found what was obviously the Van about 3 miles from the location of this wreck.  Then Jeff Goudreau noted that the wreck everyone thought to be the Eagle Boat was in fact more similar to the now "ex-Van" than pictures of an Eagle Boat, and subsequent dives proved him to be right.  We now had two very similar ships sunk in similar positions relatively close to each other and began again to search for the identity of this wreck.  We noted that four similarly sized fishing vessels had been sunk in this area of the dumping grounds, and when Heather Knowles sent along a photo of one - the Ocean, shown below - we knew that's what we had found. 



We now believe based on general locations compared to those in the AWOIS database that the original wreck found in 2005 is the Gale.  The former "Eagle Boat" is likely to be the Mist, and a wreck Jeff found in the summer of 2010 and explored in August is almost certainly the Ocean.  The Wave is still missing.






A winch mounted on the bow of the Ocean is shown on the left


At right is the fore mast of the Ocean which is still standing up to 10 ft. or so, the only one still in place of the 3 ships found








An anemone graces a lone porthole that is still in place on the Ocean