Vancouver Tours Blog

Searching For Old Sailing Ships

Without old sailing ships the world that we know today wouldn't exist. There wouldn't have been pirate stories, no great seal battles, no one would go on a treasure hunt, and Christopher Columbus wouldn't have even tried to sail across the ocean in 1492, searching for silk and spices. If the oceans hadn't once been filled with old sailing ships there wouldn't be any reason to explore the oceans depths looking for the remains of the ones that never made it to shore.

The stretch of Atlantic coastline that stretches from the Outerbanks of North Carolina all the way north to the entrance of the Chesapeake Bay is known to sailors as the Graveyard of the Atlantic, a name bestowed on the stretch of water because of the sheer numbers of ships that have sunk to their death in the blue water. Some sailors scorn feel that Sable Island, a long wedge of sandbar near Nova Scotia, can also be a part of the Graveyard of the Atlantic. The tiny island is believed to be responsible for a minimum of 350 shipwrecks. Still others feel that it isn't right to exclude Cape Cod from the graveyard. The Massachusetts town's shoals are constantly shifting and changing making it treacherous for the old sailing ships of long ago to sail into the harbor. Today the there are 21 lighthouse's on the small chunk of land o help ensure that sailing vessels safely reach their destination. It isn't uncommon for people to find the long forgotten remains of an old sailing ship when the winds shift and dunes move, exposing a skeletal hull of a once magnificent ship.

Not to be outdone by the east, the Pacific coast also has a stretch of coast sailors of old sailing ships dreaded approaching. The Graveyard of the Pacific was the stretch of coastline that spans Oregon, Washington, and all the way north to Vancouver. Sailors believe that the reason this stretch of Pacific coastline was so treacherous for old sailing ships was a combination of dense fog, strong currents, abusive storms, and rampant winds. Although the Graveyard of the Pacific is still treacherous, the numbers of fatal shipwrecks have increased since the early 1900's. Historians believe that there were over 2,000 ships that sank in the Graveyard of the Pacific and at least 700 men never returned home.

Source by Jessica Schira

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