|I'm not a history teacher, but I can pretend to be one.|
I love history, studying, reading, visiting, and talking about it. Yes, I know you don't, it can be, or is, boring. I'm continuing on regardless, I might capture your attention for a few moments.
This is the 100th anniversary of the worst US west coast shipwreck in history, and you probably didn't even know about it.
The name of the Canadian Pacific steamer, was the Princess Sophia. 353 crew, and passengers, all onboard lost their lives when the ship went off course, and hit the Vanderbilt Reef at the speed of 11 knots, hours out of Skagway, in Lynn Canal. Heavy fog, and snowfall, contributed to the zero visibility, as well as hampering rescue efforts.
A wireless message was sent out as soon as she struck the reef, and Juneau boat owners came out to lend a hand in the rescue. The seas were rough, and the Captain felt that more lives would be lost in either deploying the lifeboats, or in trying to get passengers off into rescue boats. The boats circled the ship until the storm worsened, and they had to seek shelter themselves.
After 40 hours on the reef, Princess Sophia finally sank, and when the storm had calmed, and the rescue boats could return, all that could be seen, was 40 feet of the foremast rising above the water. The only survivor was reported to be a dog, who swam to shore, and was found later.
For photos, and a more complete story, you can read about it here:
|Vanderbilt Reef today (Wikipedia)|
|Vanderbilt Reef in Lynn Canal, the wreck lies just below the surface near the reef.|
Be sure that you don't confuse the tragedy of the Princess Sophia with the other shipwrecks that have occurred in Lynn Canal. The Clara Nevada, The Princess May, and the Princess Kathleen, doesn't that make you want to cruise this area too? As Bill says, "avoid the hard bits."
There, that history lesson wasn't so painful was it?
As always, we enjoy hearing from you, either here in comments or on our Facebook Denali Rose Sailboat page.