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Notes: Ships

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Treasure Stories

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Greatest Loss of Life

International Registry of Sunken Ships

NOTES: on the Sea

(apologies to the educated)

Two thirds of this planet is under water........ 90% of this underwater land has not yet been seen by the human eye.......


One Statute Mile is 5,280ft
One Statute Knot is 6,082.66ft
One British Knot or Nautical Mile is 6,080ft
One Sea Mile = 2,000 yards (about 1.15 land miles)
One Knot is 1 Sea Mile per hour.
One fathom = 6ft
One Cable = 600ft
One Knot = 10 cables

BEAUFORT SCALE of wind force

Beaufort #Sea MPHDescription
11 - 3Light air
24 - 6Light breeze
37 - 10Gentle breeze
411 - 16Moderate breeze
517 - 21Fresh breeze
622 - 27Strong breeze
728 - 33Moderate gale
834 - 40Fresh gale
941 - 47Strong gale
1048 - 55Whole gale
1156 - 66Storm
1266 plusHurricane


Lake Huron and Lake Ontario were discovered bt French explorers Le Caron and Champlain in 1615. Lake Superior by French explorer Brule in 1629. Lake Michigan by French explorer Nicolet in 1634 and Lake Erie by French explorer Joliet in 1669. The St Lawrence River was discovered by Aubert in 1508.

LAKEDepthAbove Sea Level

  • Vessels loaded in the fresh water of the Great Lakes will rise up 6 to 7 inches upon entering the ocean.

  • The first charts of the Great lakes were issued in 1852. These covered Lake Erie, the west side of Lake Erie along with Kelly's and Bass Islands. The first comprehensive charts were issued in 1882.

  • There is a shoal almost in the middle of Lake Huron where the depth is about 6 fathoms. There is also one in Lake Superior near Stannard Rock Light where the depth is about 7 fathoms.

  • Within the Great Lakes the most Southerly port is Huron, OH. The most Westerly, Duluth, MINN, the most Easterly is Sacketts Harbor, NY and most Northerly is Nipigon, ONT.

  • Water clarity in the lakes is almost gone below 200ft and past 350ft the water is inky black.

  • Lake Superior is the largest body of fresh water in the world and had 31,200 sq miles of water surface. Lake Huron has 23,800 sq miles, Lake Michigan 22,450 sq miles, Lake Erie 9,960 sq miles and Lake Ontario 7,240 sq miles. Over half of all the fresh water in the world is in the Great Lakes.

  • The Great Lakes are reported to have 1,692 islands in the Thousand Islands group and over 30,000 in the Georgian Bay group.

  • Spit Island, Sanducky Bay, Lake Erie. Located at the mouth of the bay where it enters the lake. In 1821 it was about 15f above water, later it sank to 6ft under water. It rose again in the mid 1950's and then sunk again.


  • Dogger Bank, North Sea. Also known as the cemetry

  • The Blinders off Iceland. Uncharted rocks

  • Moskenstraumen off Lofoten Island, Norway. 4.5 miles of terrible coastline. Steer 4.5 miles off to avoid pull

  • Isle of Jura, Scotland. Racing riptides

  • Devil's Throat, off Norfolk. Haisborough sands and Hammonds Knoll

  • Goodwin Sands off Deal, Kent. 5 miles off coast.

  • Devils Sea, South of Japan.

  • Sable Island, NS. has various offshore sandbars, tides and currents. If a vessel is caught it is virtualy finished. Sand tends to build up between sea and ship. The movement of the sand has been known to raise sunken ships. There are over 300 wrecks at this locale.

  • Georgian Bay. This location not dangerous because of rough waters but because the Canadian Military dumped about 900 tons of unwanted bombs just after WW2 finished. The dumping took place at Dyers Bay, 25 klms North of Lions Head, which is 50 klms North of Owen Sound, ONT.

  • McNabs Island at Eastern Canada is a graveyard of rotting ships and a naval storage area.

  • The South China Sea is often a dangerous place. Fog and general poor visability along with low lying islands and numerous sunken reefs and hidden shoals can make for a mariners nightmare.

  • Nerve Gas was sunk by the US, encased in concrete, in the Gulf of Mexico. The British sunk 40,000 tons of Germany's mustard, phosgene and tabun gases in the Baltic during 1946 and 1947 They sunk some 34 ships, filled with gas and conventional ammunition totaling 152,000 tons, in the Skagerrak at a depth of 650 meters. A large amount was also dumped about 15 miles Northeast of the Island of Bornholm. East German Stasi (Security Police) archive records reveal massive amounts of toxic gasses dumped into the Baltic around Gotland and Bornholm and in the Little Belt area near the Island of Aeroe. According to Danish records the Soviet Union dumped 50,000 tons of gas ammunition of Gotland and Bornholm after WW2. It is also alleged 170,000 metric tons of nerve gas grenades are rusting away on the ocean floor off Arendal, Norway in the rusting hulls of 40 vessels. These wrecks are believed to contain German bombs and grenades of mustard gas, tabu, sarin, forgen and lewisite. It is believed the last check on these Baltic wrecks was in 1989. British dumping sites are also in the Irish and North Seas which were not encased. 24 vessels were scuttled during Operation Sandcastle in deep water off the Hebrides and off Lands End. These 24 vessels had been loaded with 120,000 tons of mustard gas from the British Army and 17,000 tons of the German nerve gas Tabun. Other vessels were used to simply jettison minitions in various places and even nuclear material. This continued up till 1976. The Beaufort Dyke is a trench between Scotland and Ireland and about 30 miles in length, This trench is now the home to 1.17 million tonnes of munitions and about 2 tons of radioactive material. British authorities have denied ever dumping the nerve gas Sarin. Fishermen bring up the odd shell from these areas. During 1945 and 1946 the Americans dumped hcn, phosgene and mustard gas encased in concrete coffins into the Adriatic Sea. After WW2 4,900 tons of mustard and phosgene gasses were dumped in Japanese coastal waters and inland lakes. The Chinese have found 18 Japanese Japanese dump sites off Mongolia, and it is believed vessels have been scuttled in the Mediterranean and Red Seas and the Arctic. There were rules, it had to be dumped 10 n/miles offshore and 3,000 ft deep. These rules were not followed in several cases.

  • Novaya Zemla Island, Northern Russia. Reports of nuclear waste being dumped, atomic tests and nuclear submarines being buried. Probably high on the Richter scale.

  • Scatarie Island, NS is now a wildlife preserve. Reefs and shoals extend as far out as a mile making this area dangerous

  • Jupiter Inlet, Florida. Gulf Stream pulls vessel near to shoreline. Compensation and alertness needed.

  • 200 miles South of California, from Point Purisma to Point Conception there are powerful ocean forces off the coastline. Fog appears suddenly and razor sharp volcanic reefs are abundant.

  • Horseshoe Reef off Anegada Island in the Virgin Islands extends 20 miles out from the island. Many vessels have made this reef their final resting place. Artifacts are not allowed to be removed fron the islands that are under British rule.

  • Russian vessels have dumped 20 nuclear reactors and warheads containing Plutonium in international waters near Northern Norway. Plutonium is non odorous and kills instantly.

  • French atolls of Mururoa and Fangataufa, Polynesia, were used for French nuclear testing. Lagoons, trees and soil are all contaminated.

  • In the Pacific off Vancouver Island there is an area known as the Zone of Silence. The area is accoustically dead and no sound can penetrate. Bells and sirens are of no use, needless to say there are many wrecks in this area.

  • Cefn Sidan Sands, Carmarthen Bay, Wales are known to shift a great deal and have trrapped many a vessel.

  • Wolf Rock lies 8 miles Southwest of Lands End, Cornwall. It is a rock pinnacle in deep water.

  • The area in and around Great Orme and Little Orme, North Wales was the home of the Royal Artillery gunnery school. 198 battery was posted to Little Orme and 200 battery was posted Great Orme. Target practice was common so be aware of ammunition offshore.

  • Juan de Fuca Straits have Rip Tides that are heavy off Cape Flattery, Cape Beal and Carmanah. Bonilla and Pachena are noted for rough waters. Fog is heaviest in the Straits in the summer months and the wind climbs in speed from the summer to winter months. The Straits are known to have some of the worlds largest waves.

  • The Island of Saipan lies in the Northern Marianas and navigation within three miles of it is prohibited. After WW2 the area was used as a dumping ground for explosives and considered dangerous.

  • It has been suggested that and area between Bigbury Bay and Prawle Point in Devon, UK. may affect the ships compass because of the iron that has been regularly mined in the area.

  • Stewart Island Shoal, Western Australian is an active magnetic shoal.


  • Degree of Latitude. The Spanish and the Portuguese during the 15th century considered 1 degree to be 70 miles of 5,000ft each, or, 17.5 leagues of 4 miles. The English and the French worked 60 nautical miles or 20 leagues of 3 miles. The Dutch worked 60 nautical miles or 15 leagues of 4 miles.

  • Bronze disintegrates very slowly in sea water. 2,000 years in normal circumstances would have caused little damage.

  • Barracuda seem attracted to glistening or sparkling objects.

  • The three largest barrier reefs are off Australia, Florida Keys and Belize.

  • Fresh water ice in fresh water floats 1/10th above the water. Salt water ice in salt water floats 1/9th above water.

    (info circa 1950)

    With a salinity of 34.34 parts per thousand
    concentration in M.G/K.G (parts per million)

    Concentration in M.G/ton. Parts per Thousand Million