“See a shipwrecked schooner!”
Fathom Five National Marine Park is a National Marine Conservation Area in the Georgian Bay part of Lake Huron, Ontario, Canada, that seeks to protect and display shipwrecks and lighthouses, and conserve freshwater ecosystems. The many shipwrecks make the park a popular scuba diving destination, and glass bottom boat tours leave Tobermory regularly, allowing tourists to see the shipwrecks without having to get wet. Many visitors camp at nearby Bruce Peninsula National Park and use the park as a base to explore Fathom Five and the surrounding area during the day. One of the most famous shipwrecks is Sweepstakes. Sweepstakes (also known as Sweeps) was a Canadian schooner built in Burlington, Ontario in 1867. It was damaged off Cove Island then towed to Big Tub Harbour, where it sank in September 1885. The remains of Sweepstakes lie in Big Tub Harbour, located in the Fathom Five National Marine Park, in Tobermory, Ontario. This schooner is said to be one of the most popular wrecks in the park, where it is often visited by tour boat passengers, divers, and snorkelers. Sweepstakes is one of the several shipwrecks located in the Fathom Five National Marine Park. Damaged off Cove Island in August 1885, the Sweepstakes was then towed to the head of Big Tub Harbour, located in the Fathom Five National Marine Park, in Tobermory Ontario, by a tugboat known as Jessie. The schooner suffered serious damage and was not repaired in time, causing it to sink in September 1885. Sweepstakes was transporting coal and the coal was retrieved after the boat sank. Today, Sweepstakes is said to be picture perfect, where the hull remains intact. Sweepstakes is located approximately 50 yards from the head of Big Tub Harbour and remains in the water at a depth of 20 feet. The bow area of the boat contains the windlass and portions of the starboard railings remain unharmed. The stern name-board has been removed and currently is on display at the Bruce County Museum in Southampton. In the middle of the schooner is the center-board box, with the centerboard inside. This extends from keel to deck. The aft-deck of the Sweepstakes has collapsed, causing the stern-post to fall, where it now lies on the bottom of Big Tub Harbour. The Fathom Five National Marine Park has made repairs to the slowly deteriorating schooner to keep the deck from collapsing. Although Sweepstakes deteriorates a little more each year, it is said to be one of the best preserved 19th-century Great Lakes schooners that has been found and is considered one of the most popular shipwrecks in the Fathom Five National Marine Park. Nearby is another popular visited shipwreck, the City of Grand Rapids. The schooner gives a good depiction of what a typical Great Lakes schooner looked like.
This is #1 on my places to go in life. I chatted with Bruce County Tourism department and they said it is a SIGHT to be seen. Not bad for a road trip up from Cincinnati either.
Beautiful out here in the summer. It's a bit pricey to get to flowerpot island though.
Went on the glass bottom boat tour, it was neat. Not sure of the price.
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Fathom Five National Marine Park
- Sun - Sat: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
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