Shipwrecks in the Straits

Shipwrecks in the Straits (HM2FD8)

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N 45° 47.243', W 84° 43.687'

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Mackinaw City Historical Pathway

When mankind took to the water, shipwrecks were inevitable.
As long as canoes and boats have sailed the Great Lakes there have been shipwrecks. Many have occurred in the Straits of Mackinac with its narrow channels, shoals, and harsh and changing weather.
As shipping increased in the 1840s and 50s so did the number of shipwrecks. But man responded with better aids such as lighthouses, fog signals, weather forecasts, and charts. Most of the shipwrecks in the Straits occurred before 1890 and were wooden-hulled sailing vessels. Modern shipwrecks are infrequent.
The western entrance to the Straits has been the most dangerous.Waters swirl and froth around White Shoal Lighthouse where the north-south fetch of Lake Michigan encounters the east-west expanse of the Straits. This transition zone is dotted with hidden shoals. Hence, more Straits shipwrecks have occurred in Lake Michigan than in Lake Huron and most have been caused by running aground.
Fall is the season of high winds, turbulent seas, and shipwrecks.July and August have the fewest shipwrecks, not unexpectedly, given that those months have the best visibility, greatest daylight, and least wind. September, October, and November are the months when the temperature differential between air and water causes high winds. November



gales have caused twice as many wrecks as in any other month.
(image captions)
· The Eber Ward turned east entering the Straits and hit ice, hard enough to sink within 10 minutes in 1909.
· The Barnum settled to the bottom after an encounter with spring ice in the Straits in 1894.
Details
HM NumberHM2FD8
Tags
Year Placed2014
Placed ByMackinaw City Historical Pathway
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, April 4th, 2019 at 8:01pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16T E 676588 N 5072934
Decimal Degrees45.78738333, -84.72811667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 45° 47.243', W 84° 43.687'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds45° 47' 14.58" N, 84° 43' 41.22" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Closest Postal AddressAt or near , ,
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