Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Butts, Ed. Shipwrecks, Monsters, and Mysteries of the Great Lakes

Butts, Ed. Shipwrecks, Monsters, and Mysteries of the Great Lakes
Tundra Books 2011 88p 14.95
978-1-77049-206-6 jr/sr Shipwrecks - Great lakes History (North America) VG-BN

The Great Lakes was once the principle means of transportation. Produce, grains all kinds of products were moved through this navigational system. Unfortunately, weather played a major role in transporting people and goods through the sometimes treacherous dark waters. Creating ghost stories and mysteries from some of the ships lost at sea. In 1679 the French ship "The Griffin" disappeared with a full cargo of furs. It is suspected that this ship met foul weather and was shipwrecked in Lake Michigan. Nothing was ever found but the disappearance went down in the books of Maritime history of the great lakes as the first shipwreck. Transporting goods into the heart of United States could only be done using waterways of the great lakes. Although the great lake travelways are freshwater and may not be as deep as the Atlantic ocean, storms, shoals and reefs and unpredictable wind storms took many lives and claimed many ships. Perhaps because the passages were narrower and the weather more treacherous the shipping industry in the great lakes met many challenges.
With every ship that met with disaster the legends and the ghost stories increased. Probably one of the most famous of these shipwrecks is the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. Later made into a song by Gordon Lightfoot. The story of this ship says that it left port knowing their was a storm approaching unfortunately it was the storm of the year. The Edmond Fitzgerald left along side another ship, the Anderson. They kept each other in sight but at some point the storm worsen and the Captain of the Anderson thought he saw the Edmund Fitzgerald take cover a short distance away from where he stopped to wait out the storm. They were in communication most of the time but then there was radio silence and The captain notice the ship was no longer on the radar. To this day no one knows what happened that night but it is suspected that the North Winds had something to do with it.
The only thing missing in this book is a good map of the great lakes. As I read the book I wanted to be able to follow the captains of the ships as they sailed through treacherous Great lake waters. Diaz, Magna

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