Walking in the wreck garden

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by cthippo, Dec 9, 2010.

  1. cthippo
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    cthippo Senior Member

    These are some pictures I've taken in Everett WA while out kayaking. Everett is at the mouth of the Snohomish river and is a logging and shipping town past it's prime.

    This old fishing boat was stuck out behind a piling and left to decay. The receding tide caused her back to break under her own weight.


    A derelict barge just outside the channel


    Another abandoned fishing boat


    Inside the Wheelhouse


    "Day 24. As it's become increasingly obvious that rescue is not going to come, we have been forced to abandon the boat..."


    This is the area I specifically refer to as the Wreck garden. For years this spot on the south end of Jetty Island has been used to dispose of old barges that have ended their useful lives. As the wood breaks down the fasteners are left behind, lined up in the mud like plants in a vegetable garden.


    At some point in the depths of time the town decided to build a breakwater north of Jetty Island. Rather than spending money on rock, they took the wooden hulls of old sailing ships and sunk them in the mud. These too are slowly rotting away, their carcasses disintegrating under the effects of wind and tide.

    Being near these hulks was a very strange experience. Despite being literally only feet away, I had a very strong desire not to touch them, even with my paddle. I know that these are just old ships, not wrecks. i know that no one died here, and yet it still feels like a graveyard.

    The breakwater is visible here on Google maps.

    The diagonal pipe is the Hawse pipe where the anchor chains rode. The upper end marks the original deck level.


    The "nostrils" are the collapsed hawse pipes on this derelict.


    The "Spines" in this picture are the nails used to attach an iron strip to the bow of the ship to protect it from impact. As the wood has rotted away the stem piece has fallen away.

    1 person likes this.
  2. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    This is the true beauty of a wooden boat. When wooden vessels reach the end of their service life, nature eats them. Imagine 50 years from now, the mountains of dead plastic boats that will litter the environment. Who will deal with this huge disposal problem that is brewing ?
  3. RHP
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    RHP Senior Member

    Fascinating, thanks for sharing!
  4. Fanie
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    Fanie Fanie

    Yes, the atmosphere is like a graveyard - and that's what it is. There was a time each boat was brand new and someone was excited about it, someone devoted part of his life in each boat one way or another, and that's what gives it a soul.

    The pictures were well taken !

    Michael, we'll melt the plastic ones and make other boats out of them ;)
  5. kach22i
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    kach22i Architect

    Eerie, thank you for posting the photos and telling the story.
  6. DianneB
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    DianneB Junior Member

    That reminds me of my childhood on the north shore of Erie in the 1950's where there had once been a thriving fishing industry and every little cove held a house and a wharf. The fishing industry was gone by then but we kids would sometimes stumble upon some little hidden bay with the remains of a wharf, a house with no glass crumbling to dust, and often a wooden boat (20 to 40 foot) up on timbers. One I remember was completely in tact - dishes on the table, nets still on the boat, like the people had just gone to town for groceries and never come back. Indeed it gives one the feeling that you had just peeked into someone else's saddest times, the dissolution of their dreams.
  7. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    Really cool thread, CtHippo. Thanks for posting these.
  8. nordvindcrew
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    nordvindcrew Senior Member

    dead boats

    This reminds me of the pictures in the old (1959) Yachting magazines I've been reading. So many absolutely beautiful boats, both power and sail. Sadly though, now most are long gone to the wreckers. Only the lucky few survive.
  9. kach22i
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    kach22i Architect

  10. Dirteater
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    Dirteater Senior Member

    Nice thread CT,
    Having grown up on the BC coast, your pics remind me of home.
    great pics. I think I'll go back and see if I can salvage/recylcle that red kayak!
    just gotta be weary of the sasquatch prints in the sand.
  11. cthippo
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    cthippo Senior Member

    There are several other renown ship graveyards on the east coast, the best known being the New York tugboat graveyard...


    I use Google Earth and Virtual Globetrotting and the NOAA Wrecks and Obstructions list to find potential wrecks to explore. My first Everett trip was to check out a capsized towboat I randomly found on Google maps. She's still there, but has rolled over so that only her hull is visible. Waiting for a super low tide to see if I can get to more of her.
  12. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Thanks for the thread and the extraordinary pictures!
  13. kach22i
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    kach22i Architect

  14. cthippo
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    cthippo Senior Member

    Thanks for the comments everyone!

    I'm headed down to Everett Thursday (if the weather isn't too horrible) to take a look at these...


    ... and a few others. Everett is what you might call a "target rich environment" for a wreck hunter :D

    This is the one I really want to see. According to the Dept of Natural Resources she may be as large as 130 feet. I told my contact there that when they go to try to recover her I REALLY want to be there!

    EDIT: Found a link to what she looked like before she sank:


    Attached Files:

  15. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Fly on the Wall - Miss ddt yet?

    Thanks, cthippo for posting this very interesting and well captioned photo array. I could almost smell the low tide.
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