Two New Wrecks off Picton
These wrecks probably made the newspapers when they sunk. There could have been sailors lost on them, it could have been an important voyage that's been interrupted - no one would know until we figure out what they are. Both are still unidentified. We do know that they definitely made newspapers in 2004 when Canadian Navy, searching to remains of Avro Arrow, located one of the wrecks with their depth sounder, the story that made the front page of the national paper.
New is a relative term here as it took me two years after the numbers were released and charters started running to get to these wrecks. In the meantime, people were diving them on a regular basis, even before the numbers were released, however, it would appear that so far no one was able to identify either one of those ships. There are currently (2006) two permits to study the one with the broken wheel, so hopefully at least one would reveal her name and story later this year...
In the absence of names, I'd call them the intact one (that would be the one with the masts still standing) and the PPK.
The Intact One has both masts still standing and a massive bowsprit. In addition to those two jaw dropping elements, it also has a full complement of anchors, in their places on each side; almost intact, half raised cabin at the stern; intact wheel; lifeboat davits protruding off the stern; bilge pumps that would probably still work had it not been for a zebra mussels coverage; mast hoops and some sort of back up steering mechanism at the stern. To sum up up in a few words - this wreck is incredible. And depth of 170 ft allows for reasonable amount of bottom time.
PPK is more broken up, but there are also appear to be lots more small artifacts on it (I wonder why?...). For those wondering where the PPK name came from - this is the code name that one of the survey teams is using. Except for masts that are broken off and the bowsprit that is no longer attached, this wreck has everything that the intact one has and then some. Both anchors are still there, although they have different design compared to the anchor on the intact wreck. The intact wreck has typical Great Lakes stock anchors with the wooden stock at the top. The anchors on PPK looks to be very similar to the ones on Oconto.
Partially intact hatch covers, lots of items on the deck, wheel at the back, stove in one of the holds - this wreck has lots of items of interest, bit none of them beats the bow. The bow is unusually square and if you look at what's remains of bowsprit, it looks like there may even had a figurine attached right under where the bowsprit would be attached.