In the early morning light, my husband and I paddle our kayaks a mere 50 yards from the rocky shore of the vacation cottage we are sharing with our Canadian friends. The water is calm, the sky is blue with fluffy white clouds. We look down into the water to view the devastation of yesteryear. It’s ironic, that in such a beautiful place, where it seems so peaceful, there have been so many disasters.
The ship we are slowing circling, with great interest, is the “Cascaden.” It went down during a gale in the year 1871, in the Cape Hurd area of Lake Huron. It had been minutes from its destination. A lighthouse, just around the corner, whose keeper and family were in dire straits. I pray they made it to shore. They were so close.
We have been vacationing for a week in Tobormory, Ontario, Canada. It is at the very tip of the Bruce Peninsula, sandwiched between Lake Huron and Georgian Bay. It is a small, coastal town that is miles and miles from any other, and it is surrounded by God’s creations. The water is clearer than I’ve seen anywhere else, and the stony beaches, whiter. The contrasts in color are amazing. Jaw-dropping gorgeous. I am in awe. I am overwhelmed by the beauty and peace I feel here. At night, there are a millions stars visible in the dark sky. I could look up for hours.
We have seen two other shipwrecks, but there are thousands in these waters. The photo above is from the Canadian schooner named “Sweepstakes.” It was damaged near Cove Island in 1885 while transporting coal, and towed to Big Tub Harbour. It was not repaired in time, and sunk. The other, a two-story passenger steamer, “The City of Grand Rapids,” sits just a few yards away. It caught fire while docked in Little Tub Harbour in 1907, and was towed out of the harbour and released. It eventually drifted into Big Tub Harbour where it sits today.
I continue to feel the conflict between the beauty above the water, and the tragedy that sits below. I feel the shipwrecks take on a beauty of their own, proving a home, or shelter, for life below the surface, but they didn’t start like that. That is not where they’re meant to be. Or is it?