In the days
before sophisticated electronic navigational devices such as the global
positioning system (GPS), the loss of wooden ships to the "Graveyard of
the Atlantic" was not uncommon. The vessel would be cast upon the shore
and with time would become covered with sand. Some would be buried by the
shifting sand until the right storm came along to uncover what time had
forgotten. Such is the case of a recently exposed shipwreck near Hatteras
According to Wendy Coble, an underwater
archaeologist with the
Underwater Archaeology Branch of the Naval
Historical Center in Washington, D.C., "The wreckage was 164' long from
end to end. Because the bow and stern are missing it is impossible to
tell which was which. The end closest to the beach access has frames that
are narrower with a sharper chine indicating one their proximity to one
end or the other. I think 3/4 of the length at least, is still visible.
We suspect that the ship was originally over 175' long."
In speculating on the age of the wreck, Ms. Coble said,
"Based on the fact that so many iron bolts are visible, we suspect the
wreckage is late 19th or early 20th century. As wood supplies decreased
and compass timber availability decreased more ships were built with
smaller pieces which had to be bolted together."