One of the easiest shipwrecks for any scuba diver to check out has to be the wreck of the schooner “Bermuda”, 25 feet underwater in Murray Bay off Grand Island north of Munising.

The Bermuda set out on September 21, 1870 headed for Marquette with a load of supplies. Arriving at Marquette, the ship was emptied and re-loaded with 488 tons of ore. It set sail once again on October 14 but soon afterward ran into a treacherous gale near Grand Marais. The ship was taking a severe pounding and was starting to leak; the captain therefore attempted to seek shelter in Munising Bay.

The damage was so severe, the ship soon filled with water and sank. With an extreme amount of pressure on the mooring lines, they ripped the mooring trees right out of the ground. The Bermuda sank to the bottom, taking the entire crew with it; fortunately for some crew members, they were able to escape when the cabin deck burst open. Three crew members did not make it out alive.

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Thirteen years after the sinking in October 1883, a tugboat crew made an attempt to raise the Bermuda. They succeeded in towing her to Murray Bay. But that was it. The chains slipped off and the Bermuda sank once again, this time settling on the bottom for good. Other attempts were made to raise but after more failures, the task was given up.

The Bermuda has stayed in amazingly good condition thanks to Lake Superior’s icy waters. Any major damage over the years has been caused by souvenir hunters. Thanks to the Underwater Preserve, the Bermuda and other shipwrecks are now protected from poachers and looters…but all are welcome to dive and explore.

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