Rising nearly 90 feet above the deck, the foremast cross-trees make for a convenient and exciting first decompression stop after diving the schooner Defiance. Resting in 180 feet of water, the schooner is one several dozen “technical depth” shipwrecks sites in the Thunder Bay area.
With a small, poorly ventilated cabin entirely below decks, the Defiance crew did their cooking on deck. Remnants of an enclosure can be seen collapsed around the cook stove.
This simple companionway led to the Defiance’s small cabin, which is entirely below decks. The schooner’s capstan can be seen just forward of the companionway.
This view of Defiance’s aft deck reveals the amazing state of preservation possible in the Lake Huron’s cold, fresh water.
This small skylight allowed for some ventilation and light to the cabin below. Notably, in 2005 the fragile skylight cover was in place, but it has since been removed. To safeguard the recreational, archeological and historical value of historic shipwrecks, Michigan state law prohibits altering the wreck or removing artifacts. Shipwrecks within the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary are also protected by federal regulations.
In 2010, NOAA archaeologists documented the schooner Defiance using hand drawn maps and photomosaics. The products from that survey contributed to the creation of this 3D model and established baseline data from which future changes at the site can be monitored.
Built in 1848, the Defiance has a bluff 'apple cheek' bow, typical of early Great Lakes schooners.