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Scuba diving Lake Huron, the Great Lakes, USA / Canada
Dive Site: Eliza H Strong
Location: Lake Huron, Great Lakes, Michigan (43°15.709'N 0823°30.581'W)
Description: Steamer wreck
Length: 62 metres (205 feet)
Depth: 6 metres max (18 feet)
Visibility: 10 metres (30 feet)
The Eliza H Strong lies in very shallow water, swarmed by largemouth bass and sunfish, near the entrance to Lexington Marina and in a fairly broken up state after being dynamited in 1909 to avoid presenting a navigational hazard. She actually sank twice, although prior to her initial disaster in 1985 she sailed (or rather steamed) the Great Lakes for twenty years without incident.
The 205' steamer (built in Marine City, Michigan) ran aground in Lake Erie in 1895. She was bought, raised and steamed on again until 1904 when she caught fire whilst loaded with white pine lumber. The crew cast off a schooner that was in tow and made for shore whilst trying to extinguish the fire. Unfortunately the crew of thirteen were forced to abandon ship before she burned to the water line and sank beneath the surface in less than 8m of water.
This is a beautiful dive that is often disregarded due to the shallow depth of the water. The twisted metal struts and what remains of the deck provide a home for a huge amount of bass, large and small, several varieties of sunfish and plenty of invading gobies. When the sun is shining photographers will seldom be seen on the boat (especially if they're wearing dry suits!).
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