Too Much Sea for Their Decks: Shipwrecks of Minnesota's North Shore and Isle Royale (Hardcover)
Shipwreck stories from along Minnesota’s north shore of Lake Superior and Isle Royale
Against the backdrop of the extraordinary history of Great Lakes shipping, Too Much Sea for Their Decks chronicles shipwrecked schooners, wooden freighters, early steel-hulled steamers, whalebacks, and bulk carriers—some well-known, some unknown or forgotten—all lost in the frigid waters of Lake Superior.
Included are compelling accounts of vessels destined for infamy, such as that of the Stranger, a slender wooden schooner swallowed by the lake in 1875, the sailors’ bodies never recovered nor the wreckage ever found; an account of the whaleback Wilson, rammed by a large commercial freighter in broad daylight and in calm seas, sinking before many on board could escape; and the mysterious loss of the Kamloops, a package freighter that went down in a storm and whose sailors were found on the Isle Royale the following spring, having escaped the wreck only to die of exposure on the island. Then there is the ill-fated Steinbrenner, plagued by bad luck from the time of her construction, when she was nearly destroyed by fire, to her eventual (and tragic) sinking in 1953. These tales and more represent loss of life and property—and are haunting stories of brave and heroic crews.
Arranged chronologically and presented in three sections covering Minnesota's North Shore, Isle Royale, and the three biggest storms in Minnesota’s Great Lakes history (the 1905 Mataafa storm, the 1913 hurricane on the lakes, and the 1940 Armistice Day storm), each shipwreck documented within these pages provides a piece to the history of shipping on Lake Superior.
Michael Schumacher has written five previous books on Great Lakes shipwrecks: Mighty Fitz, November’s Fury, Torn in Two, The Trial of the Edmund Fitzgerald (all from Minnesota), and Wreck of the Carl D. He has written narratives for twenty-five documentaries on Great Lakes shipwrecks and lighthouses. He lives in Wisconsin.