We couldn’t resist

Just one week after our trip to Whale Point to test the new Pajero we decided to solidify our knowledge of the route (easily forgotten with the nature of off-road tracks here) and guide some friends on their first off-road outing to the peninsular again. This time, however, we also went to see the shipwreck of the St Mary. One of many ships wrecked locally, she struck an offshore reef in 1890 on her maiden voyage while carrying a cargo of coal, whiskey, iron pipe, boxes of tacks, and toy trains from New York to San Francisco, what remains of her today lies on the beach easily accessible at low tide. A large section of the St Mary was removed by the Maine State Museum in 1978 and taken back to America where it is now displayed but we went to see the remains and search for any of her cargo that is rumoured to wash up on occasion (a shipwrecked toy train from 1890 would make a fine keepsake). Sadly, much debris remains but none was found that was as impressive as a toy train so we left it all in its place.

It is easy to become accustomed to shipwrecks here, but the idea of our ‘adventure’ to the Point becomes somewhat overshadowed when you think of the people aboard who originally walked the same wooden boards being wrecked there in 1890 with few supplies, little knowledge of how long they might be there or how to find rescue, communication severely limited and having survived the destruction of their ship in what we can assume to be wildly breaking waves (or not survived, of course). History is, and should be, very often humbling.

The St Mary’s story is a fascinatingly sad one, wrecking on her maiden voyage following collision with the Magellan (itself sinking with all hands lost), her crew fought for their lives for 3 days before she was finally driven ashore where her Captain subsequently added to the tragedy with his suicide. To read more about it see: http://www.shipstamps.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=10221


4 thoughts on “We couldn’t resist

  1. Hello there,
    on your visits to Whale Point, did you by chance come across any metal scraps or anything that looked vaguely like aircraft wreckage? This would have been along the coastal stretch south of Kelp Point where the seals were, and the opposite side of the peninsular where the St. Mary wreck is. Would love to know if you did, or heard about it from others.



    Great photos by the way – I visited Whale Point in October and loved it.


    • Hi Steve,
      I’m aware of a downed plane being in the area (a Canberra bomber, I understood, but never looked deep enough into it to confirm so that could well be wrong) but on the many trips we’ve made to Whale Point we’ve yet to stumble across the wreckage. I have been meaning to go out and make a concerted effort to find it but I’ve not yet had the opportunity. Mind if I ask your interest in it? It’s a very specific question.


  2. David and Hannah, We love the photos of the elephant seals, particularly the close up – brilliant photography. Also the video of Thistle Bashing. All so interesting. I can’t believe you have been on the Island for 6 months. you are very lucky to experience all the adventures. Continue to enjoy. We are thinking of you. Lots of love from all at Southwood Road.xxx


    • Thanks Ma,yes the Elephant Seals are funny and pretty docile so they don’t mind you wandering around the colony. It is a bit mad, quarter of the way through now but Winter is closing in so we won’t be able to get out and about as much as we have been. We’ll call soon.


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