Fleetwing Wreck, Door Peninsula, WI

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It was a dark and stormy night...The Fleetwing was a three-masted schooner that ran aground on the night of September 26th, 1888 in Garret Bay when the skipper mistook Death's Door Bluff for Table Bluff. Cris Kohl describes the Fleetwing as a two-masted schooner in "Shipwrecks At Death's Door" and as a three-masted schooner in his "Great Lakes Diving Guide", and the pictures provided in both books show a three-masted boat. Green Bay Scuba's "Guide to Door County Shore Dives" describes it as a three masted schooner, so we'll go with three.
At any rate, the ship is well broken up and scattered, but it makes for a very pretty, relaxing shore dive. Catch this spot on a clear day with lots of sunshine and you've got quite the picturesque dive. Take your time and enjoy the light playing through the water, say hi to the small-mouth bass, and do a nice, slow inspection of the fragments of the wreck. As the sands shift back and forth over time, different pieces of the wreck get covered and uncovered. If you're lucky you'll get to see the "toothpicks", pieces of timbers that have been rounded off by the sand over time. There's another section of the wreck north of the main site.
Take a dive flag/float with you and get your headings and navigate like the good diver you are. The main site of the wreck is usually bouyed in the summer. Enter the water at an old boat launch, west of the wreck, over slippery rocks. If it's a rough day with waves crashing about, you might want to skip this spot and try the other side of the peninsula. Be cautious and careful on these rocks, as they are very slippery, and will bang you up if you fall on them. The best approach we've found is to walk out to about shoulder deep, and then put your fins on. Head east about 100' or so and you should start seeing pieces of the wreck. Be alert for the odd piece of fishing tackle.
To get there, take 42 north to Ellison Bay. At Garret Bay Road, head northeast and look for an old boat launch. It'll be near a bend in the road. Park in the parking lot across the road (at last visit a porta-potty was also present!), gear up, and be careful crossing the road over to the boat ramp.


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Fleetwing slideshow (photos by smoothfin)
Fleetwing...The Movie (by Jim Bach, Watertight Productions)
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