Several years ago I did a dive in Cadboro Bay looking for the wreck of the Enterprise, a paddlewheel steamer that was beached in the bay after a collision off Ten Mile Point in 1885. I didn't find any kind of wreckage, but there wouldn't be much left after over 100 years (even if the hull wasn't salvaged and taken away). Nowadays, no one even knows exactly where in the Cadboro Bay area the Enterprise was beached. The news report at the time said in was 50 yards from the beach. A photo shows it sunk and half-covered with water. Recently I was looking at the satellite image on the CRD website and it showed an underwater dark patch about the right size and about the right distance from shore just off the parking lot/playground area. Of course I didn't think this image was the wreck itself, but I wondered if it was seaweed growing on bits of ballast stones or coal left over when the hull deteriorated. This dark patch was visible over at least the last few years in various satellite images (Google Earth, etc.).
        At this spot, the treeline in the background matches up with the treeline in the background of the old photo of the wreck:
        I went for a dive here on Dec. 28, 2015 to find out what the dark patch was. Visibility wasn't very good (maybe 8'). In the top 10', the bottom was small ripples of sand. I criss-crossed the area in front of the playground and parking lot several times out to about 100 yards/meters from the beach and didn't see anything remotely like the dark patch shown on the aerial images. It was all just plain sand. Some of the hollows in the tiny sand dunes were full of bits of wood debris (probably from driftwood), but I don't think this would explain the dark patch. I swam out deeper into the bay and reached 25' deep (at high tide) a long way from shore. The bottom was silty here. I didn't see any remains of a wreck although I saw some small black rocks that almost looked like coal. The only larger thing I saw was a cement mass a couple of feet across with iron embedded in it. It was probably the remains of an old mooring block. If there were any 100+-year-old scraps out this far, they would probably be buried under the silt by now. There have been some wind storms and very high tides lately and I wonder if whatever the dark patch is has been temporarily buried under the sand by wave action.
wood debris
block of cement and iron deeper down
black rock
black rock
rusty chain
crab in the sand
I found no trace of the Enterprise, but there are plenty of new wrecks on the beach in Cadboro Bay from the recent wind storms:
July 29, 1885:
July 30, 1885:
Aug. 8, 1885:
Aug. 18, 1885 (from the inquest):
Aug. 26, 1885:
Oct. 3, 1885:
Nov. 8, 1885:
Feb. 20, 1886:
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