The St. Lawrence River is a freshwater diver’s delight, especially for those interested in history. Instead of coral or exotic fish, the 1000 Islands are filled with intriguing shipwrecks. The rocky underwater geography and numerous islands made a number of vessels prone to disaster. There are dozens to explore stretching as far back as the early 1800s, each with its own story.
Below the surface, a fantastic and varied collection of many historic boat styles awaits to fascinate underwater explorers. The Iroquois, for instance, was a French ship constructed in 1759 and captured by the British during the War of 1812. The Maggie L, a schooner built in 1859, was cut in half by a passing freighter in 1927. The massive Eastcliffe Hall sank in 1970, taking with it the lives of nine crew members.
Uniformly warm and exceptionally clear waters draw divers from across the country each summer into early fall, though diving is possible year round. Both the U.S. and Canadian sides of the river are well-equipped to assist divers of all skill levels. Some experience is required for these underwater tours, however snorkeling or glass-bottom boat viewing are also available to see some of the wrecks.