Our introduction to Tobermory wreck diving started with the classic Sweepstakes wreck.
The Sweepstakes was a two-masted 119-foot schooner built in Burlington, Ontario, Canada in 1867. It suffered serious damage off Cove Island, not far from Tobermory, in 1885, and was towed into Big Tub Harbour in Tobermory. Unable to repair it in time, it sank in the harbour where it can be visited today. Given the shallow depth of 20 feet, it makes for an easy dive, and is also visited by snorkelers and tourists aboard glass-bottom boats.
This is the wreck of the Sweepstakes and it is known as one of the best-preserved nineteenth century schooners ever located. Built in 1867, it was used mainly to transport coal. It sank in Big Tub Harbour after being damaged. It’s a favourite for divers and snorkellers in the Fathom Five National Marine Park but due to deterioration cause by divers oxygen bubbles, the wreck can sadly no longer be entered. Regardless of this, it’s still one of the most picturesque shipwrecks in the world.
The remains of the schooner “Sweepstakes”. It was damaged off Cove Island near Ontario then sank in September, 1885 in Big Tub Harbour. It lies twenty feet below the surface of Lake Huron, and is now a popular dive site.