The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Sea Gull (Sloop), lost, 10 Mar 1847

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A PERILOUS TIME - Sometime last fall, the little Sloop SEA GULL, Capt. Waring of this place, left with a winters supply of provisions, for the lumber country. The crew consisted of five persons in all, who intended to get out a good supply of shingles during the winter and return here early this spring. The point selected for their winter's operations was Bailey's Harbor, about twelve miles to the south of that famous inlet to Green Bay called " Death's Door." Here they passed the winter, living a solitary life, and carrying on their business. On the 8th inst., they had got everything in readiness, and after launching the GULL over the ice banks into the lake, they freighted her with two days supply of provisions, some eight or ten thousand shingles, bed clothes, &c. Everything betokened good weather, and they anticipated a safe and speedy run to this place. At the time of starting the wind was nor'west, blowing a light breeze. About 9 P. M. the wind freshened to about half a gale, and at 10 had increased to a gale. About 12 midnight, wind canted from nor'west to east, and it commenced snowing briskly. At this time the wind had increased to almost a hurricane, the sea ran high, and the water which constantly dashed over the little craft, soon left a thick coat of ice on her deck. It was discovered she was settling by the head, in consequence of the ice upon the shingles, and 3,000 of them were thrown overboard. This brought her up, and from that time till early dawn she rode out handsomely as wild a storm as had ever visited our lake. About 10 in the morning the wind lulled down to a light easterly breeze, and it was then discovered they were out of sight of land. After three hours good sailing before a fine breeze, the captain saw land, which proved to be near Sheboygan. He endeavored to run her in at this point but missed, and went ashore about three miles below the harbor.
Capt. Waring was at the helm for nearly twenty-four hours, and behaved himself creditably in this trying situation. At one time, she came near going down, but by good management she was kept "right side up." Several of the crew had their fingers and toe's badly frozen, and all suffered intensely from the piercing cold. The distance made by the SEA GULL after launching at Bailey's Harbor, was over a hundred miles; if the run in losing and making land could be calculated, it would probably be considerable more. After unloading and hauling the GULL on the ice banks, the company repaired to a house nearby, where they remained over night. In the morning, on their return to look after their vessel, she was missing, gone to sea during the night without a crew. She must have gone down. Taken altogether, the adventure was a perilous and trying one, and the escape a miraculous one. -- Racine Whig.
      Cleveland Herald, Weekly
      Wednesday, April 7, 1847

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: lost
Lives: nil
Cargo: nil
Freight: shingles
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Michigan, United States
    Latitude: 43.68473 Longitude: -86.53036
William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Sea Gull (Sloop), lost, 10 Mar 1847