The Ile de France was one of many ships, not including military ones, that became unsung heroes during WWII. Unfortunately many became victims of German U-boats or losers in battles at sea. But not this one, not the long-lasting SS Ile de France.
The battleship Maine, docked in Havana, Cuba, harbor February 1898, sank when an interior explosion sent it to the bottom. Spain was blamed but there was no sabotage. Yet it sparked a war.
In 1741, England was at war with Spain and whoever ruled the seas often won the battles.
The prizes for the winner were many, especially when England captured the gold and silver
laden Spanish galleons. This is where the Wager enters the picture: assigned to a secret
mission by the British Admiralty to hunt down and capture a galleon, loaded with treasure, that
was making many trips to Patagonia.
On February 6, 1910, the USS Nina left Norfolk, Virginia, harbor on a dark, windy night, destination: Boston, Massachusetts. Upon reaching the open ocean, eight-to-10-foot-high waves broke over her main deck, but there were no orders to turn back.
A stretch of the imagination is all you need when scanning a map of the Baltic Sea where you might find a dragon guarding the entrance. Some see it and some don’t. Check out the entrance to the beast’s mouth and follow it just like ships did hundreds of years ago as they sailed to Medieval and Northern European trading posts.
What happens when your bubble gets burst while researching an ancient shipwreck? “You’ll just have to find another bubble,” quipped a diver who appeared a bit envious of the discovery and successful salvage of a British warship that sank in 1682.