December 1, 1998
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Type: Shipwreck (schooner)
Build: Wood
Location: Muskoka
Nearest municipality: Gravenhurst, Ontario
Depth: 65-75 feet (21-25 metres)
Visibility: 0-15 feet (0-5 metres)
Approximate length: 78' (26 metres)
Built: 1912
Sunk: 1934
Access: Boat
Level: Intermediate/Advanced

Take Hwy. 118 north from Bracebridge and turn right on Beaumaris Road. Follow it around until you come to the government docks. Launch your vessel here and drive west (right) from the docks. Follow the channel out to Keewaydin Island. The wreck is buoyed annually at the bow and stern and is several hundred feet out off the island's south side.

The Steamship Waome as she looked in the early part of this Century

The steamship Waome was launched in 1912 at Gravenhurst ON under the name "Mink". She was sold in 1928 and renamed "Waome". She was 78ft in length and 14ft in beam. On her last run of the season in October of 1934, she was headed from the upper lakes toward Beaumaris. She carried her Captain, five crew and one passenger. She met her fate when a powerful gust of wind knocked her onto her port side off Keewaydin Island. She went to the bottom in less than a minute with the loss of one crewman and the passenger. Her Captain succumed to a heart attack while swimming for shore in the freezing water. She rests upright on the bottom in tea coloured water.

Diagram of Waome as she lays now

Site Description
Make your descent from either the bow or stern lines to the wreck below. You will pass through as many as three (ouch!) thermoclines on the way down. Bottom temp. when I was there in mid-August was 42F so be careful, its cold. However, surface temp was mid-70's so you can get used to it on the way down. Coming up was like stepping into a hot tub! Cold is the main hazard on this wreck so make sure you have the proper gear (ie. hood, gloves, etc.) A dry suit is a nice thing to have but I dove it wet and didn't get cold until near the end of the dive. A light is also required to see inside the wreck and around the lower deck level. There is a wooden bench on the main deck at the bow. A plaque adorns the front of the wheelhouse. Penetration of the main deck is easy but the lower deck is dark and silty. Note: Wreck penetration is only to be attempted by properly trained divers!

Thanks to Gregory Jarrett. Gregory is an Advanced Open Water Diver and has been diving for four years and all of his profiles are based on personal experience. He just started his own page in September and is an Electronics Technologist from the Newmarket area.
You can visit his site at http://webhome.idirect.com/~gjarrett/Index.html, it is well worth the effort.


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