What is it about shipwrecks that draw us to them. Let’s look at the Gallant Lady wreck that rests on the rocks of North Bimini. You look at the rusting hulk of the ship, sitting there helpless against the pounding sea, but something inside you feels uneasy. You know it’s impossible but you want to save her. It’s almost as if you are witnessing a stranded whale that doesn’t below in the shallows, you want to push it back out to sea where it can thrive, where it belongs. Sadly this is where she fell, this is where she will stay.
Then there are the stories she tells. You look at her and think about the crew that sailed her, you think about the captain that fought the wind and wrestled the waves. I can see him at the helm now, fighting to keep the Gallant Lady off the rocks, a battle he would lose. Now she sits like a gravestone, never to move again. What happened to the crew? Did they survive? Did they abandon ship and swim to Bimini? Where was she going? What was she carrying? All questions that make shipwrecks strangely mysterious.
The once small freighter sailed out of Belize City and was smashed up on shore during Hurricane Mitch in 1997. At least that’s what the legend says. In only 15 years the once proud ship has been reduced to a rusty mass, barely recognizable as a lady of the sea. The relentless waves have slowly destroyed the ship, eating away at its steel like a hungry shark. Maybe in another 15 years there will be nothing left at all. Nothing left to cause explorers to ponder the her life. Nothing left to push back out to sea.
The Gallant Lady Shipwreck, Bimini Bahamas
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While I was researching this shipwreck I saw lots of photos of her throughout the 15 years since she has come to rest on Bimini. It’s amazing to see the progression of deterioration. She use to have a white wheel house and bridge with the name “Gallant Lady” proudly painted just below the forward windows. Now it looks as if the entire bridge is gone, nothing left but some collapsed walls and a gutted first deck.
I’ve added in a couple new photos and you can see the difference of the deterioration. About a 4 year difference. You can see how the sea is reclaiming the ship!
Just something powerful about shipwrecks.
Have you visited the Gallant Lady shipwreck on Bimini?