Monday, June 05, 2006

Sunken Treasure off City Island

One thing during our recent visit to City Island, struck us as being particularly peculiar: the amount of sunken, sinking and abandoned boats.

Captain A.G., our City Island guide for the day, told us in advance about a sunken sailboat occupying a slip at the Island Boat Club. We expected to see one boat, not an abandoned flotilla of miscellaneous vessels inhabiting Davey Jones' locker.

We were told the sunken sailboat at the Island Boat Club had sat in her slip for about a year without a visit from her owner. During the recent storms the sailboat started to take on a bit of water. The boat's owner was apparently current with their bill, because the yard manager noticed the sailboat sitting low, and pumped her out. After another rain, the same thing happened, only the boat took on so much water that she sank. The boat looked like a ghost under the water. It was also obviously neglected and beaten down: pretty ghetto.

To my surprise, that was not the only sunken boat we saw. At the mooring, right off the bow of the Cape Dory we sailed that day, a boat was peeking her green stern above the water. The rest of the boat, ninety percent of it, was below water. Other than that, it remains a mystery.

As we sailed back to A.G.'s mooring, we did see more abandonment on the water. A white 40-foot sailboat, with classic, graceful overhangs, is now filthy with a beard of weeds growing on her hull, abandoned at her mooring , open to the elements, with her mast sitting on her deck. We also saw a Catalina 22, which also appeared to be abandoned at her mooring. She was sitting low in the water and her companionway was open. Obviously she was filled with water.

Maritime "law of finds" states that if find a wreck, you're welcome to salvage it. The law of finds pertains to abandoned shipwrecks, but for unabandoned wrecks -- those whose owners still claim ownership -- the "law of salvage" does not apply.


At Wednesday, July 29, 2009 12:08:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I enjoyed your tale of abandoned boats. I grew up in the Bronx and made many trips to City Island.


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