I think I finally found a “bucket list” destination far away from me…

(image from weather.com)

I’m a fan of weird history, for sure, the little known stuff to the famous. I’ve also been a nut about shipwrecks since I first learned about the Titanic disaster as a kid, and devoured all the stories I could about all these ships being built and dying in some way (even if I’ve never been diving–or wanted to–and some of the pictures creeped me right the hell out).

I’ve never been close to the east coast, but other than imagining visiting every museum I could get a ticket for up and down the seaboard (maybe when I take a year off and win the lottery), I hadn’t really cared to try.

At least, not until I saw this article about Mallows Bay and the Potomac River, the ghost fleet of WWI ships that never saw service, among other things.

Yeah, we don’t think about shipbuilding at a rapid-fire pace during WWI, because we didn’t really get a chance to launch all these vessels. The war ended and hundreds of them became useless.

‘Ghost Fleet’ cemetery now a national sanctuary

Defunct ships of the WWI emergency fleet lashed together in the Potomac River, 1925 (from http://www.navytimes.com)

At least, as far as the war went. Now they’re old wrecks that emerge in low tide and provide sanctuary for tons of animals and plants.

I think it would be amazing to see these ships and other structures (some far newer that managed to get into the new sanctuary), because other than the battleships, there really is no mention of U.S. ships during WWI. Wooden-hulled ships for the most part, too, of all things, in an era of steel.

Check out these interesting images and this fantastic article that landed in my feed a few days ago. I just had to read the article again, because wow.

“The Ghost Fleet: How skeletons of WWI ships came to rest in the Potomac,” by Jacob Fenston and Tyrone Turner.

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