Ships and Shipwrecks

Ships and Shipwrecks

I’m working on a new children’s book about ships…exact title yet to be decided. It will be part of a series that began with 10 Plants That Shook the World (Annick 2013), and I hope to see it released in late summer 2015.

For now, you’ll have to guess which ships will be included. Keep in mind that the 10 plants in my first book had a lasting impact on the world. The stories about ships will inform and entertain you in a similar way, with each ship drawing attention to a significant historical event.

One detail included in the book will be ‘Where is it now?’, showing the eventual fate of the ship. That got me thinking of shipwrecks. Divers visit many worldwide, but I’ve been able to visit this one without getting my feet wet.

Little remains of the Peter Iredale

Little remains of the Peter Iredale

In 1906, the Peter Iredale, an empty cargo vessel was enroute from Mexico to Portland, Oregon. Caught in a southwest gale just south of the Columbia River, it ran aground. Masts and rigging smashed onto the deck and while the ship was a total loss, all hands survived. A salvage company from Astoria removed all but the forward section of the hull. That’s the popular landmark you now see on the beach in Fort Stevens State Park.

If the Peter Iredale had reached the Columbia River, it would have faced the dangerous Columbia Bar. This stretch of shifting sand has claimed thousands of vessels through the years. Even with dredging, the channel remains narrow and river pilots guide ships through it. Today, ocean-going freighters, like this Vehicles Carrier, can sail upriver to Portland, OR and Vancouver, WA, and barges right up to Lewiston, ID.


By the way, neither of these ships will be in the book! Keep guessing!


4 responses to “Ships and Shipwrecks

  1. Hi Gillian, I have been in Portsmouth this weekend for a lunch on board H.M.S. Warrior, the first fully metal warship in, I believe, the world. It was built in 1860. A fascinating venue for a group of Cape Horn Sailors. But today I must go home!

    Sent from Alan’s iPhone


  2. I’m keeping a lookout to see when your book on the 10 ships will be published.

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