|Northumberland Strait - Confederation Bridge|
New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
The Ghost Ship...........
The Ghost Ship Of Northumberland Strait, Prince Edward Island, Canada
The Ghost Ship of Northumberland Strait has been seen sailing ablaze within the Northumberland Strait, the body of water that separates Prince Edward Island from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick in eastern Canada. This phantom ship has been reported for over 200 years, with numerous eyewitness accounts.
The Ghost Ship of Northumberland Strait is described as a beautiful schooner that has three masts with pure white sails, all of which become completely engulfed in flames as onlookers watch. Sightings have occurred through the seasons but seem to be more prevalent from September to November. These visions are also apparent before a northeast wind, and folklore has it that this brilliant ghost ship is a forewarning of a storm. There never seems to be a predetermined place for where the ship will appear; sightings tend to happen when least expected.
Often, upon seeing the burning ship, mariners have attempted to rescue the crew aboard. One of the more famous rescue attempts took place in Charlottetown Harbour about 1900. A group of sailors boarded a rowboat and raced toward the flaming ship to rescue the crew. During their struggle to reach the distressed vessel, the phantom ship completely vanished. A thorough search was immediately carried out by divers, but no shipwreck was found.
An example of first-hand description:
* " I could make out the outline of the ship quite distinctly. I watched it for about twenty minutes and then it disappeared. I had heard so much about the phantom ship that I thought this must be it. My sister, who was visiting friends nearby, said she saw the same thing on the same night."
* "As it came nearer it seemed to lose speed, and it came opposite our house it stopped still. I said to Fred, "Perhaps they are coming ashore." We got up on the banks to watch. There was no sign of anyone on board and no dory on tow. I cannot remember just how long it was, but I think about ten minutes after she stopped, I seen smoke rising very slow all over the deck. Then it was only a few minutes I seen men that seemed to come up from below and they were running around the deck every way. Then as they were running around I seen a low flame all over the deck. When the flames started the men climbed up the masts of the vessel. When they was about halfway up the masts, the sails caught. All the sails seemed to catch at the same time. I could not see the men any more as the flames hid my view. We watched it until the flames died and everything crumbled to the deck. There was nothing left but the hull on the water, and gradually it seemed to sink lower and finally disappeared as if it gradually filled with water and sunk."
* The most recent sighting of this ghost ship was by 17 year old Mathieu Giguere, who noticed the "bright white and gold ship" in mid January 2008. Sightings vary in description, but there are sometimes reports of other bizarre occurrences during the sightings of the ghost ship. Mysterious sea guns can be heard, and sometimes an apparent ball of fire can be seen in the sky.
The ghost ship has been widely known in and around the Maritimes here in Canada, and in recent years even more so. A Canadian singer-songwriter from Rustico, Prince Edward "Lennie Gallant", sings about the "Tales of the Phantom Ship" in his album "Breakwater" - This song alludes to the folklore of the legendary ship: "There's a burst of flame and a flash of light, - And there on the tide is a frightening sight, as a tall ship all aflame lights up the sky. Tales of the phantom ship, from truck to keel in flames; she sails the wide Northumberland Strait - No one knows her name.