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The Mystery Ship

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She sailed once again. I had to see it and from what I had read it was going to be close. We had been planning the trip to Gulf Shores with the family for months now and the duplex was paid for and waiting for us. From the news it seemed that sitting in front of the house would be the mystery ship, tossed up on the beach by the latest storm Ike.


We rolled up to the house on Saturday and the first thing that I did was to look off of the deck to see if it was there. So much for reading that it was located at mile marker 6. The following morning we took our normal walk up the beach hunting for shells and enjoying the sea. Rounding bends, walking in waves and starting to get more disappointed we finally could see it in the distance. More than a quarter of a mile from where we had started. It looked small until we gained on it and realized the immensity of it, sitting tipped in the sand, slowly being reclaimed by the sand. Metal rope was every where, and sure enough there as the remains of a large engine of some sort.




Researchers claim that it could be the Rachel, a rum runner during prohibition. The original thought was that it was a Civil War ship, but because of the amount of metal on board and remains of motorized pieces the thought has changed to it being the rum runner.


I was fascinated with the way the boards were put together. The walls of the ship seemed to be made of several thicknesses of boards, all bolted together with massive metal pieces the locked the thickness together. It seems to have been burned, my guess being someone was trying to get rid of it, but only the top sections were damaged, deeper in the wood is untouched and the very outside boards still were pristine.


A mass of netting is tangled in the protruding pieces of metal that had bolted the ship together. The old and the new had become one large mass. I reached down and touched the netting which looked light but proved to be very dense and extremely heavy.




Plans are being made about what to do with the relic. As it is now sitting on privately owned beach, moving it has become more complicated. I would hope they do something soon. If you compare the photo I took of the ship with the ones previously taken you can see Mother Nature is well on her way to reclaiming the exposed ship.


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