What can you say about David Trotter?  David has given more presentations than any other speaker at our annual Shipwrecks Symposium.  He just keeps discovering shipwrecks and as long as he does, we’ll keep inviting him back!

David Trotter is a renowned shipwreck discoverer, deep diver, author, lecturer and photographer.  In over 30 years of diving, he has been the first to locate, identify and document 70+ Great Lakes shipwrecks.  His shipwreck discoveries and programs have been featured on television and in newspapers throughout the U.S. and Canada and in Gerry Volgenau’s book “Shipwreck Hunter”.  He has written several articles on Great Lakes shipwrecks that have been published in historical journals and national scuba diving publications.

Through Undersea Research Associates, founded to present the Great Lakes community with an electronically sophisticated means of underwater search and survey for archaeological and commercial purposes, he presents visual underwater time capsules of marine history.  Utilizing state-of-the-art side scan sonar, with outstanding skilled operators, the organization offers high resolution bottom profiling at depths to 1,000 feet, underwater site survey and underwater photographic documentation.


The schooner Minnedosa, built in 1890, was born to superlatives, and became known as “The Pride of Canada”.  She was the last and the greatest of the thousand schooners built in Canada for the Great Lakes.  Two hundred and fifty feet long with a 38’ beam with four masts, she was fully rigged and capable of 15 knots………as fast or faster than the steamers of the day.  Originally, she had a life-sized half-length figure of Ceres, the Grecian goddess of harvest.  She was, by all measures, a stout and well-built vessel. 

In October, 1905, she left Ft. William, Ontario with a full load of grain (75,000 bushels) in her holds and entered Lake Huron behind the Steamer Westmount.  Little did Captain Phillips, his wife, and the crew of six realize that this would be their last and “Final Run”. 

In a horrific late October 1905 gale, the Minnedosa continued down bound, behind the Steamer Westmount, into Lake Huron’s notorious Saginaw Bay.  Without warning, the giant Minnedosa plunged to the floor of Lake Huron to become one of the enduring mysteries of the Great Lakes for more than 75 years.

David Trotter began his search in 1978 for the Minnedosa, and it became his “obsession”, finally locating her in 1993.  The loss of the Minnedosa, the discovery and the exploration of this “one of kind” vessel is a great story of adventure and a most unusual set of events. 

What happens to the Minnedosa in the 15 years following her discovery is an equally fascinating story………a story that could only be shared by exploring the Minnedosa today.  This is a thirty year story that will surprise you!

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