Mike and Georgann Wachter are well known as the authors of Erie Wrecks and Lights, Erie Wrecks East, and Erie Wrecks West. In addition to their books, Mike and Georgann have published a Lake Erie shipwreck map listing over 300 GPS wreck coordinates for divers.
They have been diving around the world since the mid 1970’s but particularly enjoy the pristine and perfectly preserved shipwrecks that lie in the fresh waters of the Great Lakes. This has resulted in the discovery of over 35 wreck sites. Each year they create at least one new program for presentations to educate divers and historians in venues throughout the United States and Canada. They have written numerous magazine articles and have a passion for creating diver access to and preserving Great Lakes maritime history. Both have been active in the Maritime Archaeological Survey Team (MAST) where Mike is Past President and Georgann has been Treasurer. Under Mike’s tenure, 6 shipwrecks in Ohio waters were moored for divers. They are active members of Lake Erie Wreck Divers and Bay Area Divers scuba clubs. They co-chair the annual Bay Area Shipwrecks & Scuba symposium.
Georgann was inducted into the international Women Divers Hall of Fame in 2013 for documenting over 300 Great Lakes shipwrecks with her writing, research and marine artwork. Mike is a retired management consultant who now devotes his time to finding, exploring and telling tales of Great Lakes shipwrecks and lighthouses. He hosts a database on wrecks at www.eriewrecks.com . The collaboration of Georgann’s love of research and Mike’s love of storytelling provides the fuel for the Erie Wrecks series.
Black Friday: The 100th Anniversary of the Great Storm of 1916
The name “Black Friday” was given to the date of October 20, 1916, after a violent storm sank 4 large ships and ended 51 lives on Lake Erie. The whaleback James B. Colgate, the lumber hooker Marshal Butters, the steamer Merida, and the barge D.L. Filer were all lost in a convergence of storms that created Lake Eire’s “Perfect Storm”.
We’ll tell you the story of the storm and the shipwrecks. We’ll share the tale of two Captains who were the sole survivors of their lost ships. We’ll join the Colgate’s Captain in the ships final moments. And, we’ll share Georgann’s original, moving poem, A Captain’s Lament.