19th Century Ballast Pile, Unknown wreck.

19th Century Ballast Pile located at 32.2494 N, -64.9441 W

Historical Data

There is little if anything known about this wreck despite the unquestionable evidence of a ship having come to rest on the outer western reef flats some 7 km due West of West Whale Bay Southampton. Approximately 200 square feet of the reef is covered by large ballast which completely covers some wooden remains of a large ships keelson (the lowest portion of the ships bottom that ran from tip to tail of the ship). Nothing else of the ship remains and there are no visible remains of any artefacts on the site (glass iron ceramics etc). Apparently early finders of the wreck dated her from some broken pieces of a three-piece mold black glass bottle, which would date her to the later part of the 19th century.

As the ballast is in only 15 feet of water on top of the reef the ship may have been easily and presumably extensively salvaged at the time of her sinking. There is no knowledge of her being salvaged in the 20th century. Even if she was not salvaged at the time of her sinking the fierce wave action this shallow western ledge area is subject to would have torn the ship to pieces relatively quickly leaving only the heavier portions of the ship in place that we see today.

This is not a commonly known site but is easily seen from the deck of the boat by anyone going over her as the ballast creates a very distinctive coloration that breaks up the normal reef topography.

This wreck appeared in the Bermuda Sun Unprotected Historic Wrecks List submitted by the Receiver of Wreck in October 1977 where it was listed as ‘19th Century Ballast Pile’. It is not listed as a part of the Bermuda Dive Sites program.

Decision: Open.