We conducted dive ops on the last of the three newly discovered targets in Lake Washington today.
Attached is the sonar image for Target1; now identified as the Phoenix. The Phoenix rests in 200ft of water off Madison Park. Her length is approx 50ft, width: 14ft, 9-10ft rise
Initially, from a read of the sonar image, I expected Target1 to either be an early century sailboat or, because of the square lines, a PBR type military craft.
In reality this one appears to be a work or fishing boat of some type, built for offshore use. The construction is wooden, but the roof is reinforced with GRP (glass reinforced plastic). There are ‘chain plates’ jutting upward on both sides like sets of metal ribs which look to have supported a small sail.
Guessing the boat was built no earlier than the 40’s, no later than the 60’s (based on general construction), but sank no earlier than the 60’s. The later assumption made due to the presence of the GRP. We also noted there was protection above the forward hatch, used to prevent breaking seas from entering the forecastle, as support for this boat being built for offshore use.
The Phoenix is very well intact, but generally stripped of equipment. It has a large main cabin, as well as an aft cabin that extends nearly to the stern. In the sonar photo what looks like what might be the stern of the wreck with a sail crumpled up behind is actually the back of the aft cabin with about 5 feet of semi collapsed stern deck behind.
All the cabin access points still house freely swinging doors with glass and brass hardware. This is not a very common sight for sunken wrecks of Lake Washington. Most of the cabin windows are still intact as well – a few broken, one with the circular break from a rock or baseball. It is somewhat of an eerie feeling to be interacting with a wreck that hasn’t been seen for 45+ years, opening doors that have not moved since they last had natural light shining on them. The first door I opened I half expected some(thing) inside to jump out at us. : )
Inside there is a tarp or sail of some sort which looks like is covering something large, but not wanting to silt out the visibility for the video we were shooting today, decided against disturbing it. Also inside the cabin, not visible unless you swim inside, is an old ‘pot belly’ stove. Quite a nice find.
I hope to have photos of the wreck and some of its artifacts up on the website next week.