The Blanche King sank in December 1920 en route from Norfolk to Bermuda. It was carrying a cargo of coal when the classic American schooner became stranded on the reefs off Bermuda’s southern shoreline and sank into a sand hole in 35 feet of water. The ship had an iron frame, wooden sides and two decks, four masts and, distinctly, a huge drop keel (i.e., the keel could be retracted into the ship). The drop keel significantly reduced the minimum allowable depth – making the ship useful for taking coal up shallow rivers to timber mills.
The wreck consists of extensively degraded remaining sections of the iron hull, with wood remains attached to the worn metal frames of the mid-decks (the deck’s upper part is completely gone). There is evidence of the centerboard trunk still in place amidships and metal cable and rigging are strewn over and around the wreck and reef. The capstan (winch) is at the front of the ship and some ballast is exposed at the rear.
The Blanche King is one of Bermuda’s most popular dive sites. Although nearby waters are well-known for fishing, the shipwreck itself is protected by law, which mandates no fishing within 300 meters of the site. It is classified as an Open wreck and is buoyed under the Bermuda Dive Sites program.
Location: 32.16'.278N, 64.58'.552W Built: 1887 in Maine, U.S. Length: 192 feet (58 meters) / Width: 42 feet Displacement: 1,156 tons Protected Area Radius - No Fishing: 300m