You don’t have to be a scuba diver to see the wreck of the MV Ithaca. But you do have to pick the right time of day. That would be low tide, when the 80-metre ship is sitting on the sandy bottom. You can walk close enough for a good view but don’t get too close and definitely do not try to board it because the wreck is not safe.
High tide is another story. Legend has it that the ship has been known to disappear for a while when high tide lifts it off the bottom. Strangely, it seems to return to its resting place when the tide changes.
Like any good shipwreck story there are differences of opinion. The ship’s itinerary when it was damaged beyond repair is just one of them. Was it the victim of strong winds when it was en route from Rankin Inlet to Montreal with a load of nickel ore? Or was it transporting supplies from Churchill to Rankin Inlet? This theory puts its fate down to a broken rudder and strong winds that ran it aground just east of Churchill at high tide. When the tide went out, crewmembers were able to walk to shore. The ship’s demise was in 1960.
The story of the grounding of the ship built at Trois Rivieres, Quebec, in 1922, raises questions. It seems to conflict with the legend of the ghost ship sailing off when high tides return. It’s hard to imagine it floating when its hull was destroyed. This may have raised some questions with the ship’s insurer, Lloyd’s of London. It didn’t buy the grounding story and would not pay the claim.