Shipwrecks of Nova Scotia

St. Paul Island

Saint Paul Island, St. Paul IslandFifteen miles off the northern tip of Cape Breton, lies a small uninhabited place called Saint Paul Island. Remote St. Paul (photo at right) is approximately 3 miles long and 1 mile wide and is surrounded by a coastline of treacherous rocky reefs.

St. Paul Island is located at the entrance to the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, in the path of major shipping lanes. It also is a place known for its bad weather. Storms, rough seas, ice and fog are common conditions around Saint Paul. Over the past few centuries, this combination of factors has resulted in the loss of hundreds of ships on the reefs around the island. Because of its many shipwrecks, St. Paul Island is commonly known as "The Graveyard of the Gulf."

It's hard to know how many wrecks there are around St. Paul, but historians have documented over 350. And they estimate that several thousand shipwreck victims are buried on the island. In one incident alone, the wreck of the Irish immigrant ship Sibylle in 1834, over 300 victims were buried in mass graves. Thanks to modern navigation tools, fewer wrecks occur around St. Paul these days, but it's still a dangerous place and most mariners steer clear of it.

The long list of shipwreck tragedies is the thing that piques people's interest in Saint Paul Island. Wreck divers in particular are fascinated by the place. And although very few divers ever go there, it is possible to do so. And if you go, we guarantee you it will be a fun and memorable experience.

Below is a gallery of St. Paul Island photos and maps, and a list of St. Paul websites. These sites provide information on the island's history, shipwrecks and dive charter options.  Please check them out at your leisure and learn more about this fascinating place.

Click here to go to our
St. Paul Island Wreck Chart


St. Paul Gallery
Click images to enlarge
ns-chart5-rev1.gif (22730 bytes) ns-saintpaul1.jpg (39211 bytes) st_paul_island_map-lib-and-arch-can.jpg (293986 bytes)
Cape Breton Chart
Saint Paul Island
is at the top
Saint Paul
from the air
(Author's collection)
St. Paul Island Map
with List of Wreckst
(Lib. and Arch. Can.)
saintpaul-megandkel.jpg (80142 bytes) adalia-saintpaul.gif (115926 bytes) ns-diveteam.jpg (18371 bytes)
One of the heavy-duty
dive charter boats
(Terry Dwyer photo)
Steamer Adalia
wrecked in 1872
(Author's collection)
A group of happy
Saint Paul divers
(Terry Dwyer photo)
saintpaul-aug03.jpg (65772 bytes) saintpaul-house-2001.jpg (63679 bytes) ns-expedition2001.jpg (21852 bytes)
Adjusting the
neck seal
(Photo by author)
Abandoned house
at Atlantic Cove
(Terry Dwyer photo)
A dive expedition
group on Saint Paul
(Terry Dwyer photo)
saintpaul-td1.jpg (76699 bytes) saintpaul-td2.jpg (35788 bytes) saintpaul-td3.jpg (50038 bytes)
Diving just off
the island
(Photo by author)
Underwater video
in the making
(Terry Dwyer photo)
Divers boarding
the boat
(Terry Dwyer photo)


St. Paul Island Websites

Saint Paul Island - Diving and More

Click here to go to our
St. Paul Island Wreck Chart

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Copyright 2004 by Dave Clancy
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