to the gale-force winds at the time of the wreck, nothing
could be done that night. The next day, the Fleetwing
was found to be badly damaged. Her stern had settled,
and she had nine feet of water in her 11-foot
. Wrecking tugs were called, but it took four days for
word to get out from the remote settlement and for an expedition
to Garrett Bay to be assembled.
was hoped the schooner could be repaired, pumped out, and
pulled off the beach with a tug, but there was no such luck.
Another gale sprung up shortly after the pumps had been
and the tug fled from the storm to Eagle Harbor. The force
of the gale broke the Fleetwing in two and ground
the rocks. By the time the tug returned, the schooner
had been battered to pieces and was a total loss.
from the Door County Advocate, October 6, 1888, describing
the wreck of the Fleetwing.
vessel was stripped and a large portion of her cargo was salvaged
and returned to Menominee. The ship was abandoned by its underwriters.
Its deckhouse later drifted ashore and children living nearby
used it as a playhouse.
is some speculation that the Fleetwing was a casualty
of insurance fraud, mostly fueled by Captain McGraw's previous
association with similar events.
evidence is insufficient
to determine whether
Captain McGraw was a
scoundrel or simply
the victim of bad luck. However, a third, more provocative,
explanation for the
wreck remains: The Fleetwing
was supposed to have carried a female cook, and the practice
seems to have been on the rise, despite widespread superstition
among sailors about women on ships. It was speculated that
the distraction of a woman in the
have occupied the attention of the Fleetwing
's officers while the ship approached Death's Door.