Whitefish Point, Michigan
|| 145 feet
|| 191 feet
This is the default wreck when diving Whitefish point. Just over a mile from the boat launch this is the one you go to when the wind is too high, the lake too choppy or you just don’t have much time. Because of that reputation I wasn’t expecting much of a wreck… and was I ever wrong.
While being far from the longest wreck in the Whitefish preserve the wreck has a considerable amount to see, and is surprisingly intact for a wreck that was sunk in a collision and is dived so often. Bow damage from where it hit the Nipigon is considerable but you can still clearly see the draught markings below the carnage.
Due to being in such excellent condition the Vienna has a great deal of relief (it stands up quite tall off the bottom) and spans the range from 115′ to nearly 150′, which makes it possible for average recreational divers to see the top deck and those more technically inclined can visit the bow, rudder and prop, along with doing some decent penetration.
Numerous atifacts (including the ship’s wheel) were recovered from the site and are now on display at the Whitefish Point Maritime Museum close by, so that leaves the lifeboat to take on the roll of what I’d consider the site’s most outstanding feature, and a rare one, indeed. You can also find deck machinery, the vertical boiler, open coal doors at the base of the boiler, a capstan that has been ripped from the deck and now lies at an angle, and much more. After having done most of my diving in Lakes Ontario and Erie I find it remarkable to see what wrecks look like without even a single zebra mussel.