HMS Raleigh Trail - Point Amour
HMS Raleigh aground at Point Amour ( (larger version)
On August 08, 1922, the wreck of the 12,000 ton British warship, HMS Raleigh, became the most famous marine disaster in the history of the Strait of Belle Isle. .
Remnants of the HMS Raleigh view-able along The Raleigh Trail ( (larger version)
Follow the "Raleigh Trail" to the site of this famous wreck. The Trail follows the shoreline and is an excellent place to watch for whales, icebergs, seabirds and seals and also see an interesting variety of arctic alpine plants.

"Signposts every few hundred meters will guide you past H.M.S Raleigh wreck and right to the base of the lighthouse.
Located on the Strait of Belle Isle, this was the preferred route for transatlantic shipping to save time. This route required a series of very tall lighthouses to assist seafarers. Unfortunately for the British Navy, they didn't do so well in the Strait of Belle Isle where the current is swift and the fog thick. In 1922, the flagship battleship of the North Atlantic fleet ran aground here, literally steering right into shore not 300 meters from the lighthouse (like a moth to flame). There is still controversy today as to why this happened. Some say (the official story) an iceberg was spotted, and the cruiser, after swerving to avoid the iceberg was steaming too fast to avoid a collision with the shoreline. However, with a lighthouse dead ahead, you'd think a hard turn not unlike the previous one would have worked. Others claim the ship's officers were drinking (on their way to Salmon fishing in Forteau) and the Captain asleep elsewhere on board. They simply misjudged. The piano from H.M.S. Raleigh (it sat there for several years before the ship was blown up) is in one local's home today, no doubt, the stories are still floating around the community.
A full account of the grounding (with pictures) is inside the Point Amour lighthouse, including imagery of the ship on the rocks when it first happened. It took the British Navy several years to return and blow it to pieces, as a result, hikers and visitors will see only trace evidence, some large hull pieces and machinery. Unfortunately, the British were in such a hurry to blow it up (it must have been embarrassing, the captain court martialed) that cordite and other explosives were left in the shallow waters. The Canadian Navy has returned recently to demolish and recover some of the shells and cordite, as the fusing gets more fragile over the years. Visitors are advised not to pick up anything along the shore."
Duration: 30 minutes
Degree of Difficulty: Easy

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