Comet: Submerged Cultural Resources Site Report, Channel Islands National Park

Author(s): Matthew A. Russell

Year: 2004


In April 1999, Channel Islands National Park Archeologist Don Morris asked the National Park Service’s Submerged Resources Center (SRC) to lead documentation efforts on the remains of the schooner Comet, exposed on the beach in Simonton Cove, San Miguel Island. Comet had been exposed by winter storms, the first recorded exposure since 1984. SRC archeologists, park staff and volunteers, spent five days documenting Comet’s remains with scale drawings, photos and video.

The team found one of the most well preserved wooden shipwreck sites on the West coast. The remaining bow section is substantially intact, with machinery still mounted on the main and forecastle decks. Even though only the vessel’s bow is present, because it is so intact it is a repository for construction practices from once common, now rare, coastal lumber schooners.

This report discusses the Pacific Coast lumber trade and Comet’s career hauling lumber from the Pacific Northwest to California, and describes the schooner’s wreck on San Miguel Island. It describes the remaining hull structure, bow rigging, and ground tackle elements in detail, and analyzes them in terms of contemporary nineteenth century wooden shipbuilding practices. Finally, it discusses site formation processes and offers suggestions for future research and management of Comet.

Cite this Record

Comet: Submerged Cultural Resources Site Report, Channel Islands National Park. Matthew A. Russell. Submerged Resources Center: Professional Reports ,17. Santa Fe, New Mexico: national park service. 2004 ( tDAR id: 372124) ; doi:10.6067/XCV86M35MN

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -120.4; min lat: 34.032 ; max long: -120.37; max lat: 34.063 ;

File Information

  Name Size Creation Date Date Uploaded Access
comet--submerged-cultural-resources-site-report.pdf 3.28mb Nov 17, 2011 1:33:32 PM Public