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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Cavendish in Queens County, Prince Edward Island — The Canadian Atlantic
 

Cavendish Dunelands Trail/Cavendish Sentier Dunelands

Wreck of the Marco Polo/L'épave du Marco Polo

 
 
Cavendish Dunelands Trail/Cavendish Sentier Dunelands Marker image. Click for full size.
By Steve Stoessel, August 22, 2019
1. Cavendish Dunelands Trail/Cavendish Sentier Dunelands Marker
Inscription.   25 July, 1883. Thanks to a weekend of violent storms there is a heavy sea running. A few farmers watch with astonishment as a magnificent sailing vessel, driven by a mountain of canvas, slams onto the Cavendish sandbars. The air iš alive with the sound of snapping wood and shrieking metal.

Marco Polo made her last landfall.
Marco Polo was built in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1851 by James Smith. Many were quick to dismiss the unusually shaped ship, but her innovative design combined the speed of a clipper and the cargo capacity of a barque. The vessel's maiden voyage silenced her critics as she sailed from Saint John, New Brunswick to Liverpool, England in fifteen days, a record time. Marco Polo spent the next fifteen years as a passenger carrier on the lucrative Liverpool to Melbourne, Australia route, where she set many speed records and carried thousands of immigrants.

Once dubbed "Queen of the Seas” and "Fastest Ship In The World,” by 1883 the Marco Polo was well past her prime, working as a lumber carrier for a Norwegian firm. After a bout of stormy weather
Cavendish Dunes image. Click for full size.
By Steve Stoessel, August 22, 2019
2. Cavendish Dunes
in the Gulf of St. Lawrence she began to take on water and to avoid sinking in deep water was driven ashore here at Cavendish. People from the community opened up their homes and hearts to the stranded sailors.

In 1990, the career of Marco Polo was declared to be of national historic significance by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada. A monument and plaque were erected in Saint John, New Brunswick to commemorate the building of the great ship. What remains of the Marco Polo lies in shallow water not far off this shore. The wreck must be left undisturbed if we are to preserve this fragile and important piece of our heritage

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Le 25 juillet 1883. Il a fait mauvais toute la fin de semaine, et la mer est grosse. Quelques fermiers observent, stupéfaits, un magnifique vaisseau, toutes voiles dehors, se fracasser sur les cordons littoraux de Cavendish. L'air s'emplit soudain de craquements de bois et de grincements de métal. Puis, le silence.

Le Marco Polo a accosté pour la dernière fois.
Le Marco Polo a été construit à Saint John (Nouveau-Brunswick) en 1851, par un nommé James Smith. Sa forme singulière, fort critiquée, alliait la vitesse d'un clipper à la capacité de chargement d'une barque. Son voyage inaugural, la traversée de Saint John à Londres effectuée en un temps record de quinze

PEI Coast on the Gulf of St. Lawrence image. Click for full size.
By Steve Stoessel
3. PEI Coast on the Gulf of St. Lawrence
jours, a cependant fait taire les critiques. Pendant quinze ans, le Marco Polo a transporté des passagers entre trajet très lucratif au cours duquel il a établi de nombreux records de vitesse et transporté des milliers d'immigrants.

En 1990, la Commission des lieux et monuments historiques du Canada a établi l'importance historique du Marco Polo. Un monument et une plaque ont été érigés à Saint John (Nouveau-Brunswick) pour commémorer la construction de cet impressionnant navire. Les restes du bateau se trouvent en eau peu profonde non loin de la côte. L'épave fragile et important de notre patrimoine.


Center Inset
A description of the wreck by L.M. Montgomery

… the vessel, coming before the gale, with every stitch of canvas set, was a sight never to be forgotten! She grounded about 300 yards from the shore, and, just as she struck, the crew cut the rigging, and the foremast and the huge iron mainmast, carrying the main-top-mast with it, went over with a crash what could be heard for miles...
The Wreck of the Marco Polo, The Years before Anne , p.33 L.M. Montgomery

...je n'oublierai jamais la scène du navire, toutes voiles dehors, poussé par la tempête! Il s'échoua à environ 300 verges de la côte et, au moment où l'équipage coupa le gréement, le mât
Red Sandstone of Prince Edward Island image. Click for full size.
By Steve Stoessel
4. Red Sandstone of Prince Edward Island
de misaine ainsi que le grand mât en fer, entra nant le grand mât arrière, s'abattirent dans un fracas qu'on entendit à des milles à la ronde...
The Wreck of the Marco Polo, The Years before Anne , p.33 L.M. Montgomery


 
Location. 46° 30.005′ N, 63° 22.866′ W. Marker is near Cavendish, Prince Edward Island, in Queens County. Marker can be reached from Gulf Shore Parkway West. Marker is reached via a short path from the parking lot at Ocean View Lookoff. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Cavendish, Prince Edward Island C0A 1M0, Canada. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 10 kilometers of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named Cavendish Dunelands Trail/Cavendish Sentier Dunelands (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Cavendish Dunelands Trail/Cavendish Sentier Dunelands (about 120 meters away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named Cavendish Dunelands Trail/Cavendish Sentier Dunelands (about 180 meters away); Lucy Maud Montgomery (approx. 1.3 kilometers away); North Rustico War Memorial (approx. 6.9 kilometers away); Rev. John Geddie D.D. (approx. 9.6 kilometers away); Springbrook World War II Memorial (approx. 9.7 kilometers away); Springbrook First World War Memorial (approx. 9.7 kilometers away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cavendish.
 
More about this marker. Marker is in Prince Edward Island National Park
 
Also see . . .
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1. The Marco Polo (Wikipedia). (Submitted on September 11, 2019, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York.)
2. Paintings of Marco Polo. These paintings all persist in showing the Marco Polo as a warship (a la the USS Constitution) complete with a gun deck (the white stripe on the hull with black gun ports), instead of as a merchant clipper ship such as the Cutty Sark. (Submitted on September 11, 2019, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York.) 
 
Categories. DisastersWaterways & Vessels
 

More. Search the internet for Cavendish Dunelands Trail/Cavendish Sentier Dunelands.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 11, 2019. This page originally submitted on September 11, 2019, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York. This page has been viewed 29 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 11, 2019, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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