“The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” vaulted to No. 2 on the Billboard pop charts in 1976, scoring a blockbuster hit for Canadian songwriter Gordon Lightfoot. He’d written the ballad as a tribute to the 29 merchant mariners who died when the bulk carrier Edmund Fitzgerald sank Nov. 10, 1975, in a fierce gale on Lake Superior.
On Friday, Nov. 7, 1913, a blast of frigid Arctic air, accompanied by low barometric pressure, swept into the Great Lakes from Canada. At the same time a weak low-pressure system was tracking eastward from the southeastern United States, setting the stage for the tragic events to come.
More than a year after three children drowned when Kandi Won, a 34-foot Silverton, capsized in Oyster Bay, L.I., N.Y., the tragedy continues to roil the boating community. The July 4, 2012, accident received national attention, spurring action by legislators and boating safety groups.
Marshes teemed with ducks and other birds. Low islands seemed to float on an expanse of blue, like green oases in a classically remote Chesapeake Bay seascape.
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