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A straight forward location that can be used as a simple “cache and dash” effort or extended southwards towards Warsash along the banks of the River Hamble for a more pleasant walk, perhaps stopping off at the marina cafe around the headland?
The paths are simple and suitable for walkers, bikes and buggies but the cache requires a bit of a scramble close to the water’s edge – children should be under supervision.
The site is best viewed at low tide.
Start your trip by parking at the free car park in Swanwick Shore Road, Lower Swanwick, (for location see below).
From here walk towards the information boards, look at the details about the shipwreck – these will be shown to be WRONG.
Make your way to the cache site taking care to guard your activities from the many walkers etc. (Please take care to replace the cache exactly as found to enhance the fun for the people following you).
Once found turn your attention towards the river. At low tide you will see a series of planks in the mud – doesn’t look too promising does it? However, research by the Fiendish Frogman has shown that this all that remains of a once proud top masted schooner known as the “Norseman”. This was built at C&R Poillon of Brooklyn New York in 1881 (not 1847 as shown on the information boards) for a local multi-millionaire called Ogden Goelet. The yacht was raced successfully in America for some fifteen years before his death in 1897. Somewhere between 1916 and 1917 the yacht was registered with Lloyds of London and in 1925 registered in Southampton where she was converted to a houseboat. During WWII she was moored at Hamble where she spent her time as a brothel, frequented by soldiers and sailors seeking “comfort”. After the war the “Norseman” moved to her present location where she was gutted by fire in 1947. A local resident, living close by to this day, saved a woman and baby from the flames. The “baby”, now grown to middle age, returned some years ago to show the resident his children.
The remains of the yacht have been ravaged by fire, tide, weather and people using the wreck as a source of firewood. However, it has now been adopted under the Nautical Archaeology Society scheme and it is hoped to increase our knowledge of this site by further research.
For more information about the wreck please take a look at the Norseman Wreck website (visit link)
Please do NOT attempt to approach the wreck, the mud is VERY deep and you WILL sink!!
Other than that I hope you have a great time exploring the banks of the River Hamble
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- Norseman in sailJust to show the wreck didn't alway look as it does now. This was the "Norseman" in her heyday!
- The "Norseman"If you arrive at low tide this is what you'll see. At high tide you may only see a small "stick" poking up.
Built in 1881 the "Norseman" was once a fine top-masted schooner that eventually became a houseboat and brothel before finally catching fire where it can be seen now.....
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum