Not quite three weeks ago the 50′ steel pinky schooner Le Papillon came ashore on Fire Island, a barrier island off Long Island, northeast of the entrance to New York harbor. Will van Dorp at the Tugster blog has taken some amazing photographs of the schooner, first being battered by waves and now being swallowed up by the sand, like a scene from a slow motion horror movie. (Go to Will’s blog for more and larger photographs.) Le Papillon may yet be salvaged but it will be a race against time and the shifting sands of Fire Island.
As we posted earlier in the month, the 300 foot long tanker Gluckauf ran aground on Fire Island in 1893 about twenty miles up the beach from where Le Papillon now lies. The Gluckauf was never salvaged and was also swallowed by the shifting sand.