Few things are as intriguing as a wooden shipwreck half-buried in white sand beside emerald waters. Thoughts turn to old salts and peg legs, tall tales and ratlines, exotic ports and loquacious parrots. Alabama’s most famous example, the Rachel, lies five miles east of Fort Morgan between a stilted vacation house and the wrack line, easily visible to beachgoers. This wonderful artifact especially fascinates children and adults from landlocked states. As one Kentuckian told an Associated Press reporter, “We don’t ever see anything like this.”

Speculation as to the vessel’s identity runs the gamut. Was she a pirate ship? A Civil War blockade runner? A rum runner? None of these guesses is unreasonable; all of these vessels are known to have once coursed our shores.


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