145 years ago today the Greenock registered sailing ship Norval was wrecked on the south point of Insh Island around 10 miles south of Oban. The wooden ship was inbound for Glasgow from Montreal with a cargo of deals, battens and staves. The weatherwas thick with poor visibility and and a westerly swell. The vessel had gone ashore on the west side of the southern point of the island, being held on the rocks by a shallow reef that runs parallel to the shore. Efforts to salvage her cargo over the following weeks proved fruitless, and she eventually broke up from the relentless pounding of the westerly swell.
What remains of the wreck is concreted into a series of gulleys between a reef and the shore. The somewhat grainy image was taken in 2002 and shows the typical underwater terrain of kelp covered rock, with encrusting bright yellow sponges and anemones fixed to the kelp stalks. On our dive we found the remains of a few small iron cannon, spars and a larger piece of timber that could have been a section of main mast and a good length of rectangular shaped anchor chain.
More details on the loss of this fine vessel can be found in Argyll Shipwrecks on age 148, happy reading.