December Meeting-The Sinking of the Rouse Simmons: A Christmas Story

By Bob Naylor, Rear Commodore

Every sailor worth their salt knows the story of the Edmund Fitzgerald, if only through Gordon Lightfoot’s classic 1976 ballad. But long before the gales of November claimed the Fitzgerald, Captain Santa’s schooner Rouse Simmons – piled high with a load of Christmas trees – set sail on another cold November day, bound for the port of Chicago. Marine Archaeologist Tamara Thomsen tells the fascinating story of the Christmas Tree Ship, her captain and crew, and a fateful November gale. Decades later, there came a Christmas tradition of caring, giving, and hope from a devastating shipping tragedy. So sailors, heat-up that hot chocolate, pour a little eggnog, grab a few too many cookies and settle in for a swashbuckler of a Christmas story. 

Tamara Thomsen in
full gear

Tuesday, December 8th at 7:00 pm
Public welcome!

Click here to join the Zoom Meeting
The meeting link is also on the AYC calendar

Tamara Thomsen is a Maritime Archaeologist with the Wisconsin Historical Society’s Maritime Preservation and Archaeology program. Her research has resulted in the nomination of fifty-eight submerged sites to the National Register of Historic Places. She has received awards from the Association for Great Lakes Maritime History, the Great Lakes Shipwreck Preservation Society, and in 2014, she was inducted into the Women Diver’s Hall of Fame. 

Tamara is an active cave, rebreather, and technical diving instructor with Diversions Scuba in Madison, Wisconsin and has worked as a photographer, researcher, and research diver on projects including the USS Monitor with NOAA National Marine Sanctuaries and RMS Titanic with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.