September 8, 2014

Star Passages

Star at sea in 1984.  Photo: M. Dowd.
It says on top: Donald L. Gibson & Co, Ramsey, Isle of Man.

The iron hulled “Star of India”, which is at the heart of the San Diego Maritime Museum, was launched from the Isle of Man in 1863 as the “Euterpe.”  In 1901 she was sold to the Alaskan Packers Association.  After 22 trips to Alaska, she was sold to the San Diego Zoological Society and towed to San Diego in 1927. 

For years she suffered indignities as she lay alongside the waterfront.  During WWII, her masts were cut down because they were in the way of aircraft.  After the war no one paid attention to her as she lay derelict in the bay.  Alan Villiers, author and adventurer, saw her and “publicized the situation.”  Restoration began under the care of the “Star of India Auxiliary” now the San Diego Maritime Museum.  It was a long haul, and it wasn’t until 1976, she and her crew took her to sea again. 

in 2003 the spectators crowd dangerously around the Star.

I first went out with her on my mother and stepfather’s boat the “Meg-a-bob” in 1976.  There was little wind that day, and few efforts at crowd control.  Yachts, ships, and boats of all kinds pressed right up to her hull.  The sea itself was churned to a froth of chop.  George and I went out on the “Meg-a-bob” with her again in 1984 and in 2003.  Now we often stop just to photograph her whenever we see this last iron hulled sailing ship in the world.

  • Himself:  No rain. Working and laundry.  Meeting in Poway later.
  • Herself:  Still waiting for the rain.  Writing.  Playing with photos.  IBS for the third day.  Grrr.
  • Reading:  The second,  Douglas Reeman writing as Alexander Kent, Bolitho book.
  • Balance: 


    1. What a lovely ship and beautiful seas. Thanks for sharing this!

    2. Some day I'll figure out where my love of tall-ships comes from. Maybe it's from you? I dunno. I do know that it's been there for a long time and the older I get the opportunities that I have to be on the water get fewer and farther in between.

      I know you've read the Master and Commander series of books (if you haven't you should start), but did you see the movie with Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany? Brilliant stuff.

    3. Here on the EAst Coast we get our share of beauties. I don't often know all the great stories, but those who love ships are more than willing to share.

    4. Connecticut has a history of sailing too. At the Mystic Seaport the Charles W. Morgan, a whaler, is open to the public. It was refurbished and actually sailed this spring. And the Amistad, which has a different history, is still in New Haven.

    5. I was on the beach in Coronado the day the Star was wonderful


    What a delight to get a note from you. Thanks for leaving one.


    Peter in front of a wall sculpture. We were invited up to Peter Knego’s home to see the latest installation.   Abstract flat ...