Tuesday, January 28, 2014

No Charters in Sight -- January 28, 2014

From the 20-March-1896 San Francisco Call. William A Coulter did many maritime drawings for the newspaper. Click on the image for a larger view. 


A Fleet of Twenty-five Vessels Waiting for Something to Do.

While Living in Expectation the Captains Are Having the Ships Overhauled.

When the people of Sausalito awake in the morning nowadays they think for a few moments that a boiler-making establishment has been started in the town.  It is hammer, hammer, hammer, from morning till night, and the noise is at times exasperating. It all comes from six British ships that are lying in the safe anchorage off the township. There is no prospect of an advance in freight rates, so the vessels will remain at anchor until the times improve.

In the meantime, however, the captains are improving the shining hours, and all hands are sent over the sides each morning to chip off the rust. The vessels are all light, and in consequence nearly their whole sides are exposed. When the work of chipping is completed the ships will be painted, and thus hundreds of dollars will be saved to the owners when an English port is reached.

There are now twenty-five ships in port waiting for something to turn up in the shape of a charter. Of these six are now lying at Sausalito, and some of them have been in port three months. The Craigend, Captain Lewthwaite, arrived January 20; the Eden-Valleymore, Captain May, on February 1; the Hyderabad, Captain Scott, on January 21; the Kilmeny, Captain Jones, on January 29; The Hahnemann, Captain Newson, on January 8, and the Wynnstay, Captain McBryde, on January 15. The skippers all expect to spend the summer at least in Sausalito, and some of them may remain until next season.

The tonnage at present in port is just about what it was at this time last year. There were twenty-five ships representing 45,887 tons disengaged yesterday, while last year it was 47.756 tons. This year there is 44,618 tons engaged and last year it was 50,120.

The disengaged list was added to by the arrival of the Beechbank yesterday. She had a very rough passage from Hamburg, and on January 22 a sea broke aboard that did considerable damage. The wheel and wheel-box, the port and starboard light houses were smashed and the bow ports were driven in. Temporary repairs were made and all went well until January 30, when a serious accident happened. The ship was rolling heavily and Frederick Slotton, an apprentice, fell from the fore royal-yard and was instantly killed. This was to have been, his last trip as an apprentice, as he expected to pass his examination on his return and take a position as third officer.

The accompanying illustration shows the six British ships that cannot get a charter tied up off Sausalito. Every night they are visited by one or more parties from the shore, so life is not dull or monotonous aboard.

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