Monday, December 3, 2018

British Ship Balclutha Nearly Goes on Rocks -- December 3, 2018

San Francisco Call, 16-June-1900
William A Coulter did many maritime drawings for the San Francisco Call. Square rigger Balclutha is preserved at the San Francisco Maritime Museum at the Hyde Street Pier. Right now she is in a drydock receiving maintenance. 

Owned in San Francisco.

The British ship Balclutha, which arrived in this port from Newcastle, N. S. W., last Sunday, is now a San Francisco-owned ship. The well-known house of J. J. Moore & Co. are now the managing owners and the vessel will run between here and the colonies in the lumber and general merchandise trade. Captain Hatfield of the Balclutha is an old-timer in San Francisco. He Is part owner of the Lancing and his son-in-law is master of that well-known ship. On his reappearance on the coast last Monday Captain Hatfield had to signalize his return. Owing to the fog and absence of all signals the Balclutha was almost on top of the Farallon rocks before Captain Hatfield knew where he was. The lead, however, told the old navigator that he was close to land and by the time the seals and sea fowl gave a warning the Balclutha was on the other tack and the danger was past.

I took the photo of Balclutha on 19-October-2010.


Nick said...

The Balclutha is supposed to be over in Alameda for repairs, and I *think* I saw her from the ferry a few months ago.

According to the Maritime Museum website, she went into Drydock late 2017 and it was supposed to take about three months! Things have a way of taking longer than anticipated, but I hope she'll beck back at the Hyde St Pier soon.

Joe Thompson said...

Hi Nick. I remember when the Wapama was visible from the bart Fremont line. I think Balclutha stands a better chance.

Nick said...

I think the Balclutha is too famous to be abandoned.

I only learned about the Wapama recently, because I started reading around about steam schooners after a visit to the Mendocino coast. A depressing story!

I've been to the Maritime Museum many times over the years and don't actually remember seeing it. But maybe it was never actually one of the actual exhibits that was open to the public?

There's few enough of these boats still around, it's an awful shame to loose any.

I realize that a wooden-hulled ship sitting in the water is inherently a challenge for maintenance. A wooden trolley can survive decades of neglect, or last indefinitely with minimal protection, but obviously something actually sitting in water is going to need constant upkeep.

I wonder if a replica could be built out of some more modern and resilient material, like that stuff they make park benches out of now.

Joe Thompson said...

Hi Nick. I agree. People forgot about Wapama, but Balclutha should pull through this.