Tuesday, November 19, 2013

S IS FOR....

...THE STAR OF INDIA


She is the oldest iron-hulled sailing ship in the world -- and she still sails!

She was built in 1863 in Ramsey on the Isle of Man and today resides at the Embarcadero in San Diego. What a beautiful ship she is!  She is open to the public and I and my family have all explored aboard her.  This year is her 150th anniversary, and as she has many other years, she took to the seas again just to prove she can still do it. It is a magnificent sight to see her sailing the beautiful San Diego Bay.  Of course we are all very proud of her. 

She has had an eventful life, having sailed around the world 21 times.  Her first voyage involved a collision and a mutiny.  Later she was caught in a cyclone and barely survived.  In addition her first captain died aboard and had to be buried at sea. Not an uneventful life.

Originally her name was Euterpe and she was used for the Indian jute trade.  Later she was employed in carrying passengers and freight to New Zealand for 21 years.  Each voyage was made by travelling eastward around the world and at one point she ran aground in Hawaii.

In 1901 she was registered to the United States where she was employed in ferrying fishermen, cannery workers and supplies from California to Alaska. That was when her name was changed to "The Star of India".   In 1926  having come to the end of her trading and commercial career, there was a movement to have her restored to the grand old ship that she was.  Economic setbacks such as the Great Depression and World War ll took their toll but in 1976 she was finally ship-shape and sea worthy and put to sea once again from her home port of San Diego with great celebration.  I'm happy and proud to say that I was there to see it!   It was a momentous occasion for San Diego! 

Soon after that I did a water color painting of her in full sail (about 10 X 8 inches). It is the only one of my paintings I have ever tried to sell.  I donated it to a silent auction to raise funds for our small Christian School. I was blown away when it was sold for $70!!  Sadly I never kept a copy because computers were not all the rage back then and we didn't even own one never mind know how to use one.  Too bad.

So the STAR OF INDIA has special meaning for our family, the Isle of Man being only a stone's throw from Liverpool where my husband grew up.

The Star of India docked in San Diego

This is my entry for ABC Wednesday, the weekly meme set up by Mrs. Nesbitt and now continued by Roger Owen Green.  To see other interesting and often educational responses, please click HERE.

18 comments:

Leslie: said...

What a gorgeous ship! I've been to both the Isle of Man and to Liverpool and love both places. That ship has sure had a great life!

Leslie
abcw team

Nonnie said...

what a magnificent ship!

snafu said...

What a lovely ship, the Star of India is a fine example of a windjammer. Nice to know it is loved and cared for and still sails now and then.
Perhaps you should have another go at painting it. Nice compliment to you for it to fetch $70

Roger Owen Green said...

Serious bit of history, plus your fine artwork

photowannabe said...

I remember seeing this one evening when I was working a convention there. Unfortunately it was closed so I never really learned much about it. Thank you for the information.

Beverley Baird said...

What a beautiful sailing ship! Wonderful informative post!

Wanda said...

You are so educational. I just love the information you are always giving us.

This is a beautiful ship with such a history.

Hildred said...

Interesting history, Chris, - she is truly a beautiful ship.

kaybee said...

Interesting info, ChrisJ...you should have been a teacheršŸ˜ƒ

Ann said...

Truly a work of art!!!!I would love to see it in person, it is so majestic. Love all your interesting details of her history.
Ann

Kate said...

Those ships are treasures and so much fun to see and watch. Kate, ABC Wednesday

Hazel Ceej said...

Well-traveled indeed and what a great history! Congratulations on your painting.

Hazel

Joy said...

What an interesting history of the ship, love sailing ships and this one is a beauty. You can see the Isle of Man from where I live, my grandfather grew up there.

Carver said...

Fascinating post and superb shots of the beautiful ship. Carver, ABC Wed. Team

Nora at Island Rambles said...

I love posts about ships and such great history..sailing ships are my favourites. We had the tall ships arrive here once.

Alan Burnett said...

I must confess I had never heard of the ship before. Also slightly surprised to discover a shipbuilding industry in the Isle of Man which I have never associated with heavy industry. One lives and learns - thanks to blogs such as yours.

retriever said...

Gorgeous, love ship, have a nice sunday

Ni de Aqui, Ni de Alla said...

Hi Chris. Very interesting history of this ship. She looks so pretty! I did some time on the US Navy, many years ago. I was on the USS Nimitz. The oldest ship I've been aboard is the USS Wisconsin. I really enjoyed your post! It made me think back of my sailor days when I had to memorize Naval History.