50TH ANNUAL ANTIQUE BOAT
SHOW & AUCTION
Clayton, New York
INTER-LAKE YACHTING ASSOCIATION
MICHIGAN CITY IN-WATER
Michigan City, Michigan
UNDERWATER MUSIC FESTIVAL
Point Ruston, Puget Sound, Washington
NEWPORT INTERNATIONAL BOAT SHOW
Newport, Rhode Island
SOUTH FLORIDA FALL BOAT SHOW
West Palm Beach, Florida
WOMEN’S SAILING SEMINAR
City Of Chester Found in San Francisco Bay
oN A FOGGY MORNING in August 1888, the SS City of Chester collided with the much larger Oceanic (near what is now San Francisco’s Golden
Gate Bridge) and sank along with 13 passengers
and three crew members. That was the last anyone saw of the 202-foot iron and wood steamship, at least until earlier this year when it was
discovered by NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey.
A survey crew, working from historical records,
located the wreck in 216 feet of water just inside
the Golden Gate.
The incident played a role in Chinese-American history, according to James Delgado, director of maritime
heritage for NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. Playing
to the racism of the time, newspapers initially speculated that the
Chinese crew of the Oceanic refused to rescue the drowning passengers. Later, stories of heroic rescues emerged, including that of one
crew member who plunged into the water to save a drowning child.
“Discoveries like this remind us that the waters off our shores are
museums that speak to powerful events,” Delgado said, “in this case
not only that tragic wreck, but to a time when racism and anger were
set aside by the heroism of a crew who acted in the best traditions of
the sea.” An exhibit about the SS City of Chester is being planned at the
Gulf of the Farallones headquarters in San Francisco. — C.L.
the City of Chester in its
heyday (left) and today in
sonar profile (top).
LakE MESS MonStEr
nO ONE QUITE REMEMBERS who christened it the Lake Mess Monster, least of all its current captain and Prospect Park Alliance employee Martin Woess. Unlike its Scottish namesake, there’s nothing elusive about this New York City beast. “It’s 28
feet long, it’s like a cross between a paddle steamer and a harvester,” Woess explains in his
thick East End London accent. “It’s a very loud diesel engine, and it’s amazing.” With that
kind of size and scream, the odd-looking green Monster always gathers a crowd when Woess
takes it out for a weekly eight- to nine-hour spin on Brooklyn’s Prospect Park Lake.
Harvesting garbage and duckweed from the murky depths makes the Monster vital to the
lake’s health. Duckweed, tasty food for ducks in small doses, goes nuts on the potassium-rich
New York City tap water that continuously feeds the Lake. Gorged on potassium, duckweed
spreads thickly and sucks up the lake’s oxygen; after it dies and putrefies, the muck turns
water toxic. “Then it’s a problem for
all the fish and plants that inhabit the
lake,” Woess says. But it’s not all paper,
plastic tumbleweeds, and floating soda
bottles. Woess says the Monster once
scraped up the remains of a nationally
known TV personality. “It was a 3-foot-
tall Elmo doll,” he says. “Of all the kinds
of stuff that comes out, that had to be
the funniest.” — phiL SCott
the schooner Tabor Boy stopped in alexandria, virginia on its
way back from a winter Caribbean studies program. the Dutch-built ship, operated as a sailing classroom for the private tabor
academy, celebrates its 100th anniversary this year.