Skip to main content

CABLESHIP RESTORED

SV Western Union underway at Key West, FL
Cable ships have come in all shapes and sizes over the years and just to the south of the NAUTICAL LOG home port is one named SV Western Union.  Her home port in Key West, FL, which before its present rebirth as an alternative lifestyle tourist resort and cruise ship call port, was a fishing port, US Naval Base, US Coast Guard Base and second home to President Harry S. Truman.
The SV Western Union was designed, timbers cut in Grand Cayman of native woods and shipped to Key West where she was assembled and rigged in 1939 by Grand Cayman and Conch craftsmen.  She is an American coastal schooner of traditional design and served the telegraph company as a cable repair ship for 35 years.  Years later she was tidied-up and used as a local tour vessel in response to a growing tourist trade to replace the reduction and eventual departure of the US Naval Base, though the USCG still has an important Base there to the present day.


When Historic Tours of America ceased operations there was a fear that she would leave Key West.  This in turn triggered the locals to form Schooner Western Union Preservation Society and Museum.   Rather a long name but they accomplished their goal raising the monies some $1.25 million for a restoration, refurbishment over three years; now they are back in business doing tours.


At present SV Western Union, CAPT. Lenn Verreau,does two-hour sunset tours daily and on Friday and Saturday nights one and one-half hour stargazer tours with an astronomer on board.  Later they hope to add day tours so visit their website at www.schoonerwesternunion.org/ to keep abreast of current events.   NAUTICAL LOG is planning to sail on one of those stargazer tours and when we do there will no doubt be a Post all about it.

UPDATE:

Sloop SV Providence
There is a Post in OLD SALT BLOG about another restoration that of the SV Providence a replica of the first U.S. warship.  After a three and one-half years lay-up she is underway again.


Good Watch

Please remember the seafarers held captive by pirates off Somalia - let us work with India to free them.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

PERIGEAN SPRING TIDES

It sometimes happens that one is going to write a Post on a subject when lo and behold there is already an excellent one.  Such is the case today; so rather than repeat everything let me refer you to the source of that Post

At present we are experiencing Perigean Spring Tides which occur when the Moon is at perigee on its oval path that is the closest point to Earth.  One of the principal results are higher than usual Spring Tides as against the Neap Tides.

Should you be interested in the full explanation of this phenomenon then you might like to reference "Old Salt Blog" which has an excellent explanation of this event and uses all the correct terms - quite unlike our Media here in South Florida.

Good Watch.

FAKE NEWS

In recent years there has been a steady decline in the professionalism, accuracy and quality of the various Media outlets and the social media.  In the rush to get there first with a story the shoddy Media - lets call it the really shoddy social media - have resorted to making up stories.  When growing up in the late 30's and 40's this was called lying and got one punished in our house.

Fake news includes inaccurate and unsupported stories all of which in the last year have been published without correction or apology.  Now it seems this attitude has spread to the maritime blogs.  One blog which was generally pretty good about its posts has slipped in accuracy lately including quoting from European tabloids.  A recent post was about H.M.S. Vengeance and its missile launches off the coast of Florida part of its programme to Certify boat and crew  The story was an ill advised, inaccurate choice in subject matter as to what happened and how the incident was reported to a Foreign N…

SS EL FARO VDR TRANSCRIPT

NAUTICAL LOG has published Posts about this tragic ship sinking since the very first report of her loss.  Today the NTSB has released her VDR data in particular the Navigation Bridge voice recorder - it is not good.  This Post is compiled from multiple Media sources.

On October 01, 2015 the SS El Faro a freighter sank with all hands, 33 crewmembers lost their lives and no bodies were ever recovered though one was sighted by the USCG in a survival suit but not picked-up.  By an extraordinary search, resumed at the insistence of a U.S. Senator from the State of Florida, the VDR was found  and now after months of investigation some results have been released. 

The ship left Jacksonville, Fl. bound for San Juan, PR and sailed directly into the eye of a Category 4 hurricane named Joaquin.  Why the ship was where it was in the first place is a question yet to be fully answered but it seems that the Master was more focused on fuel consumption than plotting the path of the hurricane Joaquin an…