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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.

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