Bye Bye, Balclutha

Balclutha Haulout

(click for timelapse video)

  What is a national park without its main attraction? Maybe my sensationalism thinly veils my bias, but for the next few months the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park will be without the historic ship, Balclutha:

  • Balclutha is a three-masted, steel-hulled, square-rigged ship built to carry a variety of cargo all over the world.
  • Launched in 1886 by the Charles Connell and Company shipyard near Glasgow, Scotland, the ship carried goods around Cape Horn (tip of South America) 17 times.
  • It took a crew of about 26 men to handle the ship at sea with her complex rigging and 25 sails.

The National Historic Landmark Ship, Balclutha, has departed from Hyde Street Pier to an East Bay shipyard for a haul out and repair period. It serves as a floating museum where its three careers hauling grain from California to Europe, lumber to Australia, and salmon from Alaska echoes the development of the maritime industry and California. For me, Balclutha is worth the price of admission itself, so it was a little upsetting knowing visitors won’t be able to learn from her.

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