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Thread: Barquentine "California" Info???

  1. #1
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    I am looking for information on the 62-foot three-masted schooner/barquentine "California." She was designed by naval architect Al Mason in 1928 and wrecked on the rocks outside San Diego harbor in 1981. I am most particularly interested in information on her whereabouts, and owners, from 1941-1949; 1955-1959; and late 1960s to late 1970s. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
    [Al\'s daughter]

  2. #2
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    Sorry I can't help you there, but welcome. There is an Ostkust here (I think for sale now) that is just a joy to see sailing.

  3. #3
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    Dunno that particular vessel, but you might contact the San Diego Maritime Museum, if you haven't tried them already.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Barquentine "California" Info???

    Ahoy Al's daughter,
    I worked for Windjammer Cruises in Hawaii in the early 70's. Among other things, I remodeled the main salon of the California. Windjammer Cruises changed hands. One of the old owners, Larry Briggs, retained the California as his personal vessel and I sailed with him and 5 others on that square rigger to Marina Del Rey, Ca.

    Regards,
    Bill Bornemann
    billbornemann@hotmail.com

  5. #5

    Default Re: Barquentine "California" Info???

    Yes i do know what happened to her i was 1st mate on salvage vessel Cape Charles that pulled her off rocks off Point Loma. My stepdad Glen Couch owned Cape Charles and Rask Shipyards in coranado, after 5 days and one losing one our smaller towboats. We finally got her off rocks she sank lifted her with airbags, towed her back to Rask. Hauled her out of water my stepdad promised she would be repared but it never happened. I was sad when she was cut up and hauled away. I do have some artifacts a porthole , a pully and srimshaw of her and Point loma. Ive just sent for your dads book. Im looking forward to reading it.

    Good luck Chris Jacobson

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Barquentine "California" Info???

    Quote Originally Posted by cjacobson9962 View Post
    Ive just sent for your dads book. Im looking forward to reading it.

    What book?


    Anita hasn't posted here in a while but some here know her and will pass on your message.


    Steven

  7. #7

    Default Re: Barquentine "California" Info???

    I messed up Al did not write book, Edward Barr wrote The last command of the Barquentine Calafornia. I belive he was captain when she ran aground.

    thanks
    chris

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Barquentine "California" Info???

    I used to run the Californian out of Long Beach, and every time we went to fuel we could see a boat that might fit your description. If memory serves she looked like a 3 masted schooner with some squares on the fore mast, but it's been a long time.
    The cure for everything is saltwater - sweat, tears, or the sea.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Barquentine "California" Info???

    It's been a long time since Californian has moored in Long Beach. The 3 master might have been the Tole Mour.



    I can't remember exactly when she arrived in Long Beach, it might have been after the Californian's stay here. We have other 3 masters here, but I can't think of another barquentine.

    Schooner captains love to get blown offshore!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Barquentine "California" Info???

    There a huge difference in size, between these two boats. Tole is a big girl, and I know her pretty well. The foggy memories I have arenof something that fit (poorly) in the yacht basin, maybe 65 or so on deck, and super scruffy. I think Californians last season based out of LB was maybe 2002.
    The cure for everything is saltwater - sweat, tears, or the sea.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Barquentine "California" Info???

    Quote Originally Posted by McKee View Post
    There a huge difference in size, between these two boats. Tole is a big girl, and I know her pretty well. The foggy memories I have arenof something that fit (poorly) in the yacht basin, maybe 65 or so on deck, and super scruffy. I think Californians last season based out of LB was maybe 2002.


    2002? That's when this thread was started. I thought the California went on the rocks in '81.

    Steven

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Barquentine "California" Info???

    I don't know the name of this little three master that I saw in LB. I admit to skimming the thread... Whoops missed that date sorry for the confusion.
    The cure for everything is saltwater - sweat, tears, or the sea.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Barquentine "California" Info???

    Quote Originally Posted by McKee View Post
    There a huge difference in size, between these two boats. Tole is a big girl, and I know her pretty well. The foggy memories I have arenof something that fit (poorly) in the yacht basin, maybe 65 or so on deck, and super scruffy. I think Californians last season based out of LB was maybe 2002.
    65 is a little small for 3 masts. There's a boat in the Downtown Marina called Rattlesnake. Kind of a pirate ship looking kind of a thing about that size. She'd look scruffy even if she was top shape.

    Where did you fuel? Jankovich and Sons?
    Schooner captains love to get blown offshore!

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Barquentine "California" Info???

    It's been a bit, but that sounds right. We could just bairly get on the fuel dock in the yacht marina next to Rainbow Harbor. If memory serves we probably took up the whole dock and then some. I think we hung on both ends quite a lot.
    The cure for everything is saltwater - sweat, tears, or the sea.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Barquentine "California" Info???

    Jankovich is on the main channel. The now closed fuel dock next to Rainbow Harbor is in the Downtown Marina. Rattlesnake still lives on an end tie right next to the closed fuel dock.

    HOLY CRAP!!!

    That dock is a tight fit for a 50 footer. I suspect it took a calm day and judicial use of the yawl boat to get Californian in there.

    Boy do I miss that fuel dock!
    Schooner captains love to get blown offshore!

  16. #16

    Default Re: Barquentine "California" Info???

    Just read The last command of the Barquentine California. Ive spent alot of time off Point Loma in heavy fog, I think I would have stopped and lowered anchor, The captain had 50 passengers and crew lucky he did not kill anybody, Who cares if the owner would get pissed if she was not docked in time.
    He calls my ship a rust bucket but she had enough muscle to pull his mistake off the rocks!
    What a shame.

    Chris

  17. #17

    Default Re: Barquentine "California" Info???

    Hello Chris:
    Interesting to read the thread and your post of the Barquentine California. My wife & I were married on that boat in 1973 when she was operating out of Kewalo Basin in Honolulu. You mentioned you had some artifacts from the boat. Boy, I would like to have something to remember her by. Would you be interested in parting with any of it? I found the Forum through a web search on the California and was surprised by the posts.
    On another subject; we owned and lived aboard another schooner the CB Carver in Keehi Lagoon in the late 70s. She was 40' on deck and built in Thomaston, Maine I believe in 1960 and very comfortable. The Carver is now somewhere in Oalkand, Ca. and not in good repair. I spoke to the current owner about 1yr ago and he was interested in selling her.
    Thanks
    Brent Greenwood
    Santa Rosa, Ca.
    Supermax@sonic.net

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Barquentine "California" Info???

    This is the only California I know of (only 2 masted)


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Barquentine "California" Info???

    Ram,

    That's the Californian, the boat in the thread title is the California.

    Californian is still sailing out of the San Diego Maritime Museum. California was lost in the early '80s. If memory serves me she hit the partially submerged jetty at the entrance to San Diego Bay
    Schooner captains love to get blown offshore!

  20. #20

    Default Re: Barquentine "California" Info???

    I have some pics of the 3 master "California" I will try to post after I get them downsized so the server will accept them.
    B.Greenwood

  21. #21

    Default Re: Barquentine "California" Info???

    Hello Brent,
    Ill think about what you said , It would be hard to part with with some of these artifacts, try to get the book The last command of the barquentine california.It shows my dads boat the cape charles. When i bought it they said it was the last copy, Interesting the cape charles is sunk off point loma almost in the same spot we were at when we pulled her off the rocks. You can see her sunk goggle cape charles san diego. my e- mail is cjacobson9962@yahoo.com.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Barquentine "California" Info???

    Sorry, I'm a bit late to this thread but I see you’re all pretty much adrift in the fog without radar. So let me help. This is for Al’s daughter:

    I crewed on the Barquentine California for 2 years when she operated out of Harbor Island (San Diego), California. I was a young pup studying for my skippers license and needed the sea-time.

    I sailed with Ed Barr, from the day he first stepped aboard, before gaining my own papers and moving on. Dick Highfill was captain prior to Ed. Ed seemed pretty competent to me at the time, but guess I was wrong about that.

    During my time aboard, I was engineer, deckhand and live-aboard caretaker. The California ran whale watching trips during their annual migration to Baja, weddings, funerals at sea (weird...) and cocktail cruises in San Diego Bay twice a day. I remember Tom Maguire as first mate, a real salty dog and great guy, who taught me how to sail her. He migrated to larger tall ships, then I lost touch. You might try to track him down if he’s still alive. He’ll have much more history on her than I do, I’m sure.

    Sailing the California was one of the best experiences of my life. She was what some might call a “showbiz square rigger”, originally built as a 3 masted schooner, the yards were added sometime after she was first launched in Vallejo back in ‘23. She was fitted for 9 canvas sails when I was on her and licensed for 49 passengers on deck. We ran her with a skipper, mate, 2 deckhands (including myself) and a galley-girl who served drinks to the passengers.

    She was a joy to sail and under full canvas she could really move; on a beam reach with good wind she was like a freight train. When it was blowing hard, we’d pray for a charter, just so we could sail the bay and see how fast we could really make her go. We’d fly all sails and push her as hard as we dared. Try as we might, we never did get her lee rails under water. She was a real working girl, with not much too brightwork (thankfully) to keep up, not too much brass to polish.

    At the time I was on her (1978-80), George and Lill Falkesgaard owned her, up until she sank for the last time. In fact, George had bought her off the seabed in Honolulu, I believe in the early 70‘s, as she had sank in about 40 feet of water, after some kids hijacked her for a joyride. He raised her, fixed her and brought California to San Diego to operate her as a business. I believe George passed away in 83.

    George was like a character out of some novel. Norwegian, mustachioed, stereotype accent, ramrod straight posture, he had been a British Tank Commander in WW2. He was always, I mean ALWAYS, dressed in a short-sleeved navy shirt with epaulettes, white trousers, blue canvas deck shoes and a knitted watch cap. I reckon he had a closet-full of them. Maybe he slept in them. He was partial to ice cold Aquavit and introduced me to some truly memorable hangovers.

    I wept when I heard the California had sank. If I ever saw Ed Barr again, I’d deck him twice, first for wrecking her and then again for having the gall to write a book about it.

    For aficionados, there is an early history of California’s circumnavigation post-WW2 called “Give me the World “by Leila Hadley which has some good pictures. It went out of print in hard back but I’ve seen it reprinted in Amazon. I have a great personal photo of her at the dock in Harbor Island, which I will scan and post her when I can.

    Meantime here’s a flickr photo I just found on a websearch taken by crew who preceded me. http://www.flickr.com/photos/searoom-sf/2128453132/
    She is definitely the “Barquentine California”. She looks like she's sailing San Diego Bay. That's Point Loma in the background right.

    Someone said she was a prop of the TV series Adventures in Paradise, but that’s a two masted schooner called Tiki, with some stupid masthead nailed on, when I looked it up, so NOT. I seem to recall she featured in From Here to Eternity and Hawaii I believe.

    I loved that old boat. I would have bought her myself if she had survived. I don’t believe there were any sister-ships built, but if so, please tell me! robert.hokin@eco-connect.org
    Last edited by ecoconnect; 02-21-2012 at 10:19 AM.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Barquentine "California" Info???

    Thanks for the info, Robert. Anita hasn't posted here in a while but maybe someone (Jake?) can pass this on to her. I think Anita is going to be donating all of Al Mason's plans to a museum sometime soon, I'm sure there will be some sort of notice here when it is all set.

    I don't think it's been mentioned here yet that Al Mason designed California before he studied Naval Architecture at Webb Institute. In fact, he was just seventeen years old! And the California was used in the TV series Adventures In Paradise - it was one of several boats used in the starring role.

    His "day jobs" included:

    # John G. Alden—Boat Hull Designer & Marine Draftsman
    # Tams, Inc.—Marine Draftsman
    # Sparkman & Stephens, Inc.—Principal Project Designer
    # Steelcraft Boats, Inc.—Chief Naval Architect
    # Sparkman & Stephens, Inc.—Naval Architect
    # U.S. Naval Academy—Assistant Professor, Department of Marine Engineering
    # Feadship, Inc.—Naval Architect
    # Philip L. Rhodes—Project Designer (Naval Architect)
    # Sparkman & Stephens, Inc.—Naval Architect
    # U.S. Navy—Naval Architect (Small Craft & Boats)
    # California Maritime Academy—Assistant Professor, Naval Architecture

    But for fun in his spare time he designed boats and sold the plans through The Rudder Magazine.

    If anyone is interested in Al's life you should check out WoodenBoat Magazine issue #108.


    Steven
    Last edited by StevenBauer; 02-21-2012 at 06:06 PM.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Barquentine "California" Info???

    That's terrific. I'd be happy to assist anyway I can. I'd love to see plans of the California.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Barquentine "California" Info???

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenBauer View Post
    Thanks for the info, Robert. Anita hasn't posted here in a while but maybe someone (Jake?) can pass this on to her. Anita is donating, or has donated, all of Al Mason's plans.


    Steven
    I miss Al, he was a good guy.
    He was a great help with my little canoeyawl, at least eight hours of elbow bending and noodling around the plans, making paper cut-outs, crunching a few numbers, and much to his wifes chagrin he wouldn't take a penny. There were not many people in Ca. that even knew who he was and he just loved to talk about boats and tell lies.
    There was a tiny little anchor on his desk, no bigger than a childs bicycle seat it was a Danforth I think. He said it was a test model for a WW2 sea plane (they had to have a lightweight anchor that worked) and he told the story of he and Phil Rhodes (maybe?) taking a dingy out in the Potomac and testing it. Nothing to do for it but have a drink or two while they waited on the tide to see if it worked. There was plaque on his wall that announced he was a member in good standing of The Order of The Bloody Knuckle (along with Herreshoff, Rhodes, Alden and the rest of that gang...)
    Last edited by Canoeyawl; 02-21-2012 at 06:28 PM.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Barquentine "California" Info???

    I served as Master on from 1978 to 1980, during that time we were based out of The Sheraton Hotel on Harbor Island I got the job when the ink on my license was still wet. I had 25 ton license with a sail endorsement. Falkesgaard took me down to the USCG office and they upgraded me to 50 tons. The California was 37 tons so I could sail her. The Previous Captain Bob Dixon did not have a sail endorsement and had to have the engine on at all times. My mate was Rich Swinn the live aboard deckhand was Vince Belcher. For the summer we did two hour scheduled harbor tours leaving at 1pm and at 5pm we also did private charters and weddings and funerals.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Barquentine "California" Info???

    Wow I'm amazed to find this. Been looking for a long time on the fate of the 'California'. Crewed on it 1970 out of Kewalo Basin where I lived on a McWayne Marine Coronado 35, and worked in the South Seas dive shop. What a time. Is Larry Briggs still alive? He had taken it 'around the world' before berthing in Hawaii. Great guy. Him and his partner, Chet, worked Waikiki hard to make it a success. They added John Ford's sloop to the fleet. Where's it? I left Hawaii in '76 and just happened to be visiting San Diego when it was being beat up on the reef. Crazy coincidence. So sad. The picture that led me to this string from google images wasn't really the 'California'. Somebody should have a pic or a painting? Great reminiscing, Bill Morgan

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Barquentine "California" Info???

    please post those pics. thanks, Bill Morgan

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Barquentine "California" Info???

    The "California" is a boat that my wife and I had the pleasure of spending a few days on just after she was first launched. Our best man Michael Kutnick, who owns the Whales Tail Restaurant in Oxnard was one of the promotors of the boat and we were asked to assist with some promotion work for her; the reasoning being that she was the West Coast answer to the "Pride of Baltimore". We wanted to see her succeed in that capacity and were able to help with the beginnings of that dream when she moved down to Dana Harbor. Unfortunately we were taken away from the project due to family priorities and sadly, were never able to re-connect.
    Jay

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Barquentine "California" Info???

    In 1928? How old are you, Jay? That was 90 years ago!

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Barquentine "California" Info???

    Perhaps Jay is mixing up the two-masted CALIFORNIAN https://sdmaritime.org/visit/the-ships/californian/ with the three-masted CALIFORNIA?
    "It's a pirate's life for me. Savvy??"

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Barquentine "California" Info???

    I probably should have had a smiley winky emoticon there, huh?

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