The rudder for the composite clipper ship, City of Adelaide, arrived in Australia the week before Christmas Typically, when a ship comes into port, the rudder arrives last. Very little has been typical, however, about the struggle to save the oldest composite clipper ship, the City of Adelaide, built in 1864.
Last August, we posted about news reports that the ship, which has been sitting on a Scottish slipway since 1992, had been fumigated and was waiting on a barge to take her to Rotterdam, where she would be loaded onto a container ship for her return trip to Australia. Her scheduled departure was October of 2012. The ship had previously been expected to depart the prior March, but was delayed. It turned out that virtually nothing in the news story that we posted about turned out to be accurate. As Alan Mackie was kind enough to point out to us in his comments to the post, the ship had not been fumigated and had not been loaded on a barge.
The good and also possibly bad news is that two groups are committed to saving the old ship. The City of Adelaide Preservation Trust in the ship’s namesake city was granted the right by the government of Scotland to return the ship to Australia. The Sunderland City of Adelaide Recovery Fund (SCARF) wants to return the ship to Sunderland, the city where she was built. While each group appears to be well-intentioned, neither seems to have an abundance of ready cash. The disagreement over which group can best preserve the ship has been contentious and the subject of several lawsuits.
The best estimate for the movement of the ship back to Australia is Spring of 2013.