Combi-Dock III Sailing from New York Harbor Carrying Windjammer Peking

The ship was just a silhouette in the haze as we sailed into New York harbor. We were on the last leg of the delivery of my new/old sailboat Arcturus from southern Virginia to Oyster Bay, Long Island.  The ship in the distance looked odd. The ship’s deck-house was forward with three pedestal cranes aft.  What was strange was the other rigging, which at first looked like four king posts, rising from the deck.  Why would a ship with pedestal cranes also have king posts?

I then realized what I was seeing. The ship was the heavy-lift Combi Dock III and what looked like king posts were the masts of the windjammer Peking sitting in the well deck, leaving New York for the last time, on her way to restoration and a new life in Hamburg.  See our previous post of the Peking being floated aboard the Combi Dock III

For more (and better) photos of the Peking’s departure on Combi Dock III go to Will Van Dorp’s Tugster blog.

As we noted in a previous post, Peking was built in 1911 at the Blohm & Voss shipyard in Hamburg for the German ship owner, F. Laeisz, one of the famous Flying P Liners, which were among the last of the great sailing ships to round Cape Horn carrying cargo. Peking made voyages from Europe to the west coast of South America with general cargo and returned filled with nitrates for use in the making of fertilizer and explosives. The windjammer was made famous by the Irving Johnson film Around Cape Horn which documented her 1929 passage around the southern tip of South America in hurricane conditions. After 1933, the Peking served as the school ship, Arethusa II, mooring on the River Medway in Great Britain.  She was purchased as museum ship by the South Street Seaport Museum in 1975. After being restored, the Peking will serve as a museum ship at a maritime museum in Hamburg.

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7 Responses to Combi-Dock III Sailing from New York Harbor Carrying Windjammer Peking

  1. Mike Lee says:

    I used, a very long time ago, ( nearly 70 years , I hate to say) to sail up the Medway river in Kent. (UK) and was always deeply impressed by the towering rig and well kept hull of this great ship. She was used then as a cadet training ship, so the masts were largely intact and the cadets would scurry about in the tops, as they would once have done when the ship was in service. Moored almost opposite were truly old ships, hulks from the Napoleonic wars of the late 18th century. They were used as prisons for French prisoners who spent their time carving wonderfully detailed ship models from mutton bones. Later they became coal bunkers for the Navy during the first great war. The smell of coal still hung about them. This sail was a real voyage through history, and always a joy. All long gone of course, but wonderful to think of Peking/Arethusa with a whole new life ahead.

  2. Chris Roche says:

    As Mike rightly says: A surreally odd sight. Liverpudlian Mike Stanley had the same feeling when he was in an ore carrier back in 1970 and came on deck to hear the mate utter some expletives about the object that appeared to be floating above the surface haze on the horizon. What they were seeing in 1970 was Brunel’s great iron ship, GREAT BRITAIN whose last incarnation was as a Cape Horn sailing ship not the steam ship albeit sail assisted that she was launched as the great man known as Union Jack Hayward paid all the coast of her recovery from Sparrow Cove on the run in to the Falklands which we had sailed past on our run into the sound at Stanley in SOREN LARSEN 11 December 1991. Mike had seen a tug towing a pontoon on which GREAT BRITAIN sat tight. I saw that same ship the day after she was put back in the graving dock in which she had been built in 1845 and marvelled as I looked in through the hole in her bow through the uninterrupted length of the ship and out through the hole in her stern, boy was she holed badly. PEKING herself has been ripe for sympathetic restoration ever since she left the mooring that Shaftsbury Homes had her on in the Medway, when she arrived in the USA her shiny new yards were as a matter of expediency welded to masts before being lifted in by a crane. Now for the four mast ship FALLS OF CLYDE. The trust formed by David O`Neil to make a last ditch attempt to save her is franticly trying to find the funds to pay for a Norwegian heavy lift ship that has been offered for September/October coming lets hope and donate to that cause. WEALTHY FOLKS PLEASE NOTE

  3. John Broadwater says:

    What a strange sight to see! It’s sad to see her leaving New York, but I’m glad she’s getting restoration treatment. Also, it seems fitting that she’s returning to Hamburg, where she was built more than a century ago. Godspeed, Peking!

  4. Jean-Pierre Declemy says:

    When she was the Arethusa at Upnor on the River Medway she must have left in a hurry because she just dropped her mooring cables. This caused us problems years later when trying to drive in piles for a new pontoon. One pile just would not go in so eventually a hole was dug in the mud to find out why. Under a few feet of mud the pile was hitting the cable and just bouncing back up.

  5. Joe says:

    When I first visited NY in the mid 90’s we went to the pier and saw two (former) tall ships, to my surprise one was the PEKING, with hometown HAMBURG — got a bit homesick immediately. Now she’s coming home!
    I bet, when I will enter her in the funture, I’ll always think of the visits to NY.
    Almost here?..

  6. Jean-Pierre Declemy says:

    She is being unloaded from the Combi Dock III tomorrow morning. There is a livestream video from 6.30am local time.
    More info here,peking1280.html

  7. DAVID RYE says:

    Short self explanatory video –