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.