The only floating national park in the United States is at the Aquatic Park in San Francisco, adjacent Municipal Pier. In my youth, I fished for shiners, sand dab, and an occasional crab. It has a great view of Alcatraz Island. I really enjoy history and visiting places where history was made.
Why was this a memorable visit? Because I was sharing the visit with my wife! It was also about seeing the conditions in which these travelers navigated the waters. Maybe it was about the difficulties and challenges this generation faced. Maybe it was the sense that that was a much simpler time. Maybe it was about how far we have come. It was probably all of the above and it makes me want to know more about what they were thinking then.
There were six ships docked, all of different sizes and uses. The largest was the Balclutha (1886-1930), built in Glasgow, Scotland. The Balclutha had multiple commercial lives starting with wine, oil, and coal (1886+), carrying lumber (1899+), salmon (1904+, renamed Star of Alaska), and movie star (1933, renamed Pacific Queen) in Mutiny on the Bounty (Clark Gable and Charles Laughton). During the fishing period, there were 200 crew and passengers on board, compared to the 26 when it started out as the Balclutha. The ship was purchased in 1954 by the San Francisco Maritime Museum and renamed the Balclutha. There is a majesty about sailing ships such as the Balclutha, three-masted full-rigged ships. Just love the sight of their tall masts.
It's Little Better than Slavery - Chinatown: "Imagine the forward end of this ship, crammed with a hundred barrels and cannery workers segregated by ethnicity. The name "Chinatown" originated during earlier days when the cannery workers were generally Chinese." Being of Chinese descent, this note in the cargo hold got my attention.
The captain of the ship had nice facilities, with parlor, bedroom and bathroom. Unlike the toilet facilities of the crew noted in the cartoon.
© Dr. Baldwin H. Tom CMC, FIMC