2 observations in 1 expeditions
When we left off the bark had burned in the harbor at Acapulco, Mexico in 1908, considered a total construction loss to her owners. The hulk was sold for $3,500 to John H. Rinder, an American citizen living in San Francisco, California, on behalf of Shipowners & Merchants Tugboat Company. The American tug HERCULES towed the bark to San Francisco arriving in May 1909. Western Fuel Company of California purchased the hulk for $7,750, later selling the former bark to Union Oil Company for $21,000. Moore & Scott Iron Works of Oakland, California entered into a contact with Union Oil Company in 1913 to convert the former steel bark into an oil carrier at cost of $173,450.80, with additional equipment added later for a total conversion cost of $184,095.11. With the cost of her rebuild, plus the $21,000 Union Oil paid to purchase the former bark, when completed for all intents and purposes she was now an American-built vessel, without register from any nation. Pending congressional action in order that the ship might obtain registry and not be idle, the oil-carrier once again changed ownership being sold for $4,500 to a Canadian corporation having a capital stock of $5,000, divided into 200 shares. The Union Oil Company just happened to own 195 shares, of which 5 shares were held by C. Gardner Johnson of Vancouver, British Columbia to act as managing owner. In September of 1913, the vessel goes ashore on Punta Gorda, California….. stay tuned. Photo: Tug HERCULES, circa 1908, was ordered by the San Francisco based Shipowners and Merchants Tugboat Company to join the Red Stack fleet. Today you can visit HERCULES can at Hyde Street, she’s part of the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park’s floating museum ships.
This ROV mission to conduct a systematic site survey of what appears to be a submerged shipwreck will serve to help positively identify the final resting place of what the science team believes is Russell & Company’s (Port Glasgow, Scotland) fastest ship of the five four-masted barks built for Gilbert M. Steeves between 1889 and 1893. In 1907, Reginald Alexander John Warnerford served as an apprentice on board the bark; later in his military career with the Royal Naval Air Service in 1915 he attacked the German airship LZ 37. Setting the airship on fire, subsequently the LZ 37 crashed over Sint-Amandsberg, Belgium. The bark’s eighteen-year career under the British flag would come to an end when sailing from Cardiff, Wales for Acapulco, Mexico with a cargo of coal. She burned in the harbor of Acapulco in 1908, considered a total loss, the owners were paid off by the underwrites at Lloyd’s. The reincarnation of the ship under American registry began to take place, but it took an Act of Congress… stay tune.