Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Schooner WAWONA

The once-elegant schooner WAWONA ( three massted 165' ) will embark on its last voyage Monday, leaving its South Lake Union moorage for a nearby dry dock to be dismantled, Seattle, Washington. A badly deteriorated Wawona, once powered by four huge sails in Pacific coastal waters, has been moored for nearly 30 years near the Armory, awaiting a financial rescue that never came. Public-private fundraising efforts have been ongoing for decades in hopes of saving one of the largest three-masted schooners ever built on the West Coast. The Wawona once caught more cod than any other member of a 400-member Pacific schooner fleet -- and is now one of only two surviving fleet members. The Wawona's sister ship, the C.A. Thayer in San Francisco, years ago received federal, local and nonprofit support to undergo a historic renovation estimated to cost $13 million. But such funding did not come the Wawona's way, in some ways hurt by the federally funded effort in San Francisco.

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