Newspaper Archive of
The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
September 9, 2011     The Catalina Islander
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September 9, 2011

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Myster From page 1- This naughty nautical _.behav- ior continued for several decades with the s~hip being confiscated by Chinese authorities or--later--the British, on at least four occasions in the early 19th century. In 1841, fed. up.with her repu- tation, the Imlberial Chinese gov- ernment turned her into a. prison ship. It was on a fateful day during this period that 158 prisoners were summarily brought on deck and beheaded. -Duri~ngthe Taiping Rebellion in the 1860s; the ship was captured by British forces and it was then, un- derthe command of Colonel Peter "Chinese" Gordon, that the name_ was changed to Ning-po, or the "Peaceful Wave." It was only then that the ship began her new career ita the tourism industry, becom- ture implements to make even the -~ng something of an early cruise sturdiest Victorianniatron swoon. Ship. But evenher appeaf~ce as a ~,, After temporary berthings in tourist attraction was t~tinfed with~:.San Diego and San Pedro, she fi- larceny. According to a 1958 ar- /nallymade her appearance at Cata- ticle in the "Journal of San Diego History," the Ning-po first began her career in the travel and tourism industry in-the late 1800s in the Hong : Kong area. .. Tlie game was to lure a groupof foreign'tour- is~ts aboard for a multi- day: sojourn down the coast where the unsus- pecting tourists were then robbed and set ashore. It wasn't until about 1913 that the Ning-po finally made it across the Pacific to the coast of Califor- nia where she was put on display along with enough cutlery and tor- Jim Watson Columnist lina Island in 1917--the last landfall she would ever make. For awhile, she was anchored in Lover's Cove and served as a restaurant and museum, but eventually found her way to Cat Harbor where she continued keeping tourists in awe through- out the 1920s. Her closing chapter in life be- gan when a Hollywood movie crew inadvertently set the shil6 on fire when a burning prop ship drifted too close for comfort. The upper decks of the Ning-po burned to the waterline and what was left of her hull settled into the mud. equally unnatural_in the consisten- Several years ago, my snorkel- cy of its width'of about a yard. over ing gear and I made a pilgrimage to Cat Harbor to see if there was anything left of the ship. I knew it had been many years since any part of the vessel was visible above the surface, but tough ol.d sailingships die hard and I hoped Imight find something of this piece of mari- time history. I Snorkeled along a predeter- mined (s0rt of) grid pattern, sifting the bottom sands here and there 'whenever I saw something prom- ising. I had hoped to find a rotting timber or perhaps a barnacle-en- crusted iron fitting or two. But there was nothing left. Nothing, that is, except for an unnaturally straight bed of a pe- culiar variety of sea lettuce which spanned the bottom for about 30 yards This ray of seaweed was its entice length. s~is&l that this iife was'per- haps a ~roffth that was feeding on the long-hurled keel and timbers of the ship, ~'perhaps themselves only molecules diluted in the fine sands of Ballast point. I thought it ironic at the time, and still do, that this ship that had seen so much destruction and tak- en part in so much loss of life was now itself giving back to that life in a silent, wave-lapped lagoon- on Catalina Island. The "Peaceful Wave" is finally at peace. Gota weird story about Catalina? Email it to us at dan@cinews, us or send it to Mysterious Island, c/o Catalina Islander, PO Box 428, Avalon, CA 90704. HARBOR ACTIVITY REPORT August 2011 Summer continued to look hopeful with a high of 79 on Aug. 1. Temps did not remain as high in Avalon, but mainland heat con- tinued and as usual brought many visitors our way in search of cool ocean breezes. The 21st annual Church Mouse Invitational Fishing Tournament was held Aug. 29 and 30 with over 60 boats participating. With one marlin on the board brought in by "Club Ted" earlier in the month, anglers knew that at least there were fish in the area. Bob and Carol Butte, tour- nament organizers report that the tournament raised $60,000 for Ava- lon youth programs, a portion of the funds coming from the auction of &.BLAIR the opportunity to throw a pie in the harbor master's face once again this year. The Harbor Department again expresses much appreciation to the Butte family and all the volunteers for 21 fabulous tournaments. Catalina mooring owner Rob- ert Strohbach is an accomplished free-diver and tong time member of the Long Beach Nepttmes. Al- though he is a spear fisherman he knows and observes all regulations regarding protected species. Last month, while diving near the rock quarry offofhis vessel "Sea Hurit,;' Robert observed a protected giant black seabass with a spear embed- ded in its body at approximatOy 30 feet deep He attempted to ap- proach the fish to try to remove the spear, but was unable to get close enough. However, he returned the next day mad because of the quiet, stealth diveability of the free diver was able to approach and remove the spear from the estimated 200- pound fish. The shoulder rate will begin Sept. 18. Vessels paying mooring fees in advance for any Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday can moor the following Monday, Tues- day and Wednesday at no charge. August 2011 stats are as follows: People aboard boats-lO,494 Vessels Moored-2,158 Vessels Anchored-112 Lost/Stolen Reports-2/29 Accident Reports-7 Average Temp: High-72 Low-62 Average Sea Temp-68 Rain~O Moorings Sold/transferred-O Citations Issued-3 Discharges-1 Cruise Ship Passengem: Paradise (5 weeks)=13d83 Elation (2 weeks)-O Splendor (1 week)-O Total Cruise Ship-13,183 Zane Grey moves The good news is that the striped marlin fishing offthe coast of Southern California has picked up along the beach and:,a bunch of boats caught marlin over La- bor Day weekend. Unfortunately, the action isn't at Catalina Island, it's right off the mainland and the Zane Grey Invitational is literally just days away, scheduled for Sep- tember 11-13 in Avalon Harbor on- Catalina Island. Insurance you can design to meet your ever-changing needs. Products and Services to meet all your insurance needs Farmers HelpPoint 24/7 claims service Si hablamos espanol FA RM E RS" Heather Dickerson License #0758719 That left tournament director Ali Hussainy with a tough deci- sion... Keep the Zane Grey Tour- nament on Catalina Island and risk losing Several teams, or move the tournament closer to the action so crews wouldn't have to run some 40 miles from the island to find the fish, and then have to run back uphill to Catalina at the end of the day. The decision was made and the tournament will make a move to Dana Point, CA, which will make the run to the fish much easier for those teams competing. The 2011 Zane Grey Inv.ita- tional KickoffParty will take place at the Wind and Sea Restaurant Starting on Sunday, Sept 11. The Shotgun Start will run out of Dana Point Harbor. The Weigh Station and Tournament Control will be located at the Dana Point Fuel Dock. Fishing times will remain as scheduled, The action is just too good to force guys out to Catalina. The striped marlin are off the beach around the 209. Capt. Jimmy Kingsmill Caught two aboard "Trinidad" over the past weekend an~.m~=~yeral more fish tailing on the surface. He called in two other boats and they both were i~- stantly,zipped with jig strikes w~ they showed up ....... The Zane Grey Invitational at- tracts the top teams in Califo~ and the tournament commi~ wanis all participants to be able to find fish. This tournament has a ~que forniat that always m- .:~ereAseS theievel of competition:i~y /awardifig points for any verified striped marlin release as well ~ts points for boated fish that meet ffie qualifying weight.-: -~ It definiteby b~comes a chess - mat ' ch out-:there;, wit~L each team calculating their point totals and strategies, and competition is :M- ways high. Because of this unique, it is imperative that. the b~a~be in waters that m:e ab~dant ~th fish: 4i Friday, sePtembe;912011 .......................................... THE CATAUNA ISLANDER