A century and a half at sea

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The world's oldest functioning metal sailing ship, Star of India, is back on the water. She was built in 1863 (as much as 155 years ago) at Ramsey Shipyard on the Isle ofMan (UK) and was originally named Euterpe. Since 1926, the sailing ship has been located in San Diego,California, USA. Now it belongs to the city's Maritime Museum.

On November 16-17 Star of India set to sea for the first time in five years. She was accompanied by the schooner Californian (1984), a replica of the Spanish galleon built 1542 by San Salvador and a replica of the schooner built 1851 by America, the winner of the «America Cup» 1851, which at the time was called «the One Hundred Guineas Cup».

Two days in a row Star of India and her companion sailing ships would gather guests on board at 7:30am and be at sea until 5pm. Passengers enjoyed a stroll under sail and all those who could not buy a ticket for the excursion could admire the view of the great sailing ships from the shore. Then photographer Doug Faber (Doug Faber) took his picture.

There is no doubt that Star of India has seen a lot in a century and a half: the Maritime Museum volunteers had a lot to tell the guests. On her maiden voyage fromGreat Britain to India, for example, she ran aground and then mutinied aboard. On the way back, during a storm in theBay of Biscay,she lost the tops of her masts and barely made it to port. Some time later, the first captain of Star of India died right on board during another voyage.

In 1871 she was purchased by the Shaw Savill Line. For the next 25 years itcarried migrants to Australiaand New Zealand. During this time the Star of India made 21 circumnavigations around the world.

The ship took her present form in 1901, when she came under the ownership of the Alaska Packers Association. Since then, instead of a full sailing ship, the Star of India has been a barque. In this form she made 22 more voyages between San Francisco and Alaska before 1923.

When in 1926 the Star of India was transferred to the Zoological Society of San Diego, there were plans for a museum and aquarium on her. However, these plans were thwarted first by the Great Depression and then by World War II. There was simply no money to re-equip the sailboat. In the beginning of the 1960s the bark was sent for repairs, and from 1976 she was able to put out to sea again. Henceforth and forever it was just to be itself - a living monument to the era of great sailing ships.

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