- Peking (ship)
The "Peking" is a four masted
barquethe identical sister ship to the "Passat". A so-called " Flying P-Liner" of the Germanycompany F. Laeisz, it was one of the last generation of windjammers used in the nitrate tradeand wheat tradearound the often treacherous Cape Horn.
Eking out meager existence on routes difficult to serve by the
steam shipswhich required vast amounts of coalto fire their hungry boilers, these tall ships and the sailors sailing them were the last of their breed. Sailed "in the traditional way with few labor saving devices or safety features", her sailors were a hard lot, working four hours on and four hours off 24 hours a day for the entire length of the voyage, sometime for more than a hundred days in a row.
Made famous by the
sail trainingpioneer Irving Johnson, his footage filmed on board during a passage around Cape Horn in 1929 shocked experienced Cape Horn veterans and landsmen alike at the extreme conditions "Peking" experienced.
She was in
Valparaisoat the outbreak of World War I, and was awarded to Italy as war reparations. She was sold back to the original owners, the Laeisz brothers in 1923, and continued in the nitrate trade until traffic through the Panama Canalproved quicker and more economical.
In 1932, she was sold for £6,250 to
Shaftesbury Homes. She was first towed to Greenhithe, renamed "Arethusa II" and moored alongside the existing "Arethusa I". In July 1933, she was moved to her new permanent mooring off Upnoron the River Medway,where she worked as a children's home and training school. She was officially "opened" by HRH Prince George on 25 July 1933. During World War IIshe served in the Royal Navyas "HMS Pekin".
She was retired in 1975 and sold to Jack Aron, for the
South Street SeaportMuseum, New York Cityin the United States, where she is still moored.
Flying P-Liner" sisters in Europe:
Padua (ship)" - still active as a sail training ship under Russian flag as "Kruzenshtern"
Pamir (ship)" - lost 1957 in the Atlantic
Passat (ship)" - museum shipin Germnay, and true sister ship to the "Peking"
Pommern (ship)" - museum ship in Finland
*Irving Johnson; "Round the Horn in a
Square Rigger" (Milton Bradley, 1932) (reprinted as "The Peking Battles Cape Horn" (Sea History Press, 1977 ISBN 0-930248-02-3)
*Irving Johnson (film); "
Around Cape Horn" ( Mystic Seaport, 1985) (from original 16 mm footage shot by Irving Johnson, 1929)
* [http://www.users.zetnet.co.uk/arethusa/history.htm The History of Shaftesbury Homes and the Arethusa, giving details of the purchase of the Pekin/Peking]
* [http://www.southstseaport.org/index1.aspx?BD=8995 South Street Seaport Museum] webpage
* [http://mondomap.com/mondo/index.cfm?vid=26026&bid=166 Peking Museum at South Street Seaport: MondoMap]
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