Sea Captains: San Francisco 1800s

Captain Carlson

June 17, 1910, San Francisco Call, San Francisco, California

Lahaina Wins Race From Australia

The barkentine Lahaina, Captain Carlson, which arrived yesterday 70 days from Newcastle, Australia, is the first to arrive of three windjammers that sailed the same day from the Australian port for San Francisco. Before sailing Captain Carlson made a bet with Captain Larsen of the barkentine Koko Head that the Lahaina would be first inside the Golden Gate.

The Lahaina and Koko Head towed out from Newcastle on the same tide. Within four hours theLahaina had sailed the Koko Head out of sight. The Koko Head has not yet put in an appearance.

The other vessel that sailed the same day was the bark John Palmer. They were all loaded with coal for Hind, Rolph & Co. The Lahaina brought 1.585 tons of coal.

When the Lahaina arrived, Captain Carlson was confined to his bed as the result of a sickness which fell upon him a few days ago. He showed immediate signs of improving health when the quarantine officers informed him that the Koko Head had not arrived.


Per bktn Lahaina, from Newcastle, New South Wales: June 16--Sailed April 7; had light and baffling winds to the north end of New Zealand; passed between the Fife and New Caledonia; was 40 days to the equator, which we crossed in longitude 170 east; had fresh NE trades from there to latitude 28 north; had fresh S S W winds to latitude 39 north, longitude 140 west; thence to port strong NW wind; on arrival at San Francisco, Captain Carlson was confined to his bed having been sick several days; Lahaina and Koko Head towed out side tby side from Newcastle, bound for San Francisco, but left the Koko Head astern iin four hours after.

June 23, 1910, San Francisco Call

Barkentine Loses Race From Australia and Skipper Will Pay Forfeit to Winner

THE race from Australia between Hind, Rolph & Co.'s big barkentines Lahaina and Koko Head was completed when the Koko Head, Captain Larsen, sailed in through the Golden Gate just five days behind the Lahaina.

Before the ships left Newcastle, Captain Larsen of the Koko Head suggested that as they were to sail on the same day it would make the voyage more interestins if he and Captain Carlson of theLahaina made a little bet on the result. Carlson was willing and it was agreed that the master of the first vessel to arrive in San Francisco should be the guest of the other skipper at the Johnson-Jeffries fight and afterward at a dinner served to the order of the winner.

The barkentines are practically twins. They were both built at Boole's shipyard, the Lahaina in 1901 and the Koko Head in 1902. The Koko Head is 4 feet longer of hull and 17 tons greater displacement than the Lahaina and both vessels have made a number of good passages.

The Lahaina made the run in 70 days. Captain Carlson was sick in bed when nis vessel reached port, but convalescence began the moment he learned that the Koko Head had not arrived. The windjammers had left Newcastle together. Four hours after making sail the Lahaina had winged its way out of the Koko Head's sight, and the rivals did not see each other again until yesterday. Seventy-five days is a pretty good run from Newcastle to San Francisco. When he sighted the lightship yesterday morning Captain Larsen was in high spirits and was all-smiles when the quarantine doctor boarded the ship off the barge office.

"I don't suppose you've seen anything of the Lahaina?" inquired Captain Larsen with the air of a man sure of getting no for an answer.

"The Lahaina?" replied Dr. Terry. "Why, she arrived a week ago. What delayed you, captain?"

It was bad enough to lose the race and get, stuck for two fight tickets and a double dinner, but when Captain Larsen learned that the fight was to be held at Reno and that Captain Carlson was preparing to make the trip at his expense he lost further interest in local news and ordered the mate to muster the crew for quarantine inspection.

The Koko Head brought 1,871 tons of coal.

April 21, 1911, San Francisco Call, San Francisco, California

Captain of Barkentine Slashed With Own Sword

The gunner that was hoist with his own petard has a place in history all his own. Captain Carlson of the barkentine Lahaina jumped into fame yesterday as a warrior slashed with his own sword. The captain is the past grand hypothesis, or something like that, of the solemn and secret order of parallelogram, or words to that effect. With the office goes a uniform and a sword. He was taking the sword ashore with him yesterday in Crowley launch No. 10, when the trusty weapon was given its bath in Carlson gore.

Something went wrong with the steering gear. The launch, which was going at full speed, made a sudden swerve and, before the engineer could reverse the engine, the boat struck squarely against the unyielding side of a lumber barge. At that particular moment the captain, sword in hand, was going through one of the drills at which the grand hyp. must be an expert. Bang went the launch, over went the skipper. The sword flew out of his hand and when he fell his chin encountered the steel blade, which carved a crimson furrow around the starboard side of his lower Jaw.

The launch was badly strained, the captain will look like a graduate of Heidelberg for the rest of his life, but the sword emerged from the encounter blushing with the gory glory of having at last accomplished the purpose for which it was forged.

October 2, 1912, San Francisco Call

The barkentine Lahaina, from newcastle, Australia, while rounding to an anchor off Meiggs wharf, fouled the schooner Annie Larsen, anchored; the schooner lost head gear and jibboom; Lahaina had after rail damaged and davits carried away. Per Lahaina, crossed equator on August 29, Captain Carlson taken serious ill with stomach trouble on the voyage and still ailing. Was within 1,000 miles of San Francisco when 42 days out; then had succession of ENE gales for 14 days.

Gold Rush Port
The Maritime Archaeology of San Francisco's WaterfrontMaritime Archaeology of San Francisco's Waterfront.
James P. Delgado
Gold Rush Port The Maritime Archaeology of San Franciscos Waterfront.Described as a "forest of masts," San Francisco's Gold Rush waterfront was a floating economy of ships and wharves, where a dazzling array of global goods was traded and transported. Drawing on excavations in buried ships and collapsed buildings from this period, James P. Delgado re-creates San Francisco's unique maritime landscape, shedding new light on the city's remarkable rise from a small village to a boomtown of thousands in the three short years from 1848 to 1851. Gleaning history from artifacts, such as preserves and liquors in bottles, leather boots and jackets, hulls of ships, even crocks of butter lying alongside discarded guns. Gold Rush Port paints a fascinating picture of how ships and global connections created the port and the city of San Francisco.

The Great Ocean: Pacific Worlds from Captain Cook to the Gold RushPacific Worlds.
David Igler
Master Under God.The Pacific of the early eighteenth century was a place of baffling complexity, with 25,000 islands and seemingly endless continental shorelines. But with the voyages of Captain James Cook, global attention turned to the Pacific, and European and American dreams of scientific exploration, trade, and empire grew dramatically. By the time of the California gold rush, the Pacific's many shores were fully integrated into world markets-and world consciousness. The Great Ocean draws on hundreds of documented voyages as a window into the commercial, cultural, and ecological upheavals following Cook's exploits, focusing in particular on the eastern Pacific in the decades between the 1770s and the 1840s. Beginning with the expansion of trade as seen via the travels of William Shaler, captain of the American Brig Lelia Byrd, historian David Igler uncovers a world where voyagers, traders, hunters, and native peoples met one another in episodes often marked by violence and tragedy.

Rounding the HornĀ 
Being the Story of Williwaws and Windjammers, Drake, Darwin, Murdered Missionaries and Naked Natives. A Deck's-eye View of Cape Horn
Murdered Missionaries and Naked Natives. Captains.Rounding the Horn.
Dallas Murphy
Fifty-five degrees 59 minutes South by 67 degrees 16 minutes West: Cape Horn, situated at the bottom of South America, is a place of forlorn and foreboding beauty that has captured the dark imaginations of explorers and writers from Francis Drake to Joseph Conrad. For centuries, the small stretch of water between Cape Horn and the Antarctic Peninsula was the only gateway between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Storms are bigger, winds stronger, and the seas rougher than anywhere else on earth. InĀ Rounding the Horn, author Dallas Murphy undertakes the ultimate maritime rite of passage weaving together stories of his own nautical adventures with tales of those who braved the Cape before him from Spanish missionaries to Captain Cook and interspersing them with breathtaking descriptions of the surrounding wilderness.

Master Under GodAt Sea.Master Under God.
Captain Gwilym Williams
Captains exercised absolute authority at sea and so were dubbed "Master Under God" by early insurance writs, agreements with ship owners and passengers and the Board of Trade.

The captain is responsible for its safe and efficient operation, including cargo operations, navigation, crew management and ensuring that the vessel complies with local and international laws, as well as company and flag state policies. All persons on board, including officers and crew, other shipboard staff members, passengers, guests and pilots, are under the captain's authority and are his ultimate responsibility.

The Authority to Sail.The Authority to Sail: The History of U.S. Maritime Licenses and Seamen's PapersThe Authority to Sail.
Robert Stanley Bates, George Marsh (Editor), John F. Whiteley (Forward) (Batek Marine Publishing, 2011; Nominated in 2012 for a Pulitzer Prize)
This book depicts important aspects of our maritime history as a result of original research done by the author, Commodore Bates, the holder of an unlimited master's license who has enjoyed a distinguished fifty-year career in both the Coast Guard and the American Merchant Marine.

The U.S. Coast Guard issues all Captain Licenses for U.S. Ports.
Note: Other countries have different regulations, i.e. the RYA (Royal Yachting Association), conducts certification for Britain and Ireland. As of 2011, they did not recognize the USCG certification; certification through their courses was required.

Master Unlimited is a licensed mariner in ultimate command of a vessel any gross tons. The captain is responsible for its safe and efficient operation, including cargo operations, navigation, crew management and ensuring that the vessel complies with local and international laws. All persons on board, including officers and crew, other shipboard staff members, passengers, guests and pilots, are under the captain's authority and are his or her ultimate responsibility. The STCW defines the Master as Person having command of the ship.

The Sea Chart
The Illustrated History of Nautical Maps and Navigational ChartsThe Sea Chart.
The Sea Chart.The Sea Chart.
John Blake
The sea chart was one of the key tools by which ships of trade, transport and conquest navigated their course across the oceans. Herein is a history and development of the chart and the related nautical map, in both scientific and aesthetic terms, as a means of safe and accurate seaborne navigation. 150 color illustrations including the earliest charts of the Mediterranean made by 13th-century Italian merchant adventurers, as well as 18th-century charts that became strategic naval and commercial requirements and led to Cook's voyages in the Pacific, the search for the Northwest Passage, and races to the Arctic and Antarctic.

Get Your Captain's License. Fifth Edition Get Your Captain's License. Fifth Edition. Charlie  Wing.
Charlie Wing
Considered the quickest, easiest, and least expensive way to prepare for the U.S. Coast Guard captain's ratings exams required for anyone who takes paying passengers on a boat, and useful for serious boaters who want to save money on insurance. 350 pages of seamanship and navigation tutorials. More than 1,500 questions and answers from the Coast Guard exams. Includes an interactive CD-ROM with all 14,000 questions and answers in the USCG database, so you can take an unlimited number of practice exams

The Project

Maritime Nations, Ships, Sea Captains, Merchants, Merchandise, Ship Passengers and VIPs sailing into San Francisco during the 1800s.



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Sources: As noted on entries and through research centers including National Archives, San Bruno, California; CDNC: California Digital Newspaper Collection; San Francisco Main Library History Collection; and Maritime Museums and Collections in Australia, China, Denmark, England, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Wales, Norway, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, etc.

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