Sea History 061 - Spring 1992

Page 13

"A vessel with beautifuJ lines, a clipper bow, and a fine run aft." Lofoten for a while, and then taken all the way up to Kirkenes at Arranmore, then known as Vindicatrix, a retired school ship, too the head of the Varangerfjord near Finland. Here she was a depot far gone for the purpose. ship for the German submarine fleet attacking the Murmansk But now Wallace had found another candidate: "I stopped the car and asked the local people, but they convoys. A German navy veteran came aboard the ship in Philadelphia some twenty years later and told Ted Miles, deckhand did not speak my language and I did not speak theirs. Finally I hit on the idea of asking the younger generation; and historian aboard, that the Moshulu was used as a mine they may have been taught English in school. Some kids storage depot. She was in the path of the Russian advance to came along and I gestured towards the ship and made plain recapture Norway from the Germans that began as early as 1944, that I wondered what her name was. with aid of Norwegian and British contingents. The Moshulu herself survived the assault, which undoubtedly involved aerial '"Moshulu,' they said. I asked who owned her. They attack, but her masts and rigging, unstepped and stored in pointed towards some grain elevators in a comer of the harbor. I drove over there and found enough English southern Norway, were destroyed by other bombing. Moshulu was found to be in Narvik in May-June, 1945, spoken that I could make inquiries. The hull was in deep according to an official Allied document. In 1947 she broke draft because she was full of grain. She was a floating her moorings and went seriously aground; for a time it was felt warehouse. Did they want to sell her? Well, yes. As a matter that she would be a total loss. of fact they were thinking of scrapping her. "'How much?"' But the resilient old vessel survived the stranding as she "'£25,000.' "(The pound was then about two dollars and survived a hard war. With the end of hostilities, all German property in Norway passed to the Norwegian government. Miss a half.) David Tallichet has an historical bent; as an avocation he Gisken Jacobsen of Narvik now purchased the ship, reportedly planning to turn Moshulu into an out-and-out motorship. These has preserved dozens of vintage airplanes, including the M emplans did not materialize and Moshulu was sold to Trygve phis Belle. His firm, Specialty Restaurants Co., operates sixty Sommerfelt of Oslo. He took her to Bergen. (A photograph of restaurants in the United States. Wallace got in touch with Tallichet, who now took a gallant Moshulu, looking hard-worked with only fore and jigger masts still standing, appeared in the Bergens Tidende newspaper in plunge. He became a shipowner. He authorized Wallace to January ofl 948.) Sommerfelt operated the vessel as a granary in purchase Moshulu; she was to be restored as a museumStockholm, Sweden, forfour years. His net profit was reportedly restaurant and located at South Street Seaport, New York. Following an exhaustive visit to major shipyards in Europe, 12 kroner per ton per year, about $2.00. In the summer of 1952, the Moshulu, now Oplag (Norwe- Wallace contracted with a small yard in Scheveningen, Holgian for "laid up"- a name the ship carried during this period land, to fabricate masts, yards and standing rigging as merely in her life) was sold to Heinz Schliewin of Lubeck, a German, a "show" rig, of the same dimensions but much lighter than her who put the four-masted barks Pamir and Passat back to sea original rolled, riveted and tapered spars. Moshulu was towed across the Atlantic to New York. Peter (they were on the verge of being junked) as training/cargo ships. Oplag was given the name of Moshulu again, but as it Stanford and his wife Norma are the founders of South Street Seaport; Norma was dubious about the addition to the scene of turned out, never rerigged. The two other vessels, bought from a Belgian scrap metal the mass and black color represented by the great hull that Peter dealer, still retained their masts and yards and represented a had already welcomed with appropriate correspondence. He couldn 't leave his office on the day Moshulu arrived and less costly refit. Finally, the Finnish magazine Navis Fennica says that the Finnish government bought the Moshulu in The Moshulu as she appears in Camden today moored at the old New 1961-the price was 3,200 tons of Russian rye. (The York Ship Company pier. Ship rigger JohnBilhuber worked on Moshulu author is indebted to Olaf Engvig and the Norsk when she was a restaurant ship on the Philadelphia waterfront and Sjofartsmuseum in Oslo for following the vessel's trail reports her being in need of a new deck but in tip-top condition in terms of ¡her riveted steel hull. Unfortunately, the topgallant masts through the war years.) It was in the small and picturesque bay of Nantali were recklessly sawn off rather than sent down to get her under the Ben under Kuparivuori Mountain that Ray Wal lace, an expe- Franklin Bridge and over the Delaware River to her current mooring. rienced American seafarer since an early age and by profession a movie set/restaurant designer, suddenly encountered a great strong hull, riding to anchor, deeply laden with grain. Wallace was on an automobile tour along the Finnish coast from Helsinki to Turku. Memories were stirred. As the result of a suggestion by the author to David Tallichet some years before, Wallace had been sent to Europe by the restaurant developer to look at a large steel hull , also without mast and rigging, like the ~ one he now confronted. (Tallichet had been pressing us to ~ send the Balclutha down to his Ports-of-Call Village in "'~ San Pedro to add color "during the off-season for the ship ;..~ in San Francisco"). I had called Tallichet to tell him that "' another Scots-built square-rigger, known as Arranmore ~ back when she was a contemporary of Balclutha's in the 8 San Francisco grain trade, was being scrapped at a small port on the Bristol Channel. However, Wallace found the IE'---------------------~~-~~