FAL165 Wrecks Part 4 £0.78 Stamp
78p St. Mary
In the fall of 1889 veteran shipbuilder, Charles V Minott, laid the keel of an unusually large vessel in Phippsburg, Maine. 241’ long and with a registered tonnage of 1942, St Mary was to be one of the last-built, finest constructed, and shortest lived of all the great “Downeasters”. She was launched just before noon on Thursday, 20th March 1890. Under command of Captain Carver, St Mary departed Manhattan, bound for San Francisco by way of Cape Horn. 67 days out and making good speed, she was about 130 miles west of Islas Diego Ramirez. It was a quiet moonlit night, at 1.13am on 7th August, when she collided with the 176’ steel-hulled Magellan. The Magellan foundered almost immediately with all hands, while the badly damaged St Mary limped downwind for Port Stanley. Three days later, just a few miles shy of the port, St Mary struck the Pinnacle Rock. The distressed Captain refused to leave his ship and later died on board. The cause of his death was never confirmed. The crew took to the lifeboat without him and made for the nearby farm at Fitzroy. Two weeks later the wreck split in two with one half washing ashore at Whale Point, near Fitzroy. The oaken bones of the St Mary remain today, like a stranded leviathan, where she washed ashore just five months after her triumphant launch.
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