the Falls of Clyde
Falls of Clyde
Robert Carter, artist
(Used courtesy of Falls of Clyde International)
Falls of Clyde is Going Home
(Update: November 15, 2021)
Good news! After many years of negotiations, bidding, and re-bidding, the Falls of Clyde International of Scotland have been awarded possession of the world's last-surviving wind-powered barque.
She will be taken to Scotland, where she was built in 1878, aboard a float on/float off ship, such as carried the USS John McCain (DDG-56) home for repairs after it was struck by a tanker off the coast of Singapore in 2017.
Once in her new home, the Falls of Clyde will be restored. Her last restoration was done in Hawaii in the 1970s. We saw her looking glorious in "Small Potatoes" and M Station: Hawaii. Strong sunlight, high winds, and the passage of time have damaged her almost beyond recognition.
The effort to move Falls of Clyde to Scotland began when the Bishop Museum said they no longer wanted her and said they planned to move her offshore and to scuttle her. Needless to say, public outcry arose, and efforts began to find a way to save her. Local efforts failed to raise the necessary funds to move her from Honolulu Harbor and to a place where she could be dry docked for repairs. After several years, the Falls of Clyde International was formed to help generate international interest in saving the ship. After many delays and complications, they finally have accomplished the mission by showing that Falls of Clyde not only can be restored; she can be put to work as a teaching ship, teaching the world that shipping can take place using wind power and solar power, without the use of fossil fuels. Plans are for her to sail again, visiting countries around the world -- perhaps, even, giving a wave to her fans in Hawaii!
We've been watching this story unfold for more than ten years and will continue to do so as Falls of Clyde's history moves forward, into the 21st century. Don't you know Jack would be on deck, celebrating, if he were here!
The Falls of Clyde made several appearances on
Hawaii Five-0 and on M Station: Hawaii.
She was at her finest following restoration in the episode Small Potatoes in Season 11.
The Falls of Clyde is a four-masted tall ship, a barque, that was built by Russell & Co. of Glasgow, Scotland. She was launched on December 12, 1878, and served until about 1950, first as a member of the Falls line fleet and, after 1898, as a member of Captain William Matson's fleet in Honolulu, Territory of Hawai'i. She has carried everything from sugar and molasses to petroleum products and has visited every continent, except Antarctica. Read more about her history at http://www.friendsoffallsofclyde.org/history.html
To date, efforts to save the Falls of Clyde have been unsuccessful. Fund-raising issues combined with recurrent leaks in her hull paint a very dim view of the future of this once-grand lady of the seas.
Screen capture from Small Potatoes, Hawaii Five-0 (Season 11).