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All that's left of a 1913 shipwreck.

High winds and heavy seas dashed the foundering ship against the rocks, spilling her cargo and tearing a gaping hole amid-ships. As the ocean began to consume her, the 18-man crew abandoned her for shore. It was August 9, 1913, when the steam schooner Point Arena went down near Pigeon Point, on the San Mateo coast.

The wreckage scattered in the waves. A section of the starboard bow washed into the mouth of Greenoaks Creek, where sand buried it for nearly 70 years.

Fierce storms on the coast in 1983 exposed the 5-ton fragment. You can now see it on display while visiting Ano Nuevo State Reserve, 55 miles south of San Francisco on State Highway 1.

The jagged remnant still bears an iron cleat and, above and below two portholes, the ship's name.

Built in 1887 in San Francisco, the Point Arena was one of 225 steam schooners that were produced on the West Coast. These ships combined the proven seaworthiness of sailing schooners (first built worthiness of sailing schooners (first bbuilt in the early 1700s) with the development of the marine steam engine.

They were able to maneuver in small, hazardous north coast ports, where their decks were loaded with lumber. They then steamed for ports that fed growing communities to the south.

Elephant seal tours. Now through April, you can tour the elephant seal rookery at Ano Nuevo; a short trail through brushy sand dunes leads from the parking lot to the exhibit and tour meeting site. Tour fee is $3.25 per person (includes day-use fee); reservations must be made through Ticketron. Hours are 8 to 5 daily, with tours every 15 minutes from 9 to 2:30. After April, day-use fee is $2, hours are 8 to sunset, and reservations are no longer required. For taped information, call (415) 879-0227.

A brochure available later this spring will provide information on this shipwreck and other famous wrecks off Pigeon Point; pick it up at the Ano Nuevo entrance station or the interpretive center (open daily 9 to 5 through April, then 9 to 5 weekends only until December.)
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Copyright 1985 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Ano Nuevo State Reserve
Publication:Sunset
Date:Mar 1, 1985
Words:352
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