- Visit Of The Wreck -

Appendices: The Last Battle (2) ...

She´s nearly gone ...

© Photograph: Jürgen de Haas


February ´13: She´s gone ...

Arriving at the Playa de Garcey this year was even worse than in the years before: Now the good old SS America has nearly passed away ...

Only a part of the deck which was visible in the year before is now left (marked red, picture below left). The field of debris still contains many parts - among them the large electric motor is still visible (picture below right) ...

Only a part of the deck is still visible ... ... and the electric motor in the field of debris ...

Everything else is only remembering the glory days: You can build some new parts by combining what you find in the sand (picture below left) or you can try to have a shower in a cabin which is now placed on the beach - if you manage to erect the thing (picture below right) ...

Maybe this is now the end of our story ...

Found on the beach ... Difficult to have a shower ...

1. Appendix, February ´14 - February ´15: Twenty Years "American Star" at the Playa de Garcey ...

It was the year 1994 when the American Star ran aground at the Playa de Garcey - 20 years ago now! When we visited the wreck this year it was very stormy and we had to leave the bay very soon again ...

2014: 20 years after ... Nearly the same view as before ...

One Year Later, February 2015:

Low tide again and more to see this year. The rest of the bow´s deck is still there ...

We are still surprised that it lasted this long - now 21 years since she drifted aground. Of course, until it sinks into the sand (probably), that solid anchor will resist Mother Nature for many more decades.

Art at the shore ... A very strange switch ...
Still there: The bow´s deck ... ... and of course: The anchor at the right side ... The field of debris ... ... and many things at the shore ...

A strange switch we find this year: "Open", "Close" und "Hot". The switch is something we have never seen before. Bill Lee will look at a couple of vintage marine engineering books that he possesses, the 1940 Marine Engineering technical descriptions of the ship's features and he will contact an older chap who was an electrician at NNS about the time the AMERICA was built. He may be able to shed some light on this little mystery ...


2. Appendix, February ´16: Few changes and a tribute ...

So here we are again, as usual, at the Playa de Garcey: The minimum low tide during our visit is unfortunately a little bit higher than last year, as we can clearly notice. The remains of the bow appear little changed and the field of debris is still visible. Everything seems to be there: electric motor, air tank, anchor, remains of the hull. So we take pictures as usual and the current state of decay is documented ... 

The remains of the bow appear little changed ...

Few missing pieces this year ... Visible again: electric motor, air tank ... ... and remains of the hull ...

But this time we also have another task: A little tribute is desired by a large group on Facebook - the passengers of the former SS Australis asked for something we could do to remember them - and of course we like to do that!

Hoisting our remembrance banner ...We are very sorry that we cannot - as proposed - salvage the anchor and erect a monument on the beach ...

So we finally hoist a 183 cm x 76 cm banner which was especially made for our visit of this year and present it in front of the remains of the wreck - doing more in remembrance of the passengers and crew of the former SS Australis is not possible this morning!

The banner will be offered for auction later, along with our double pack of special edition CD and remembrance film "American Star" (see below). About our action at the playa we created a small slide show and a YouTube video.

And another thing we do at our visiting day: As announced in our GPS rubric we want to fix our position with a sextant and a "chronometer": Latitude and longitude according to the motto of this excursion: "Navigate as once Captain Cook in the 18th century". More on that in another separate article ...

Capt. Cook working: Fixing the latitude with a sextant ... ... and Capt. Cooks collection ... ;-))

So we are well busy as usual on our visiting day and finally drive back to El Cotillo. We drive with the confidence that as long as the remains of the American Star are still visible we will always try to visit this now so familiar bay!


3. Appendix, February ´17: No visit ...

Due to an accident in El Cotillo and a broken foot one day (!) after arriving at Puerto del Rosario it was not possible to visit the wreck this year. But we hope - of course - to visit it again in 2018.

But there was something that gave us some comfort in this situation: We received several pictures from Peter Bermes who read our last year´s appendix about the SS Australis ... 

Bridge of SS AUSTRALIS, not far away from Kapstadt 1969 (1) Bridge of SS AUSTRALIS, not far away from Kapstadt 1969 (2)

Peter made these photos on the ship´s bridge in the year 1969 nearby Kapstadt when he emigrated to Australia. He remembers a great vessel which brought him to a new life in an another country and he is convinced that she is always sailing in the people´s memories. And there they still can feel the ship´s soul ...


4. Appendix, March ´18: Some remains are still there ...

Very often we receive messages that the remains of the AMERICAN STAR are finally gone. But this is not true and the visitors either didn´t find the right place of the wreck or they were not there at the right time - the low tide, when the remains still can be watched ...

The decay continues ... Well known: electric motor, air tank ... and remains of the hull

In the morning of March 04th we nearly had the same view as the years before: We didn´t see the anchor this morning but once again the other well known pieces: electric motor, air tank, remains of the hull ...

A lot of rusty metal everywhere ...

Another souvenir ..?

Anything allowed? Amstar collection ... Campground at the shore ..?
Plastic waste wherever you look ... Remains of a "civilization" ... ... which the planet never needed ...

The whole playa is covered by metal pieces of the wreck but we find by far more pieces of plastic waste everywhere. Thousands of these pieces all around - a depressing view for anyone thinking about the fishes and birds which are affected by it ...

We are convinced: These are the remains of a "civilization" which the planet never needed ...


Remark: To show the development of the bow since 2008 we produced the following YouTube Videos:


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