The largest containership in the world visits San Francisco Bay
About California Maritimes
With the third longest coastline of any state in the nation, California’s history – social, economic, and political – has been written largely both on, and beneath, the vast ocean that attends it craggy, fog-bound and often dangerous, shore.
The Great Seal of the State of California perhaps illustrates it best.
Adopted in the early 1850s at the very beginning of a frenetic economic growth surge that is still underway, it shows Minerva, the Greek goddess of commerce, with examples of wealth and agriculture at her feet and a backdrop of ships crowding a vast bay.
This website serves as a monthly record of that history first assembled in contemporary newspapers and other sources that present us with a window on an oft-overlooked aspect of the state’s history – the maritime commerce that has connected California with the world and molded, over five centuries, one of the world’s largest economies.
Replete with stories and anecdotes that tell of the times lived in by those who made their living on and by the sea, they are both epic and mundane, day-to-day tales of bravery and cowardice, professionalism and incompetence, mirth and sadness, triumph and tragedy.
Every story re-published here, most of which have drawn scant attention since the day they were first penned, is a snapshot of maritime life in all its exceptional richness.
These stories illuminate the ages we’ve lived in and are connected to. They have been compiled with the sincere intention of letting those stories and anecdotes of California’s rich maritime history span the decades and speak for themselves.
Your comments on California Maritimes are most welcome. Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael D. White