Ship of Lost Souls: The Tragic Wreck of the Steamship Valencia (Hardcover)

Ship of Lost Souls: The Tragic Wreck of the Steamship Valencia By Rod Scher, Cdr John E. Harrington (Foreword by), Molly Dumas (Illustrator) Cover Image

Ship of Lost Souls: The Tragic Wreck of the Steamship Valencia (Hardcover)

By Rod Scher, Cdr John E. Harrington (Foreword by), Molly Dumas (Illustrator)


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Of all the stories of ships lost in what has come to be called the "Graveyard of the Pacific," that of the steamship Valencia is among the saddest. In January 1906, the Valencia set out from San Francisco, bound for Seattle with 108 passengers and some sixty-five crew members aboard. Owing to bad weather and the captain's mistakes, the ship struck a reef eleven miles off Cape Beale on the southwest coast of Vancouver Island. Rocks gashed open the ship's hull, and a series of further missteps soon compounded the tragedy a hundredfold. Only thirty-seven people survived, largely because of a lack of lifesaving infrastructure in the rugged area where the Valencia ran aground.

The wreck of the Valencia was an especially tragic one. To begin with, most on board perished, including every woman and child, many of whom had been lashed to the rigging high above the deck in an attempt to save them from the crashing waves. Additionally, the wreck itself was almost certainly avoidable, due almost entirely to navigational errors the captain made. Finally, rescue efforts--such as they were--were hampered by not just the sea and weather but by the mistakes (and some say the cowardice) of the would-be rescuers.

This book pieces together the story of the Valencia and her tragic end, weaving together not just the threads of the ill-fated voyage itself but also relevant contextual history, including the development of radio technologies and lifesaving equipment and services that simply came too late to help the doomed voyagers.

Rod Scher received his MEd from the University of Oregon. He is a longtime boating enthusiast and former English teacher, as well as an experienced writer and editor with multiple books and dozens of magazine articles to his credit. The former editor of Smart Computing magazine, he is also the author of Sailing by Starlight: The Remarkable Voyage of Globe Star and Leveling the Playing Field: The Democratization of Technology, and the editor/annotator of editions of Joshua Slocum's masterly nautical memoir Sailing Alone Around the World and Richard Henry Dana's classic Two Years Before the Mast.Rod began his career teaching high school English and journalism in Oregon and California. After several years in the classroom, he left teaching to become an editor at Harcourt Brace Jovanovich in San Diego, California, where he edited a variety of humanities texts and participated in the development of computerized test preparation and textbook management products. Now semi-retired, Rod travels the country in a small motorhome with his wife, Lesley, writing and editing as the opportunity arises. When not on the road, Rod lives in Depoe Bay, Oregon.
Product Details ISBN: 9781493081356
ISBN-10: 1493081357
Publisher: Lyons Press
Publication Date: November 5th, 2024
Pages: 256
Language: English