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A Beloved Tall Ship Sinks in Its Berth

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The Pilgrim, an icon at California’s Ocean Institute, sank at its berth in Dana Point Harbor after it began listing to starboard over the weekend.

The vessel, a full-scale replica of the ship immortalized by Richard Henry Dana in his classic book Two Years Before the Mast, served as a fieldtrip classroom to hundreds of thousands of students since it arrived in California in 1981.

The cause of the sinking was unclear, but the Institute’s staff had been battling a slow leak with a pump. The vessel was scheduled to be hauled in January, but the job was delayed due to overload at the shipyard.

The Pilgrim started life in Denmark in 1945 as a three-masted schooner. In 1975 she was taken to Portugal where she was rerigged as a brig. She is valued at $6 million, and officials have begun salvage efforts, although some believe she will be beyond repair.

You can read more in the Orange County Register.

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