Historic sailing vessel heads home to Taiwan

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The century-old wooden junk sailboat Free China was loaded onto a container ship in San Francisco Monday and is scheduled to arrive May 16 in Taiwan, according to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in San Francisco, which is helping to arrange the delivery.

Former crewmembers of the ship, who now live in the United States, were on hand at the port to see their ship being loaded, the office said.

The 76-foot vessel, which was built around 1890, made a historic trans-Pacific journey from Taiwan to the States 57 years ago, according to the office.

It was the first boat to make such an epic voyage by the power of wind and manpower in Chinese maritime history, and the last of its kind in existence, the office said.

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