Schooner Larinda Sinks

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Posted by Jim on October 01, 19103 at 21:37:54:

I'm sure many of you had the chance to see the schooner Larinda at the Tall Ship festivals. She was the small schooner with the distinctive junk rigged red sails and frog figurehead. The Larinda's website is

Here is one of the news stories of her loss.

Storm sinks 26 years of work

Man built schooner replica by hand
Wednesday, October 1, 2003

Nova Scotia

BARNSTABLE, Mass. - A replica of an 18th-century schooner hand-built by a Barnstable, Mass., man sank in Halifax Harbor, in Nova Scotia, when a retired naval warship broke free from its mooring during Hurricane Juan and slammed into it.

Larry Mahan was aboard the Larinda, a replica of a 1767 Boston schooner, when the Canadian ship crashed into its side on Monday, the Cape Cod Times reported. Mahan was able to grab only some clothes and a few papers before the schooner went under.

"It was the scariest thing I've ever been through," Mahan said from his hotel room in Halifax. "Everybody was frantically running around, trying to save everything and trying to save the ship.

"The water was just barreling in from the hole in the side," he said. "Half my body was submerged. At that point I told everybody to get off the ship, it was going under."

No one was injured.

Canadian officials don't know how the warship, the HMCS Sackville, broke free. Canadian Coast Guard officials said that winds from Hurricane Juan reached 90 mph, creating huge swells, knocking out power to much of Halifax and uprooting trees.

Mahan put 26 years into building the 86-foot concrete-hulled schooner and said he was devastated by the loss.

"How do I put into words the end of 30 years of my life?" he said. "When I was in the fourth grade I had this dream to build the biggest and best ship on Cape Cod. When I finally finished, it was like a dream come true."

The Larinda has sailed into ports in seven foreign countries and 19 U.S. states. It once served as a goodwill ambassador in Cuba and helped teach schoolchildren in Panama the basics of sailing, he said. It also sailed alongside the USS Constitution in 1997 and welcomed an international flotilla of Tall Ships as they sailed through the Cape Cod Canal during Boston's Tall Ships 2000.

"Hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world have been on this boat and it meant a lot to very many people," Mahan said.

He began building the Larinda in his backyard in 1970 and first set sail in 1996. Over the years, more than 1,000 volunteers visited his home in the village of Marstons Mills, Mass., to help out.

The vessel was built from a special concrete with 2,800 square feet of red sail. The frog figurehead, Oliver, was carved from a 100-year-old cypress. The schooner was painted off-white and green and adorned with hand-carved seahorse banisters and murals of sailing gnomes.

The Larinda was in Halifax preparing to travel to Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, before returning to Cape Cod this weekend. Mahan said he'll wait in Halifax for several days to see if the ship can be hoisted from the sea floor. But he said he wasn't encouraged the ship could be salvaged because it had been so severely damaged.

"I'm in Canada and I have people coming up to me, giving me hugs, crying and showing their support," Mahan said. "She was well-loved - and she loved everyone back, too."

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