Going the Speed Limit & Buried Ships

credit to about.com

(I’m not) Breakin’ the Law

Tried an experiment with my sis-in-law and mom: going the speed limit. It is actually quite relaxing. Can I say though the number of big trucks that tailgated me? It’s like they’re in their own la-la-land and finally realize they’re inches away from the bumper of a 10 year old Honda. Time to turn down the Limbaugh, my friend, and concentrate on the road.

Buried Ships
I led a bunch of people on a wild goose chase New Year’s Day… trying to find the plaque in the sidewalk that shows a dozen or so buried ships, along Embarcadero road. I had to return to the scene twice, after tons of research on the internet, which has given me a permanent ache behind my shoulder blade, to find the d*** f*** plaque. It’s on Embarcadero at Front. We were about 2 feet from it and missed it!!!

Buried ships are cool. They bring out the treasure hunter in all of us. (warning, attempt to sound like tour guide) From the Gold Rush until the EarthQuake, SF offered “water lots” to residents along the wharf. They could own the water-logged little square between docks (now city blocks) and fill them up with whatever they could find. One guy sold his ship for 5,000$ (in 1850s economy) to one of these water lot owners. They had the ship towed into the “block,” then intentionally sunk. If there was anything above water they turned it into saloons, warehouses, “places of ill repute” and in one case, a source of a well that provided fresh water for years. (end tour guide). When I was working in Jackson Square, the location of most of these ships, from 1997-99, they were working on construction on Sansome and found one of these ship hulls. We could peer in through the gates and see the hull the ground. I guess they find alot of champagne in these ships. Why our pioneer predecessors would stupidly bury a ship full of champagne is beyond me. I’ll add links to this post as I find them during the day. The building on Sansome & Clay, northwestern corner, is the site of the Niantic, and the inlaid sidewalk has a nice representation of the outline of the hull, nails embedded in concrete, and deck wooden boards. Nicely done! I think it’s 424 Sansome.

>About.com’s take, as usual authoritative but very little info
>random article on one excavation site
>Chronicle article on same excavation as above, during a condo building project
>Love this site, but frequently breaks FireFox: diggin’, a bottle treasure hunter
>Walking Guide- this is where I finally found concrete (haha) evidence that the plaque was in the sidewalk and I wasn’t, as my brother in law was threatening, “on something” when I saw it.