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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

PATHFINDER AND THE PHILIPPINE TYPHOON


A "Typhoon".....an oh-so-dirty-word to the sailor.  Even in 1932 when a flush-deck, coal burning, steel steamer, with a wooden pilothouse......875 tons of weight....nobody liked the 100 mph winds or anything that went along with these hellish storms.

What I'm talking about is a small vessel....actually a U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey ship... built in Elizabeth, New Jersey  in 1899....sent from Alaska to the Philippines in 1901 to do some coastal work.  Her name was "Pathfinder".

She was old and grey when she met this typhoon in 1932....her with only 846 horsepower triple expansion engines...at an early age she could do about 12 kts....with grey hair about all she could muster up was 10.

She was run by 9 officers, all Americans, and a crew of 71 Filipinos.

This is her story: