A very attractive visitor.

By Andy Gilbert

Photo:Sea Cloud

Sea Cloud

Andy Gilbert

Seen here at Newhaven on Friday May 20th 2011 is the beautiful tall ship 'Sea Cloud'.

Sea Cloud was built at the Krupp shipyard in Kiel, and launched in April 1931 and christened as Hussar. As the largest sailing yacht ever built, the four-masted barque was commissioned by one of Wall Street’s wealthiest businessmen, E. F. Hutton and his wife, Marjorie Merriweather Post.

The Hussar would spend at least nine months of the year at sea – and the Huttons set course for such exotic destinations as the Galapagos Islands, Hawaii and the Mediterranean.

When the Huttons divorced, Marjorie Merriweather Post was given the yacht, which was renamed Sea Cloud. When the United States entered WWII after Pearl Harbour, the Navy started acquiring private yachts to strengthen the fleet and began to outfit them to patrol, search for submarines, and monitor weather.

At first, Sea Cloud was considered too beautiful for war service but eventually she was chartered to the Coastguard for a symbolic $1. Her masts and bowsprit were removed and she was painted in wartime grey. Not much was left of the impressive luxury yacht. Outfitted with guns and anti-submarine weapons, she cruised the waters around the Azores and south Greenland under the name IX-99.

In the years following the war, Sea Cloud was returned to her former glory, repainted in dazzling white and with new sets of masts and sails. However, the yacht became too expensive for even a multi-millionairess to run and Marjorie Merriweather Post sold her to Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Montinas, the brutal head of the Dominican Republic. In 1955 Trujillo took over the ship – and gave it a new name, Angelita. The presidential yacht was used primarily as a houseboat.

After Trujillo's assassination in 1961, she was renamed first Patria and then Antarna, and bought by Operation Sea Cruises Inc. based in Panama. There were other changes of ownership and Atarna fell into disrepair. However, she was she was not forgotten by many  sailing ship enthusiasts.

One of them was the German Hartmut Paschburg. He recognized that the Antarna despite her poor condition, could be restored. Together with a group of businessmen, he bought here and gave her back her old name, Sea Cloud. In February 1979 she was taken back to Kiel, where she was built, and extensive repair and reconstruction work began. Eight months later, Sea Cloud made her first cruise under a new flag and she has been sailing the world’s oceans ever since.

This page was added by Andy Gilbert on 25/05/2011.
Comments about this page

Beautiful picture Andy it quite made my day when I saw it. Must be the first time she has visited Newhaven.

By Derek Longly
On 26/05/2011

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