The Cathead... Historical

The Cathead... Historical (HM1X8B)

Location: San Francisco, CA 94109 San Francisco County
Country: United States of America

N 37° 48.577', W 122° 25.336'

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This timber to support the anchor ready for "letting go" has been a fixture on shipboard for hundreds of years. As the ship approached port, the anchor was hung from the cathead by a chain called a ring stopper. One end of this chain (distinct from the main cable chain which was also attacked to the anchor) was held by the iron trip on the top of the cathead, At the command "Let go!" a smart blow with a heavy hammer released the chain from this trip and the anchor went plunging to the bottom.
The hammer for this purpose was known on shipboard as a top maul. In 1907 the Ardencraig, a ship similar to the Balclutha, when coming to anchor at Adelaide collided with and sank the four-masted bark Norma because at the critical moment the top maul could not be found. The wind had died and there was nothing except dropping the anchor to stop the moving ship. A frantic search failed to turn up the missing top maul, and although the mate kicked the heel of his boot trying to release the trip the collision by then was inevitable. The Ardencraig's bow cut deeply into the anchored Norma, and the four-masted bark sank in a matter of minutes.

A cardinal rule of the sea, often found carved or painted on the boatskids or elsewhere around the sailing ship's deck was "A Place for Everything and Everything
in its Place." The misplaced maul on the Ardencraig explains why.
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HM NumberHM1X8B
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, March 11th, 2017 at 9:01pm PST -08:00
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)10S E 550854 N 4184849
Decimal Degrees37.80961667, -122.42226667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 48.577', W 122° 25.336'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 48' 34.62" N, 122° 25' 20.16" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)415, 510, 650
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling South
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 2976-2988 Hyde Street Pier, San Francisco CA 94109, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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