Old sailing ship film.

Gareth Jones
21st December 2007, 00:36
Many years ago I remember seeing on TV an old film of big steel hulled sailing ships which were trading between USA east coast and USA west coast round cape horn.
The commentary was spoken ( and presumably written ) by an old american seaman who had been an AB on those ships.
It was absolutely enthralling to hear this man speak of his experiences and I would love to get a copy of this film.
I realise I havent given much information but its all I can remember.
I wonder if anyone can identify this film ?


John Briggs
21st December 2007, 04:31

The video that you are looking for is called "Around Cape Horn". The narrator is Capt. Irving Johnson who was a seaman on the barque PEKING during a voyage round the Horn in 1929 and he did all the filming. It is a really stunning record of a sailing ship making the Horn passage in absolutely atrocious weather.

The video can be purchased from the Mystic Seaport Museum.

dave beaumont
21st December 2007, 08:56
I taped this from tv years ago. Just watched it again. Fantastic. This guy did some amazing things while on board and thankfully got it all on film. Trip was from Hamburg to Chile, 96 days. Well worth buying. Cheers dave

21st December 2007, 09:06
I think the film in question was on Timewatch not sure which station and think the ship was Peking, sister ship of Pamir, Rgds Bill(Thumb)

Pat McCardle
21st December 2007, 10:53
This was shown on Ch4, here in GB, 20years ago. Marvelous watching the sailmakers doing thier stuff after a storm.

Sister Eleff
21st December 2007, 12:02
I have a copy of this film, it is a bit grainy but still well worth watching. I think it best to try John's suggestion of Mystic Seaport. Mine is 2nd or even 3rd generation copy - could even be more!

I enjoyed the way that Capt Johnson trained himself to 'go aloft', before he even went to sea, by climbing telegraph posts!

21st December 2007, 12:24
Peking became the Training Ship Arethusa, moored at Upnor from 1933, where thousands of British seamen of all sorts started out, for one reason or another. She is now a museum ship in New York.

John T.

21st December 2007, 14:29
I have been after a copy of that film for years. I've never actually seen it but have been told about it many times. I logged into that website but can't seem to establish whether or not they post to the UK.
Ray Jordan

Gareth Jones
21st December 2007, 15:36
Many many thanks for your responses - as always I can only marvel at the know how that exists amongst the members of SN !

David Davies
21st December 2007, 16:41
Capt Johnson went on to own and sail the brigantine? Yankee around the world. I think she was a brigantine when I went on board her at St Helena in 1949. Sadly I heard she was lost on a coral reef a few years later. A great sailor, in the rashness of youth thought about "skinning out" and asking him for a berth

Tony Breach
22nd December 2007, 09:14
It's digitally re-mastered on DVD at $29.95. They should be able to mail that by airmail easily enough. The Mystic folk are normally extremely helpful. They would probably advise if they have a UK agent who could supply.

Gareth Jones
22nd December 2007, 11:49
Well done John Briggs the info you've given above is absolutely 100%accurate. I've just ordered the DVD direct from Mystic Seaport Museum online for 20 incl postage, They have it available on VHS cassette for about the same price.
Very easy to order and pay - they use paypal - I didnt have a paypal account but it's very easy to open one and make an instant payment using a debit or credit card.
Thanks again everyone,