It has taken me a while to get around to reducing the file size of Voyage No.50 of the Chica. To my knowledge this is all that remains of the Ships Log. The only Log I have ever seen was that relating to the time when Strait Shipping Company of Gibraltar were the ships owners. The chances are that the original of the Log which was a leather bound tome about 1 1/2 inches thick has long since gone. Cap'n Barlow's ageing Widow had the original Log after Barlow's death but several years ago she moved to Gibraltar and the chances are it has long since disappeared.
This is a great pity as it would have made fascinating reading stem to stern and might have formed the basis of a light hearted novel as it will have recorded in similar detail and style Chica’s many adventures. Indeed it may well have thrown more light on her colourful past including episodes of being boarded by the Spanish Coastguard, grounding on a sandbank near Gibraltar, her exploits down the coast of Africa adjacent to Angola to rendezvous with a sea plane to tranship Coca Cola to the Angolan rebels during that countries civil war, to leaving Gibraltar in short time being under threat of arrest by the Gib authorities to her time in Vila Real in Portugal right up to when she came to the UK, initially Mostyn then Liverpool and the Manchester Ship Canal before her final trade in human cargo (usually all appointed as ships officers or lower crew members) in a niche market within the Cheshire leisure industry.
After Chica floundered in 1993 the good Captain morphed into a 'Consultant Wreck Master', a role which he assumed for his many and exhaustive negotiations with the BRB who were anxious at the time to contact the ships owners with a view to its removal from the bottom at Dutton locks on the River Weaver. It transpired that the BRB were unsuccessful in their endeavours and as the cost of salvage was estimated, I believe, to be approaching a six figure sum Chica remains at Dutton as a monument to all those fortunate enough to have had the pleasure of sailing in her.
Also attached is a copy of the marketing brochure for Chica during the swansong of her life as a pleasure craft of distinction with occasional passengers, one of whom I recall was an African Bishop who was also a member of the Masonic fraternity whose flags were often flown by Chica.
Interesting stuff and you know the real shame in all this and the mystery surrounding her sinking on the River Weaver is that she joined Davey Jones just one year short of her century.
Last edited by andyatsn; 3rd March 2010 at 18:11..