Herzogin Cecillie 1936

N50 12.858 W3 47.099

The photograph above shows one of the few tall ships still in operation at the time. This four masted Barque, “Herzogin Cecilie” , is shown in her final resting place at Starehole bay near Salcombe. At almost 21 knots she was one of the fastest ships of her time and could easily compete with the large American clippers. She was a magnificent ship built in iron and was fitted out in luxury with ornate brass and bronze fittings unlike most ships of this type. She was over 334 feet long and built by Rickmers Schiffbau AG, Bremerhaven in Germany. She was know as the “Dutchess” due to her ornate figurehead shown below. On her fated voyage in April 1936 she had returned from Australia to Falmouth in a record time of 86 days with a cargo of grain and was on route from Falmouth to Ipswich when she hit the Ham Stone near Soar Mill cove, on the South Devon coast a mile to the west of her final resting place, and settled on the sand. During her voyage the wind had dropped and poor visibility combined with a navigation error had caused the accident. Two months later she was towed around to Starehole Bay near Salcombe in order to make some repairs to the hull. Unfortunately, a month later a South Easterly gale caused her to break up where she was resting on the seabed so she was salvaged. Today she lies in 5m of water were very little remains except for some of her stern section ribs sticking out of the sand.