The Christmas Tree Ship - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 5 Old 12-23-2012 Thread Starter
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The Christmas Tree Ship

Just thought I'd share one of my favorite maritime Christmas stories...

By November 22, 1912, Captain Schuennemann and his crew of lumberjack-sailors had loaded around 5,500 trees aboard the 123 foot three-masted schooner Rouse Simmons, better known as the Christmas Tree Ship. They were in Thompson Harbor near Manistique, Michigan in northern Lake Michigan. Several other ships in the area were postponing the sail down Lake Michigan because of stormy weather. Captain Schuennemann must have thought carefully about his departure window. Interestingly, some of the crew also had thoughts about the timing of the departure. Several claimed to have seen rats leaving the Rouse Simmons recently, which is a bad omen obvious to even non-sailors. Others may have been put off by the plan to leave on November 22a Friday. Read the rest of the story here.

What's your favorite maritime Christmas story?

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post #2 of 5 Old 12-23-2012
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Re: The Christmas Tree Ship

Great blog... nice, appropriate story for the season. Interesting how the wreck looks simply 'put there'...


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post #3 of 5 Old 12-23-2012
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Re: The Christmas Tree Ship

Nice post! Thanks for bringing the shipwreck and story to my attention.

Merry Christmas to another Grand Rapids sailor,


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post #4 of 5 Old 12-23-2012
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Re: The Christmas Tree Ship

I read the title and I thought of the "Santa Ship" that makes the rounds of the San Juan and Gulf Islands each year. Not really a maritime story, but pretty unique. The Bellingham Lions Club charters a big boat and a group of about 50+ get all costumed up and they travel around the islands, stopping at several places each day letting the island kids get to sit on Santa's lap and giving presents, balloons, etc. Most of the kids wouldn't have a chance to see Santa otherwise, and it's pretty special to see this big boat arrive with Christmas carols blasting out the speakers and Santa and Mrs. Claus out on the bow waving. I'm not sure why they stop at our island since there are so few of us here and usually only a couple of kids, it might have something to do with the HUGE hot feast we have waiting for them (this year there were two turkeys, a ham, and two big picnic tables full of everything from smoked salmom, local prawns, homemade chocolates and about a dozen desserts. Some exceptional cooks here). My grandson, who just turned three last week was the only kid here this year so he of course was the star of the whole thing and is absolutely sure that the "Santa Ship" just came to see him. It's really special and the whole island (all 20 +- of us) looks forward to it each year. Here are some pics.

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SV Laurie Anne

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post #5 of 5 Old 12-24-2012
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Re: The Christmas Tree Ship

Love it. Great pics. Warms my heart to see all the happy faces. Happy Holidays. I'm spending my Christmas Eve on the boat.

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