From Yacht to Trawler to Wreck

Digs & Discoveries January/February 2016

(San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, David W. Dickie (top), Photographs NOAA – Teledyne SeaBotix (above))
SHARE:

Ituna began its life as a luxury steam yacht in Scotland in 1886. It went down as a fishing trawler off the California coast in 1920. In between, Ituna lived several other lives.

Researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently discovered the historic wreck 200 feet down, 24 miles from San Francisco, where it sank in a storm. As a luxury craft, with a hull designed by famed yacht designer George Lennox Watson, Ituna saw several owners before it was purchased by Allison V. Armour, a wealthy patron of the sciences. She sent the ship on a three-month research expedition to Mexico in 1894, which resulted in Archaeological Studies among the Ancient Cities of Mexico, an early and influential text on Mesoamerican archaeology. Twenty-two years later the ship was refitted as a first-class passenger cargo steamer, and then again two years later as a steam trawler with a crew of 14. The ship sank while transporting a cargo of fish-processing machinery and concrete. Images from the recent wreck discovery show the ship’s distinctive elliptical stern, trawl machinery, and triple-expansion steam engine.

MORE TO DISCOVER

Letter from Nigeria

July/August 2024

A West African Kingdom's Roots

Excavations in Benin City reveal a renowned realm’s deep history

Artifacts July/August 2024

Etruscan Oil Lamp

Read Article
Etruscan Hanging Oil Lamp
(Courtesy Museo dell’Accademia Etrusca e della Città di Cortona; © DeA Picture Library/Art Resource, NY)

Around the World July/August 2024

TONGA

Read Article
(Phillip Parton/ANU)

Digs & Discoveries July/August 2024

Bronze Age Beads Go Abroad

Read Article

Features July/August 2024

The Assyrian Renaissance

Archaeologists return to Nineveh in northern Iraq, one of the ancient world’s grandest imperial capitals

Read Article
(Land of Nineveh Archaeological Project)