Saturday, December 19, 2009

S.S. Santa Maria

In 1956 my family, who had resided in Peru since 1946, returned to the States on the Grace Lines ship Santa Maria, as pictured here. These ships were unusual in that they carried fifty-two passengers in addition to break bulk (in five holds) and deck cargo. Their routes were east coast U.S. to the Carribean, Canal Zone, west coast South America as far as Valparaiso ("Valpo") Chile, and sometimes U.S. west coast. They were beautifully maintained and well run ships, with a distinctive white and green stack. The passengers travelled in great comfort, with air conditioning, a pool, and comfortable public areas.

This painting shows the ship alongside in some river port, perhaps Buenaventura. The ship is off loading to the pier and also, on the port side, to lighters. A lighter is anchored in the stream as well, already loaded and ready to go up river to a smaller port. Aft and alongside there is a small boat, perhaps that of the ship's agent.

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