Weddell (1940-1994)

The Weddell lies close to the road leading to Boxer Bridge, right on the water line and behind another Canache iconic wreck, the Flyd.  She was built in 1940 in Punta Arenas by Cia Doberti, who may also have constructed the Canache wreck, the Lively, which is berthed close by.

She arrived in the Falklands on Friday 24th January 1941, while much of the world was at war and Britain facing the might of Adolf Hitler’s blitz. It was the same day that a letter from the then US Secretary of the Navy, Frank Knox, to America’s Secretary of War warned of the possibility of a surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.  The warning was disregarded (the attack took place 11 months later).

Key Facts:

schooner icon

Two-masted auxiliary-schooner

Built: Punta Arenas, Chile, 1940
Size: 45 feet long, 13.6 feet wide. 40 gross tons, 24 net
Fate: Beached near the water line in Stanley’s Canache

It was against this backdrop that the Weddell, named after the Scottish sailor, James Weddell, and the Antarctic sea that also carries his name, started work as a settlement support vessel, owned by John Hamilton, serving the Weddell, Beaver & Staats islands group.

Sometime during 1950, the Weddell had an engine fitted.  In February 1981, John Hamilton sold her to Don Bonner, who sailed her to Stanley and anchored her in the harbour. There she stayed, slowing decaying, until she was towed to the Canache in 1994 and beached on or just above the water line.  She remains there to this day, with what’s left of the Flyd lying parallel right in front of her.

Mark Spicer’s drone video gives a rare birds eye view of the Weddell.

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