The history of human interaction with the waters of our world has been long and often glorious. Some ships, though, have been some incredible feats set that stand the test of time. It is why, with so many ships built in human history, some are remembered decades, even centuries, after they sailed the seas. One example of this would be the Flying Cloud, a clipper ship that set incredible records back in its heyday. The Flying Cloud managed to complete a passage trip from New York and San Francisco in the comparatively short time of just 89 days and 8 hours
If you are someone who has a passion for old-school vessels and ships, then you might wish to own a replicate of the Flying Cloud. Our high-class recreation of this special ship can take pride of place in any mantelpiece, ship collection, or artistic decoration that you might have at home, in the office, or elsewhere.
The Flying Cloud was arguably the most famous of the ships built by the famous Donald McKay. The ship was a clipper, so by its nature it regularly took part in civilian events as opposed to being used for warfare. It was put together in East Boston, and cost around $50,000 to build. However, it was bought out by Grinnell, Minturn & Co. for a fee of $90,000. At around 235ft in length, The Flying Cloud was a fair size for a Clipper ship.
It began life at rapid pace, sailing around Cape Horn and to San Francisco in only 89 days and 21 hours – this happened in July 1853. By 1854, it beat its own record, setting the record which we mentioned above. It took until Thursday’s Child, a racing sloop, in 1989 to break this once-enviable record. Prior to the rise of clipper ships, this kind of journey – from NY to SF – would have taken as many as 200 days.
Its history as a racing clipper was famous, too, and it took part in some very famous races. Its most famous race came in 1853, when it took on the Hornet – despite having a two-day head start on The Flying Cloud, the Hornet was managed to only beat The Flying Cloud by a tiny margin of just 45 minutes. A 15,000 mile journey around Cape Horn was the journey, and the victory was, really, for The Flying Cloud.
The ship was known for its excellent racing record, but the Flying Cloud also became revered for the fact that it was a ship with equality at its heart.
Why? Because it became noted for having a female navigator, Eleanor Creesy, which at the time was incredibly rare if not entirely unheard of. Creesy was the wife of Josiah Perkins Creesy, who was the skipper for The Flying Cloud on its two most important voyages.
After many years taking part in voyages and exciting record-breaking trips, The Flying Cloud was sold to the Black Ball Line. These Liverpool-based team took The Flying Cloud and adopted British colour schemes. The ship began heading from the UK to Australia and New Zealand, playing an important role in bringing logs between Newcastle, England, and New Brunswick, Canada.
Sadly, the The Flying Cloud was destroyed after it went ashore at Beacon Island, Saint John, New Brunswick. The ship was condemned before being sold on. In the June of 1875, it was burned for scrap metal. Despite its rather ungratifying end, The Flying Cloud lives on due to its long-standing records that live on through history.