The SS Palo Alto (“The Cement Boat”) is the most famous concrete ship on the west coast. The Palo Alto was built as an oil tanker by the San Francisco Shipbuilding Company in Oakland, California and launched May 29, 1919.
She was mothballed in Oakland until 1929, when she was bought by the Seacliff Amusement Corporation and towed to Seacliff State Beach in Aptos, California. A pier was built leading to the ship in 1930, and she was sunk in a few feet in the water so that her keel rested on the bottom. There she was refitted as an amusement ship, with amenities including a dance floor, a swimming pool, and a café.
The company went bankrupt two years later during the Great Depression, and the ship cracked at the midsection during a winter storm. The State of California purchased the ship, and she was stripped of her fittings and left as a fishing pier. Following an attempt at restoration in the 1980s, she reopened for fishing for a few years, then closed again. The fishing pier opened to foot traffic once again in the summer of 2016 but later closed for repairs.
Nicknamed the “Cement Ship” Palo Alto today remains at Seacliff Beach and serves as an artificial reef for marine life. Pelicans and other seabirds perch on the wreck, sea perch and other fish feed on algae that grows in the shelter of the wreck, and sea lions and other marine mammals visit the wreck to feed on the fish. wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Palo_Alto
This past winter with over 2 months of solid rain and very rough seas the cement ship has broken apart. It’s a sad sight. We have been coming to SeaCliff SB for over 20 years. We always enjoyed our walks out on the pier to look at the “Old Cement Ship”. The state has no plans to remove the old boat. They plan to let is just sink naturally.
Paul and Caroline Klopp have lived at the De Anza Resort for many years. Nearly 20 years ago Paul had purchased a Digital Camera. He was asked by the De Anza Park staff to use his new found talent as a new photographer to take picture for the brand new clubhouse and office. He did such a great jobs the pictures still are featured art work.
I love seeing beautiful pictures printed and framed, with todays technology what it is today most people show you pictures on their phones. Thats all cool, but we lost the true art of photography using these devices.
I really enjoyed looking at Paul’s pictures at the Saint Patrick’s Day party last night and wanted to share them with the world. Check out his work below.
*Also time for a fun fact. The Swans in Paul’s Pictures were named by his wife, Caroline.