Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Poseidon Lives!

"The Poseidon Adventure" was a star-studded 1972 disaster movie which was based on the novel by Paul Gallico. In the story, SS Poseidon capsizes on New Year's Day after being hit by a rogue wave and suffers tremendous casualties. A model was built to capture these dramatic scenes on film (and to stunning effect too, if you ask me). But where is it now? Why, at the Los Angeles Maritime Museum in San Pedro, California!

It was during my search for the Queen Mary's propellers that I was able to take these photos. The Poseidon is a scale model of Long Beach's most famous ship (a quarter inch on the model equals one foot on Mary), weighing close to 2,000 pounds and measuring 21.5 feet long. A team of 15 modelers constructed it from the Queen Mary's original plans in about 3 months, and included battery-operated propellers, working funnels and interior lights. It was loaned the museum by 20th Century Fox and resides there to this day.

Two classic views.

A shot of the bridge, where Captain Harrison and his officers met their fates.

Here's a view that very few people get to see of the real Queen Mary nowadays (unless by boat...or Carnival cruise liner for that matter). These photos do not really do the model justice; it is amazing to see in person! No detail is too small. I do really suggest paying the Poseidon a visit if you happen to be in San Pedro.

1 comment:

  1. This is one of two really nice museums in San Pedro, the other being the Marine Museum, designed by Frank Gehry, which is out near Cabrillo Beach and the old beach house. I wish I could recommend San Pedro itself, my birthplace and home of some of my best childhood memories, but sadly, the town has gone down real bad, and hasn't the leadership to stop the slide.

    But hey, if you're going to Long Beach, it's worth the drive to see this museum, then drive over to the Marine Museum, and if its a clear day, take Pacific Ave to the Pacific Ocean---which pops into view in a most spectacular fashion. Drive over to the little cafe near Pt. Fermin Park (used in "Chinatown") and up to the Korean Friendship Bell for a fantastic view, then keep driving, all the way around PV and over to Santa Monica which has only gotten better, but hasn't got any great ship museums.