Monday, July 6, 2009

History of the Dixie

 ‘DIXIE’ is a 32ft Monterey Clipper double ender fishing boat. She was built 1n 1924 by G. Beviaqua at the Genoa Boat Works in Fisherman’s Grotto. Mario Beviaqua told me his father and two men built these boats in 6 weeks and they sold for $5,000.  Her first owner was Guseppi DiMaggio who gave her the name ‘LIBIA’. In 1931 the Department of Fish and Game gave her the license number 356. She’s a “Documented” vessel; her history is on file with the U.S. Coast Guard. The DiMaggio’s fished the boat until her sale in 1936. 

     She is docked in the Grotto across from the DiMaggio building on Jefferson St. and I was able to meet Dom DiMaggio on several occasions.  When he took up on my offer of a short cruise he told me about the name…”Libia’s not a who, it’s a what. My father named her after an Italian battleship!”  When Dom was 8 or 9 years old ‘LIBIA’ was shipped to San Pedro and his father put him on board with pasta and wine for the journey. The captain took him under his wing and made sure he was taken care of. 

     In her fifty plus years in the commercial fleet she has fished the West Coast from Alaska to Mexico, been licensed for every fishery and since 1994 is a rare and genuine tourist attraction in Fisherman’s Grotto.  Powered by a 1920’s ‘Hicks’ twin 14 hp “make and brake” engine she “shhpops” people from all over the world around the Bay.


Sunday, June 7, 2009

Meet Captain Maury

Captain Maury Polse is a San Francisco Bay native, born on the island of Alameda, a few yards from the Bay, in 1950. For most of his life he has been on the water. His father Burton’s first boat was an ex-Navy launch purchased in 1955. His first command was the ‘DIXIE’. Purchased sight-unseen, sunk at Bethel Island in 1983. He raised her and a week later drove her to 5th Ave. on the Oakland Esturary. With the “Admiral” Frannie and his three boys Aaron, David and Jake as crew he explored the Bay and Delta from San Jose to Sacramento.
Donating the use of ‘DIXIE’ for chairitable causes the Captain was inspired to become a professional mariner. He earned his 100 ton Masters License in 1993. In 1994 he began operating ‘DIXIE’ Charters, “We’ll carry you, marry you or bury you. Full service charters, six passengers”, at Pier 39. In 1995 his operation was invited to move to Fisherman’s Wharf and remains the home of ‘DIXIE’ Charters, right across the street from the DiMaggio building, the original owners of ‘DIXIE’.


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