About Us and the ON-LINE Museum
1980-1982, Trips to Hong Kong to visit Ariana's Thai/Chinese grandmother and extended family fostered a deep admiration for Chinese Junk Boats for Susan.
Fast Forward to 2006. Susan spotted a Chinese Junk in Breakwater Cove Marina that was up for sale. Alas the owner sold the boat with his business as he had used it for lodging when he came to the Peninsula to shoe horses periodically.
<==Susan and her daughter, Ariana
Broken-hearted but hopeful, she had made friends with a JUNK broker in Hawaii who remembered her passion and called her in Dec 2008 to let her know that there was a junk for sale in Monterey Harbor. She immediately made an appointment to meet with the owner and see China Dragon.
Love at first sight but not an economy to purchase a boat and take on the responsibility of keeping her afloat an agreement was struck after much thought, prayer, and meditation.
Susan's dream was to have her father visit her on this amazing sail boat. She enthusiastically called her dad: Dad, I've slept on this boat 5 nights in a row! Fred, always the joker, quipped back from his hospital bed: Susan, I just have one question for you. Expecting to hear: Did you LOSE YOUR MIND? What on earth possessed you to buy a boat in THIS economy. but instead he slyly murmured: When you sleep on the boat at night, do you wear your water wings? Oooh...she thought quickly: No dad, I sleep with one foot in the floor and I expect that when the water gets up to my ankle bracelet, I will wake up and get off the boat. They both had a good laugh and from that day on, her dad loved to tell all of his oncologists about his daughter in California with the authentic Chinese Junk.
Not long after Susan claimed her, she heard a little voice come from no-where and whisper: CHINESE JUNK MUSEUM. What? Chinese JUNK Museum. Well, the Hawaii based Junk Broker said she had her "starter junk"
Ignoring this little voice and putting it off as a possible long term dream, Bradley settled in to the Marina, making new friends and getting to know China Dragon.
A few days later, Gerry Low-Sabado whose Great Grandmother arrived in Pacific Grove in 1851 on a Chinese Junk the same size as this one, floats by in a friends sailboat.
Just a week later, the sea lions barking out orders to each other and sea gulls squawking over fish Gerry appears again but this time in a gorgeous Chinese silk robe asking to come aboard. The emotion and energy was palpable as Gerry entered this 30 ft boat reminiscing and imagining her ancestors crossing the dangerous seas with another family for a new life in a brave new world. Gerry explained that it was the Chinese who started the commercial fishing industry in Monterey, CA and Cannery Row followed by the Portuguese and Italians. We're not sure who came next the Portuguese or the Italians. I am sure if you asked an Italian they would humorously say they were first and if you asked the Portuguese ..they would say they were first.
Pictures were taken and a bond was created over sharing this emotion filled day. Hmmm, Susan thought, "Chinese Junk Boat Museum" took on a new meaning. If there WAS a museum what would be needed? Susan had a dream that night which included China Dragon, and another junk boat that needed restoration as a community restoration project, and then another larger 60 to 80 ft Chinese Schooner that could take Convention Bureau Visitors and Tourists out into the bay for a sailing experience with a square rigging.
Soon we'll have her sailing in the bay flying her yellow sails with the Red Dragon painted across to make history once again and commemorate the return of Chinese families who once populated the area for a reawakening of these pioneers who have nearly been forgotten.
Come and support us in making her shine again. Her teak, gak, and mahogany needs sanding and oiling. Her decorative mahogany trim was recently knocked off by a fisherman's boat that was caught in a surge and needs to be remounted. If we gather together in partnership she can once again sail in the harbor as a gentle but picturesque reminder of a nearly forgotten part of Monterey's history.
9/11/2012 To commemorate and honor the victims and families of 9/11, China Dragon was crewed by volunteers and a guide boat to the 3 mile marker in Monterey Bay, CA. Check out the video in our blog. On board: Monty Perry (from MBARI), Susan Bradley, Mascot Romeo, David Nicholson, Guide/Support Boat: Michael Coleman.
10/2/12 China Dragon is now out on her mooring in between Breakwater Cove and Fisherman's Wharf. You can see her close to shore from the walkway between both locations. We've already received compliments of China Dragon making the Harbor look more colorful. Keep the positivity coming. It's very appreciated.
FOR NOW the Chinese Historical Junk Museum is ON-LINE only but one day we hope to be a part of a Maritime Museum or have our own location.
For more news about other Chinese Junk Preservation Movements see: http://www.chinesejunkpreservation.com/news.php