Found another clip of Point Reyes, only this one isn’t a memory from Phil’s life… it’s a memory from Clyde/Clive’s life!
Fast forward to about 4:18. Those are very, very close to the cliffs I remember standing on with the wrecked paddle steamer down below us.
I seriously think I may have been on the Labouchere when it ran aground near Point Reyes in 1866, but whether as a passenger or as crew, I don’t know. I also don’t know if that’s the exact place or if this corresponds with all the details of the Labouchere since what little information says it ran ground and that 23 crew members had stayed on board during the sinking to be rescued the next day, so it can’t have been in very deep water. I wouldn’t imagine that life boats would stay adrift if they were that close to shore, though, and the cliff would have been the most visible place to stand.
I need to find a manifest from this ship, or some records from the Italian fishing vessel Andrew which picked up the survivors of the Labouchere. If anyone knows a good source for maritime records please comment!
Now what would be an incredible discovery is if I found out for sure that Phil had frequented this spot and that Clyde/Clive had been ashore during that time. On the other hand, if I don’t find a name similar to “Clyde Sparks” or “Clyde Starr,” I might have a cold trail on my hands since I’m not sure what this man’s name actually was. The only personal detail I have on him is that he was probably English, and probably worked in a theatre or opera house after his years at sea.
EDIT: I have found the first major hole in linking this to the Labouchere. According to “The Fur Trade Fleet: Shipwrecks of the Hudson Bay Company,” the Labouchere was a sternwheel steamer. What I remember seeing was distinctly a sidewheel paddle steamer. This means it could not be the same… my original doubts about the veracity of the memory have suddenly returned with a vengeance, but maybe I can trace something. If I can find a side-wheel paddle steamer that wrecked near similar cliffs, then this remains plausible; if not, then I may have nothing here.