La Querida

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La Querida (#297155) (1892-1966), vessel of 15 gross tons foundered in Avalon Harbor on January 16, 1966. [MVUS 1968]



In the News~

January 18, 1966 [LAT]: “40-Foot Craft Lost. Winds, Swells Pound Dream Into Flotsam. Forest Dawn laughed ruefully Monday as he described the 60-m.p.h. winds and towering swells which pounded his 40-foot motor sailboat into flotsam and ended a dream in Avalon Harbor. He and his wife Lila had sold their home; he had given up his job as a manufacturer's representative and, after more than two years of planning, they were leaving on a South Seas cruise. Aboard the custom-made boat, La Querida (colloquial Spanish for the Mistress), were personal belongings, money for the 18-month trip, cameras, extensive radio gear, refrigerators and 20 cases of food. The Dawns and their two passengers, Ted Schoenwetter, a Standard Oil Co. chemist, and Bob Cannon, 24, Mrs. Dawn's brother, were left with only the clothes they had worn to dinner Saturday night. They had left Marina del Rey Friday morning and had moored in Avalon Harbor that afternoon, spending the next day making final preparations for the trip. Saturday night they saw storm warnings up, but were assured the winds were not expected until very late that night, so they went to dinner ashore, planning to set sail ahead of the rough weather. "We had dinner at 6:30," Dawn said, "and in 20 minutes the wind came from nothing to 35 knots. By 8 p.m. every boat owner in the harbor was there watching the boats jump up and down." They watched in anguish until 2:30 a.m. Sunday. Then, powerless to do anything, they went to bed in a hotel. Winds and waves wrenched the boat loose an hour later and slammed it into the sea wall. "Big pilings had broken loose, some of them 14 feet long," Dawn continued, "and were milling around the sea wall. When the boat hit, it was like a huge garbage disposal machine. Dawn, 40, says the boat and equipment were worth about $35,000, but the insurance covers only a $20,000 loss. He and his wife are homeless and are staying with her mother.”