8 Bells Captain
Eddie Weinberg March 6 1924 - July 2 2012
Notorius by some folks telling and there are those who will tell you that he saved their lives, literally and otherwise.
He certainly saved a few old schooners (Lady Ada, Ranger
, Diosa Del Mar and most recently Nefertiti) from an unhappy end. He raced 4 of them that I know of locally here in SoCal including, most infamously, the Diosa Del Mar (67’ and christened in 1898) which in July of 1990 he put on a reef off of Ship Rock, Catalina
during the 10th annual Fireman’s Race
. He was a great skipper
and knew the local waters very well but this time while cutting close around the rock as he always did, a small pleasure boat
shot out into the schooner’s path. Eddie had two choices…plough into the pleasure boat
and risk killing the passengers or put the schooner over hard to starboard. Of course he chose the later option and Diosa Del Mar hit the rocks and went down.
There are so many great stories; stuck up the Yangtze on a small USN patrol boat when Pearl Harbor was attacked and blasting his way out past two Japanese bases then crossing all the way to Australia
, ducking in for fuel
where he could. Running a waterfront bar in Oakland called Fast Eddies where he held bare knuckle fights for the local roughnecks while the hoy-paloy dined on gourmet food
in the balcony , etc. etc. etc.
But finally, and I believe that Eddie would most preferred to be remembered this way: All of those schooners he sailed and raced in Southern California
were, by design, crewed by kids
who were down on their luck and headed, like those beautiful boats he saved, for a bad end. There are guys walking around now who wouldn’t be otherwise and who will tell you that it was Captain
Eddy Weinberg who changed their lives forever and gave them a new outlook and a fresh start.