The Princess Taiping, Hyde Street Pier
For years historians have speculated on whether or not Chinese fishing junks arrived in the San Francisco Bay decades before Columbus landed in the Americas. Chinese nautical artifacts, such as anchors dating back to the early 1400s, have been discovered along the Pacific Coast. Some scholars believe that an entire Chinese fishing fleet entered the bay and sailed up the Sacramento River in 1421.

To try and validate this theory, the 54-foot junk Princess Taiping, made the Pacific crossing from Hong Kong arriving in San Francisco in mid-October. The boat was built to the specifications of a Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) war junk flying cotton sails on its three masts. The ship carried its crew of six men and one woman across the Pacific in 69 days. The junk docked at the Hyde Street Pier and refitted in preparation for its next all-important ocean crossing.

For historians to validate the claim of a possible ocean crossing in the 1400s, the junk has to be able to return to China. This might not be so easy, 50 years ago another junk the Free China also made the eastbound journey but was unable to make the return voyage, so it is up to the Princess Taiping to undertake the return trip and maybe shake up our view on history.
[ MAP D-13 ]