The Ancient Mariner on the New River

Nothing to do with albatrosses,  the Ancient Mariner was a floating restaurant in Fort Lauderdale. Since it was just before my time, I’m not exactly certain where it was but it seems it was on the New River not far from the Stranahan House.

It was originally a Coast Guard cutter and had served admirably in the Second World War. Her name at that time was Nemesis. (In Greek mythology, the spirit of divine retribution, Hmm). She then became a restaurant called Livingston’s Landing but sank, most likely due to rust holes.She was finally fitted out as an African steamship and pressed into service as a restaurant again as the Ancient Mariner; another name with unfortunate, cursed connotations…

The restaurant lasted for about five years but then became the alleged source of an outbreak of Hepatitis A. It was discovered that a kitchen worker was the source of the disease which affected over a hundred people. The restaurant was closed by the authorities and unable to re-open due to the amount of bad publicity generated by the outbreak.

What happened to the craft? Ultimately she became part of Broward County’s artificial reef program. Those who had been made ill by eating at the restaurant weren’t sorry to see it go to the bottom of the ocean.

Evidently divers still visit. Now that is too spooky for me. It looked spooky enough when it was above water.

Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.
Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.

Don’t you think the Ancient Mariner looked spooky? Or is it just me …?

Edit: Thanks to Kathy from the Sun Sentinel who let me know via Twitter that the Ancient Mariner was docked just west of where Hyde Park Market used to be, across from jail.

Posted by Las Olas Boulevard in : History News,

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