- a Mercury News article from 2001
- a page devoted to setting the record straight, including the "recipe" for the ship's hull, and a photo from around 1930, showing the ship in all its glory.
- a recent (September 2006) Mercury News article about cleaning up leftover oil that was killing sea birds.
So what is this all about, and why is it called "the cement ship"?
Here's what I've learned: Towards the end of World War I, several ships were built of concrete, because iron and steel were getting very expensive. The SS Palo Alto was built in Oakland, and was intended to be a supply ship, but by the time she was completed in 1919, the war was over, and she stayed in Oakland until 1929, when she was bought by the Seacliff Amusement Company. They sailed her to Aptos, and turned her into a dance hall, restaurant, and swimming amusement park. Unfortunately, the bottom fell out the financial market in 1929, and the company went under within the next two years. The SS Palo Alto stayed sitting at the pier and fell into disrepair. These days, she is an artificial reef and great fishing spot, and one of the most-photographed landmarks in the area.