March 8, 1914, Port of Ocos, Guatemala
“A striking feature, just north of the loading station, standing upright, high and dry on the beach, is the large German steamer “Sosostres” deposited there by a tidal wave at time of some great commotion which I believe occurred at the eruption of the volcano Santa Maria [which] wrought wide spread destruction some eight or ten years ago.”
Will Hobby, on the San Juan
That would have been about 1904 to 1906, but Santa Maria erupted in 1902, the second-largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century, according to one source. Severe earthquakes, indeed a “great commotion,” heralded that eruption, which killed perhaps 5000 people and ruined Guatemala’s coffee crop for that year. The last eruption before 1902 was about 500 years before. The next was June, 1922. Santa Maria has been active in this century with explosions, lava flows, ash plumes, and earthquakes and is notably dangerous, although the associated Santiaguito lava dome is the current source of activity.
Assuming the Sosostres was beached by a tidal wave, it’s not surprising that people associated the tidal wave that beached the ship with the (probably larger) one from earthquakes at the time of Santa Maria’s eruption.
And there are other tales about the Sosostres…