Becalmed midway in the '76 Tall Ships race we went swimming in the navy blue sea in bright sunshine. I floated face down and saw sunlight streaming around my shadow and carrying it off to infinity thousands and thousands of fathoms below.
Thank you so much for the congratulations -- I am extremely excited! It is a huge honor, especially during the 100th anniversery and a Caribbean Studies year. You are right, that moment up on the spreaders was so much more that appreciating the beauty of sailing offshore. That was the first time I truly felt like an integral part of the vessel and her crew.
If you are near Marion any time this coming year, past crewmembers are always welcome aboard for a sail.
I enjoyed your Bunker Hill story, what a great boat, with some serious balls. I still can't believe they got rid of her, I think the hull was in great shape when I left in'90, just a diesel would have perhaps been a bit safer. She was a great work boat, but also fun to have out wide open with only 3-4 people on board. I remember one summer evening taking her almost all the way out to Clevland Ledge on a plane.
One cold November night in 1995 at about 2300, just before departing for Bermuda, myself and 2 other grad's who were working the winter decided we had to go out for a few pints before departing the following evening. After getting refused service a the Wave we headed to the Mattapoisett Inn for some Bass, and were promptly carded, despite have not shaved for a few days and in full foul weather gear. I just laughed at the bar tender, but we surrendered our licenses in good faith as beer was at stake. All of us were in our mid 20's at the time. Well we finally got the beer(s) that we so desired and it was time to head back to Hoyt Pier and the Bunker Hill, for a high speed run up the channel. Well about half way back to Schooner, in high spirits, the engine failed. I think we all let out a big "Oh Shit" simultaneously understanding the gravity of the situation. We proceed to tie up to a winter stick as is typical at this time of year, only a hand full of boats still in the water to try and determine the problem. It was dark, cold and blowing pretty good. We went to work trying to figure out what happened, and quickly determeined that as it was winter and all the launch runs we were making that no one from Maintenance had been fueling the boat. Another long string of words were repeated over the blowing wind that night.
Thank god I had slipped my portable VHF into a pocket before departing and 2 student were onboard monitoring the VHF. I was so happy to see these two officers pull up along side that night. Of course, their greeting in typical schooner fashion was "what the %^&$ are you guys doing". They took us back that night to our warm comfortable home onboard. It would have been a long and cold night out there!
I was worried they wouldn't scan well, because I had to very carefully remove them from an old, "sticky" album. Also, I have a picture of the winch mount where the winch was ripped overboard in 1979, but I can't find it. I'm going to keep looking because I hope to find more pictures with it!
Those are great shots and I now have a big smile on my face. Thanks so much for taking the time to post them. It is amazing how they brought back really fond memories. That was such a great trip and you and I are so lucky to have been a part of that amazing event. My father told me I would appreciate that trip more and more as I grew older and he was right!
Very best regards,