The Tabor Boy Project

See more sketches in the “My Photos” section.

In 1977 the US was still basking in the glow of the year long celebration of our countries 200th anniversary the year before. All sorts of bicentennial projects were wrapping up and the “Spirit of America” flowed through the countryside of our nation. Here in New England this “Spirit” was at an all time high and unique opportunities to celebrate were around every corner. Tabor Boy and her summer crew were to experience a bit of US history from 1776, on board her decks exactly 201 years latter.

Tabor Boy was to take on cargo in Connecticut and haul it to Boston Massachusetts. Cargo!, but Captain we said, “We don’t haul cargo, we haul people!” Captain Glaeser re-assured us that what we where about to do was unique and not your every day opportunity in the tall ship world. Tabor Boy, being stoutly built and having large amounts of deck space to accommodate this unique cargo, was up to the challenge. More so was Tabor Boy’s summer crew, we were very excited and honored to be asked to re-create history by hauling this full scale replica of the submarine called Turtle from the shores of Connecticut to Boston Harbor.

Earlier in the year Capt Glaeser had received a phone call with a unique request. Would he consider helping the designer and builders of their recreated submarine and reenact the historical journey of this submarine, by placing her on a deck of a sailing ship and sending her up the coast. Historically Turtle sailed on a sloop, as some historical records suggest, and was transported from the Connecticut River to New York Harbor(originally the Turtle was scheduled for Boston, but the US Navy changed the location to New York Harbor when they learned more of the British fleet was in NYH).

We sailed down to Conn and docked in Old Saybrook. Turtle was loaded on board with a crane and the crew, under the guidance of her builder, lashed Turtle down on deck. The designer and builder came aboard and would sail with us to Boston to deliver Turtle. With great fane fair we got underway from Old Saybrook and proceeded to Boston. We arrived on Boston two days later. I don’t remember where we moored Tabor Boy to offload Turtle.

During the trip, I believe one of the builders, was a bit of an artist, and made several hand drawings of Tabor Boy’s deck and sketches of Turtle on board Tabor Boy. At the end of our trip he was gracious enough to give me a few of his drawings as keep sakes. Honestly, why I kept them is anybody’s guess, but these drawings have been stowed in my files along with other “schooner” keep sakes for some 30 years just waiting for a time like today. Why, because now they can tell there own story of history, Tabor Boy’s history and the power of influence and change in a person’s life. Event’s such as these teach us all, and most often at the time we don’t even realize it does teach us, not until many years latter do we realize how significant participation in events like these make us who we are. I was and still am, very proud of being part of this historical voyage aboard Tabor Boy.

I have done some web searching on the Turtle and post some links below. The recreation of the Turtle we hauled to Boston is currently back in Conn and is owned by the Conn. River Museum. A second recreation of Turtle was built about 2003 in partnership with the US Navy.

Please, if any other crew who sailed that summer have memories of this trip, please post!

This has been my vague memory of what happened, but I can bet that if we all post what we experienced from our viewpoints, we will have a great historical record!!!

Jamie Hutton? Peter Mello, Kip Files? Others? weren’t you also on board?

If we can come close to recreating a significant event in Tabor Boy’s history, one that I could NOT find anywhere else on the web. No other written accounts of this 1976 recreation of Turtle, ever mention that Tabor Boy was involved in her historical journey up the New England coast.

Turtle Links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turtle_(submarine)

http://www.mayflowerfamilies.com/a_1776_submarine.htm

http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blsubmarine5.htm

http://www.oldsaybrook.k12.ct.us/HSWebsite/Turtle_Webpage/Turtle.html (Home site of turtle Tabor Boy transported)

http://www.handshouse.org/turtle.html (home site of 2003 Turtle)

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Comment by James Hutton on May 20, 2007 at 1:29pm
Bob,
That's a great summery. I wasn't aboard for the summer programs yet. I remember that the TURTLE was set up by the academic center flag pole that following fall. Now I know why you, Dave Robins and others who had sailed aboard the schooner that summer were so enthusiastic!

I think that Cap had a way of bringing history to the schooner and making some history of his own! He truly realized the value and how important it was to the program and to us.
Comment by R.C.Glover III on May 20, 2007 at 8:12am
Peter:
Great! I am very excited you have some real photos. Thanks for adding them. What a great team effort this is!
Was not Bill Rose sailing that summer?, my old age fogs my memory.
Comment by Peter A. Mello on May 19, 2007 at 7:59pm
Bob;
What an amazing find and contribution to The Tabor Boy Project! I have some slides to scan from this voyage and will try to get them up when I get back home in about a week.
Thanks again for this incredible "lost" moment recaptured.

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