To get things rolling—a little history. The elegant vessel shown here is my Granddads 130 foot schooner Endymion. The photos were taken in the mid Atlantic with an early box camera during the 1905 Transatlantic race for the Kaisers Cup (Germany). The starting gun fired at 1300 0n May 10, which historically is nearly the exact moment the first car (Ford) was pushed over the Snoqualmie Pass in Washington State. Think of the traffic now on our highways and waterways.

Gramps placed third in the Transatlantic race, winning a lavish cup, that during World War Two was melted down and found to be pewter beneath the brilliant silver exterior.

Look closely at the pictures. You’ll see the paid crew at the gigantic wheel and Grandpa is his Pea Coat standing to the left. What you won’t see are hydraulics, winches or instruments. In the photo looking forward, just imagine handling those lines or reefing that huge heavy mainsail.


"Volcanic disturbances could occur at any moment.” I read the caution aloud to my crew. Though a yacht is not a democracy, I followed with a question; “What say you guys? Are you up for going where we are told we should not go?”

Pets as Shipmates

What saved us was Denise vehemently stating “You take my dog-you take me too.” The thing is, they could have. It’s all in timing, perspective and luck.

Pay attention to diet and environment. Have ample supplies of your pets preferred meals. Foods, like chicken or pineapple on a stick in Thailand are pet temptations but can carry unwanted consequences. Malaysian ticks were nearly invisible until they ‘hatched’ in the cockpit causing untold misery for our small dog.

Of Might and Men

Among my memorabilia are these pictures with this post. Try to imagine what it must have been like to handle the rough lines or huge amounts of canvas in that era with only might and men- no conveniences. On the picture looking aft note the paid hand at the wheel while owner in a proper ‘P-coat' of the day stands to weather. I’m told there was a piano below deck. And BTW (as we say today) my Dad claimed these exceptional pictures were taken with a simple box camera.

Of might and men on several occasions including the 1905 Transatlantic Race for a cup sponsored by the Kaiser of Germany. Yachting in the ‘golden era’ was strictly a gentleman's sport - Corinthian style, meaning no professionals aside from paid hands serving as deck apes. Big brawny men with Popeye muscles were needed because there were no hydraulics, winches or turnbuckles.

Sea Snake Adventures

There were several times we had face to face meetings with sea snakes. I’ll post the next one shortly. Here’s the first one, actually a freshwater lake experience.

The Marquesas heat was unbearable, stifling days with no wind….tooo many of them. We lay at anchor off a tropical beach with a rocky outcrop to the North and a forest of palm trees to the South. Directly before us lay a small native village. The inhabitants hunted wild goats, were serious fishermen, and had eaten human flesh prior to French missionaries arriving shortly after World War Two. There was no evidence of missionaries. Wonder what else they ate?

We seriously wanted a fresh water shower - something better than our weak-stream deck shower or an ephemeral afternoon cloudburst. Using sign language and maps drawn in the sand we were told to follow a dry creek bed up a mountain to a lake with an ever flowing waterfall. Paradise perhaps?

The Shark and the Sea Snake

We were anchored in a huge bay called Cape Bowling Green off the East Coast of Australia. “Looks like a great place for fishing,” Denise said, turning to he pole with excitement.

“Not such a great spot for a storm protection” I thought

The bay was very large, possibly a square mile with only a thin hard sand spit protecting it on the seaward side. Hard enough for locals to drive vehicles on and there were plenty of them dotting the horizon. Likewise for beach chairs occupied by bronzed pot bellied Aussies with a brew in hand and a couple of fishing poles anchored in the sand.

We had set our hook in about 30 ft. Denise, who loves to fish, shortly had a line out to starboard that she was semi tending as she also devoured the latest Harold Robbins thriller. Multi tasking as only women can. Another tough day in the tropics. Brandy, our Caviler King Charles Spaniel lay on deck at Denise’s side.

Lure of the Drop Dead Pacific Islands

May 1st. 1745 hours. Tony is at the foredeck windless. “Let er rip Pops!” I put my finger to the remote and our CQR anchor slips into Traitors Bay, headed for the bottom 20 feet below.

Wow - we are now anchored at Nuka Hiva Island in the Marquesas Chain after 18 days and nights at sea and putting 3,000 nm under Endymion’s keel. It’s time to sit back and drink in the island’s heady tropical beauty. We certainly were not the first voyagers to make landfall here, but this had been my journey with my fine crew, and these tropical surroundings already bathe me in a calming effect I had never before known.