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Endymion

Endymion 1905

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.

Stories passed down to me included sensible lessons, like how to judge wave height by measuring the sea against rigging and mast height. The prudent rule for sailing in fog has always been to be able to stop in half the distance you can see, yet this Endymion, with it enormous amounts of sail, barreled through fog approaching the cliffs of Dover, jibing only when the helmsman sensed the backwash of waves crashing on rocks. Today we would call it near miss navigation.

Hearing nautical yarns as a boy etched my destiny. I went go to sea and, not being egotistical, had adventures most folks could not imagine. They are all in my forthcoming book No Return Ticket. Slices of those stories will be in my future posts. Come on aboard!

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