Change of identity alert.... Watermelon has become Salty Dog and gone missing again!
I am much obliged to rhessenius for solving the mystery of Scituate No. 1/Serendipity/Watermelon/Salty Dog!
And credit to Sailnet, which I joined for the specific purpose of making this search. But now I have lost the trail again, for the Pioneer Inn Marina seems to have disappeared. So I'll try to rejuvenate this thread and hope for more news. Now it's Salty Dog
we are looking for.
It was fifty years ago today (11/19/60) that we set off for the Caribbean in Serendipity
from Squantum, Mass, so I'm feeling a bit nostalgic, though in no mood to relive the night of our departure. We ran downwind all that night for the Cape Cod Canal, rolling something fierce before a strong NE breeze. With a half ton of unstowed gear aboard, for we had set the departure date with a vow to leave - ready or not. And of course we weren't ready. Here are a few old photos.
From CG surfboat to ketch - June 1959
ready to launch. Note the added freeboard. The chainplates run down to the original sheer line.
Ice storm south of Morehead City. It took us more than two months to get this far, and the first palms and Spanish moss we saw were not supposed to be encrusted with ice. It would build up in the rigging until until we hit a rough spot, then come crashing down on deck like broken glass.
That's our skipper and Serendipity's
builder, the late Walter Ramsden, at the helm. He was a talented, practical mechanical engineer and a skilled sailor who won a lot of races with his Indian, Apache
, sailing out of Squantum Yacht Club in the mid 50's.
Careened in Charleston to repair ice damage, February 1961. We had been trapped by thick ice in Chesapeake City for three weeks.
When it got rolly we stood spread-eagled at the tiller and braced ourselves. Our watches were two hours on, four off. Here I am in February 1961. I believe we were near the edge of the Gulf Stream approaching Florida at the time.
On the passage from Charleston we had been becalmed for most of a day after a norther in the stream, which seemed to have meandered inshore, or so we thought, for we spent many hours rolling violently amongst large steep waves whose peaks were tumbling off and crashing noisily. I've never seen or heard anything like that since. We went for a long spell without a sight. Then came fog. I was the navigator and worked mostly with sun lines. We had a taffrail log and used an RDF at times, but had little success with radio bearings. And we had a lead line. We nearly ran into the STA buoy (St. Augustine) in the fog, and that was far SW of my DR x on the chart. When we circled the buoy in disbelief of the marking it ate our log's rotator, adding injury to insult. By the look of those waves where we were becalmed we assumed we were in the stream and being set back northward, but apparently that was not the case, for we actually had made much more progress south. It was quite some time before my credibility was restored.
More photos to come.