This is a 26 ft Monomoy surf boat, named prior to WW II as USCG Scituate No. 1
. In those days she served as a coastal rescue rowboat. In the late 50's Walter Ramsden, a college classmate of mine, converted her to this ketch rig, and in 1960-61 three of us sailed her from Squantum, Massachusetts to the British Virgins and back. When we set off on this adventure, winter was approaching and we had some pretty wild times. But it was some treat exploring the yet-to-be-developed British Virgins.
Around 1965 Serendipity
, as we called her, was sold to a fellow bound for the Caribbean. He seemed short of experience, and not long after, we got a report she was near-abandoned at a pier in North Carolina. With this sad news we wrote her off - but not the memories.
Then in the early 80's, I think it was, my other shipmate, Tom Crowley, on a business trip to Oshkosh, stumbled on Serendipity
, now named Watermelon
, docked right next to the Holiday Inn where he was staying. How could this be? A miracle! What an incredible coincidence! Our old surf boat had been revived it seems, sailing for years out of Annapolis, then moving to Lake Winnebago when the owner transferred there.
In the early 90's, while working on a project in Green Bay, I did a little checking, and found Watermelon
at the Calumet Harbor Marina on the east side of Lake Winnebago. She was on a cradle for the winter, and her original cedar planking still seemed in pretty good shape, considering her age.
Now I am trying to find out if Scituate No. 1 / Serendipity / Watermelon
still lives. Or was her final mission warming some Wisconsin brandy drinker's toes from a fireplace?
If anyone has a clue about this boat, I'd be mighty grateful to hear about it. I'll be writing a few things about this for my grandkids.