A Sea Scout youth perspective of this exciting day is
being prepared by Amanda Jo, but in the meantime, here's the skipper's
On 15 March 2003, S.S.S. YORKSHIRE was privileged to meet and talk with
Warrant Officer Durward "Sam" Freer, United States Coast
Guard. Sam is a cousin of Drew, one of our newest Apprentice Sea
Scouts, and came up from Virginia just to meet with us. Sam's current
assignment is as the Yeoman Detailing Officer in Washington, D.C. He
gave the crew an excellent presentation on the current mission of the United
States Coast Guard in the post 9-11 world, complete with videos of the
force's "Year in Review", the "10 Greatest Rescues at
Sea", and "Women in the Coast Guard." He also had Coast
Guard T-Shirts and literature for us. I think if he'd brought
enlistment papers with him, we'd have all signed up on the spot. We
were all duly reminded that the sea services will enlist Sea Scout
Quartermasters at the advanced pay grade of E-3 instead of the customary
E-1. Sam also told us the story of Douglas A. Munro, a former Sea
Scout who went on to become the only Coast Guardsman to win the
Congressional Medal of Honor. For
the full story of Petty Officer Munro's heroism, click here.
After also learning why the Coast Guard is "Always Ready" and
how "You Have to Go Out - You Don't Have to Come Back", the
YORKSHIRE crew piled into The Ark and set a course for the
Navy Exchange Uniform Shop at Annapolis. With the skipper looking
resplendent in his new double-breasted service dress blue blouse and
matching trousers (purchased at considerable expense in anticipation of
putting on a good show at the upcoming Bridge of Honor), and with the rest
of the crew lugging bags of their own new uniforms and accoutrements, The
Ark next cruised by scenes of past Nygard Regatta fun and glory at
the Retelle Recreation Center, Naval Station Annapolis. This was a
farewell visit to the site, as we understand the government has sold the
site to developers. Boo hiss!
The Ark then steamed into downtown Annapolis and the Boatswain
piped liberty call for all hands. Annapolis is as near to a sailor's
paradise as one can find this side of New England, so the crew lost no time
in buddying up and heading off in search of adventure. Those who
stayed with the skipper sampled fresh crab cakes at the central market and
then went to discover the identity of a topsail schooner whose masts and
yards towered over the rest of the vessels at City Dock. She turned
out to be the Freedom Schooner Amistad, built at Mystic Seaport and
launched in 2000. This was a stroke of good luck, for not only did it
give us ideas about our own upcoming Long Cruise onboard H.M.S. SULTANA
this summer, Amistad provided great ideas we can use in rigging the
landship at Tuckahoe. Even greater good luck was that our Amistad tour
guide was Arielle, a 17-year-old girl who graduated from high-school six
months early this January in order to accept a position as a deck hand and
interpreter onboard Amistad. So far, Arielle has sailed in Amistad
from the Gulf of Mexico along the U.S. Atlantic coast to Annapolis and
she's having the adventure of a lifetime. Upcoming ports of call
include Mystic, Connecticut; Portsmouth, New Hampshire; Lunenburg, Nova
Scotia; the Saint Lawrence Seaway; and the Great Lakes. This girl is
one knowledgeable sailor, and she just bubbles over with enthusiasm for her
ship and life at sea on tall ships. Arielle gave us a stem-to-stern
tour of Amistad including many places the public never sees.
Sea Scouts Tim and Drew were astounded to learn that one can actually get
paid to have fun on boats, and so sought out details of possible future
employment from the Amistad's First Mate. Who knows what the
future may hold for some of our own Sea Scouts in this regard.
We next strolled the City Dock admiring other worthy vessels, and
stopping for obligatory ice cream at a pierside ice cream emporium.
Then it was on to Fawcett's Marine Hardware store, where with our Sea Scout
discount, we can acquire anything nautical we could conceivably need.
The skipper bought a new bottle screw for our sloop Windrose, sail
needles and thread, marline, and the 2003 editions of Eldridge's Pilot
Tables and the commercial Nautical Almanac. Could YORKSHIRE soon be
taking up sailmaking and celestial navigation? The crew wonders.
Back at the City Dock, the Coast Guard crew of a High Endurance Cutter
came ashore in their 26' rescue boat and a high-speed RHIB (Rigid Hull
Inflatable Boat) to get some parts at Fawcett's, too. The Coast
Guardsmen were kind enough to enthrall our crew with stories of their recent captures
of "go fast" drug runners and rescues of migrants in
distress. It may not just be Sea Scouts that "have more
FUN!", since, like Arielle, these Coast Guard folks were also thoroughly
enjoying what they do for a living.
Beginning to feel peckish all over, we boarded The Ark, paid her
ransom to the parking garage gatekeeper, and crossed Spa Creek into the the
Maritime Republic of Eastport. Faced with an abundance of excellent
places to dine, the crew eventually settled on The Charthouse.
Supplied with a table for ten and a super, understanding, waitress, the crew
ordered everything from the endless salad bar to lobster tail and Maryland
crab soup. Sharing Chinese style, we all got a taste of every delicacy
the sea has to offer. Then, after Purser Leah struggled mightily to
figure out who owed how much for what plus 15%, it was back to the Annapolis
docks for a farewell stroll. At precisely the stroke, to the second,
of the 9:30 p.m. expiration of liberty the skipper had set, all hands showed
up to board The Ark for the return voyage to York. It is
because the skipper can rely on the crew to behave themselves and to show up
on time that he is willing to facilitate these expeditions. Amanda
Rose and Cody showed up wearing green bowler hats in honor of St. Paddy's
Day, and Matt showed up carrying Amanda Jo piggy-back, so it was obvious the
crew had enjoyed themselves on shore leave.
The fun didn't stop yet, however. Returning to our winter sea base
at Garrod Hydraulics in Manchester, we then watched a "late night
video" called The Lightship, a suspense thriller about the crew
of the Coast Guard Lightship HATTERAS shot on location onboard one of the
last actual lightships afloat. At two a.m. we finally acknowledged
that it probably was time to secure the watch. The Ark jettisoned Sea
Scouts one by one at their homes (parents having been previously advised of
anticipated late arrival times).
Not bad for one 18-hour day of Sea Scout FUN! The adventure begins
anew at 1430 tomorrow (Sunday) when the crew re-assembles to build the final
crew bench we need for the Northeast Region Bridge of Honor ceremony in two
weeks. If I could remember my Latin, I'd rephrase the Coast Guard
motto of "Always Prepared" into an S.S.S. YORKSHIRE motto of
"Always Up to Something!" Hummmmm.... I wonder
how, "Sea Scouts have more FUN!" would sound in Latin?
Coast Guard Warrant Officer Sam Freer telling the crew of YORKSHIRE the
story of Coast Guard.
Apprentice Sea Scout Drew and his cousin, Warrant Officer Sam Freer.
The YORKSHIRE crew on the banks of the Severn River, U.S. Naval Academy in
the background. L to R: Cody, Yeoman Amanda Rose, Boatswain's Mate
Matt, Amanda Jo, Drew, Purser Leah, Boatswain Tim, and Storekeeper Isaiah.
Amanda Rose and her new recruit, Cody.
Fresh shucked Chesapeake Bay oysters at the Annapolis City Dock Market -
Ummmm Goood! Another reason why "Sea Scouts have more FUN!"
is because they eat better, too.
The weather deck of Amistad, showing the Charlie Noble, main hold
escape hatch, and the foremast pin rail.
Our new friend, Arielle, deckhand onboard Amistad. Here's a
lady who knows what she's doing, and knows what she wants to do with her
life. She graduated from high school six months early this January at
age 17 so just so she could accept a position as a deck hand and interpreter
onboard the Freedom Schooner Amistad. In the last two months,
she's sailed in Amistad from the Gulf of Mexico to Annapolis.
Future stops include New England, Nova Scotia, and the Great Lakes.
Arielle explaining the sailor's version of the old carpenter's rule,
"measure twice, cut once." One of her first assignments was
to secure the mast hoops on the main mast to the main sail.. After a
full day of carefully seizing about twenty hoops to the sail, she discovered
she had missed the 3rd hoop from the bottom, hand to undo all her work, and
start over again. She said, cheerfully, it was a mistake she does not
plan to repeat.
Pin rail of Amistad.
Bell of the Freedom Schooner Amistad.
Windlass and mooring bitts of the Amistad.
Amistad's ratlines and port running light.
Below decks in Amistad, showing the beautiful woodwork and also
the surprising amount of light coming in through the deck prism light.
Skipper Kain, Tim, Drew, Amanda, and Matt by the figurehead of Amistad.
Amistad's jolly boat in her davits.
Brass binnacle at Fawcett's Marine Hardware, Annapolis - "If we don't
have it, you don't need it."
The Coast Guardsmen we met in Annapolis came in from a High Endurance Cutter
anchored out in the harbor. They were full of enthusiasm for their
work, and told us thrilling stories of their recent service at sea.
The skipper's latest money making scheme for the Ship: "If they
put the U.S. Navy on Coke machines, why not Sea Scouts?"
"Well, Skip - if they do, they won't be calling on you to be one of the
The Ship 25 limo cruising the streets of Annapolis by night (I wish!).
The skipper said, "Wow! Look at those dolphins over there."
All I could see were a couple of crummy old posts stuck in the
mud. He must know something I don't.
"Rubber Duckie" standing the in port mid-watch on someone's boat,
complete with Sou'wester. When you see things like this, you know it's
time to head home.
Visits since 16 March 2003
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