Semper Paratus

Updated 03/21/2003 10:02

Semper Paratus and Amistad

15 March 2003

A Sea Scout youth perspective of this exciting day is being prepared by Amanda Jo, but in the meantime, here's the skipper's version:

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.

Freedom Schooner Amistad glows in the afternoon light.

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.  Stay tuned!

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?  

DCP_1800a.JPG (532832 bytes)  Coast Guard Warrant Officer Sam Freer telling the crew of YORKSHIRE the story of Coast Guard.

DCP_1803a.JPG (319525 bytes)  Apprentice Sea Scout Drew and his cousin, Warrant Officer Sam Freer.

DCP_1812.JPG (735998 bytes)  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.

DCP_1811a.JPG (304670 bytes)  Amanda Rose and her new recruit, Cody.

DCP_1815.JPG (888525 bytes)  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.

DCP_1826.JPG (931101 bytes)  The weather deck of Amistad, showing the Charlie Noble, main hold escape hatch, and the foremast pin rail. 

DCP_1819.JPG (925218 bytes)  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.

DCP_1823a.JPG (847471 bytes)  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.    

DCP_1816.JPG (1102004 bytes)  Pin rail of Amistad.

DCP_1825a.JPG (609390 bytes)  Bell of the Freedom Schooner Amistad.

DCP_1827a.JPG (862888 bytes)  Windlass and mooring bitts of the Amistad.

DCP_1844.JPG (973722 bytes)  Amistad's ratlines and port running light.

DCP_1832.JPG (1000255 bytes)  Amistad's galley. 

DCP_1833.JPG (781328 bytes)  Below decks in Amistad, showing the beautiful woodwork and also the surprising amount of light coming in through the deck prism light.

DCP_1838a.JPG (510180 bytes)  Skipper Kain, Tim, Drew, Amanda, and Matt by the figurehead of Amistad.

DCP_1843a.JPG (723251 bytes)  Amistad's jolly boat in her davits.

DCP_1841a.JPG (317712 bytes)  Brass binnacle at Fawcett's Marine Hardware, Annapolis - "If we don't have it, you don't need it."

DCP_1840.JPG (1162094 bytes)  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.

DCP_1873a.JPG (551365 bytes)  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 poster people."

DCP_1860.JPG (1093843 bytes)  The Ship 25 limo cruising the streets of Annapolis by night (I wish!).

DCP_1869.JPG (465054 bytes)  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.

DCP_1850.JPG (639531 bytes)  "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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Home Up MD Maritime Fest Wills-Kain Eagle Canoe Race D.C. Visit Bo'sun's Project Chris's Eagle Eagle Dinner Nygard Regatta Eco-Challenge Program Launch Chesapeake Regatta Windrose Arrives Willit Work Party NER Regatta Admission Ceremony MS Bike Tour ScoutFleet ScoutFleet2 Wizard Cottage Lot SEA EAGLE COPE Corn Roast Kipona Canoe Race Liberty Ship Catoctin 2003 Mall Show Council Dinner Garrod Hydraulics Tuckahoe Landship Semper Paratus First Bridge of Honor NER BOH Wizard Cross-over HMS SULTANA Greg's Eagle Kuan Yin Rock Hall Herrington Harbour Solomons Night Race USS SEQUOIA Harry's Eagle Project Maritime Day SULTANA Long Cruise Christmas Party Tim's Bridge of Honor USNA SAS BOR Boat Preparation BOR2004 Koch Cup Hospital Ship COMFORT DE Beaches Troop 25 Sailing SASW-2004 Shiloh Fundraiser Adirondacks Halloween Parade Cook-Off VSE Snow Ball


This page is from the website of SSS YORKSHIRE - Sea Scout Ship 25, York, PA, USA -