National Geographic : 1968 Aug
Looking at the Conrad's86-year-old hull, with its gold scrolled black bows poised before the re-created port, I wondered what Mate Beverley would have thought if she'd been aboard in 1934, when I saved the Conradfrom a Copenhagen scrap dealer and sailed her to New York. I had a few seasoned hands and a boy crew. It was winter, and a wild Atlantic storm soon put her to the test. In the middle of a black and blowing night, the gale suddenly whipped around on me. The Conrad began to slip backward, gathering sternway as her few set sails were forced against her masts. I can see the old ship now, pausing, trying to catch her breath: I square the main and mizzen yards. I put the helm amidships (so the sea will not knock her rudder off). At the order, boys rush to brail in the spanker, which is making her unmanageable. The situation wasn't unique, of course. It was called "being caught aback." But you had to do the right thing -ev erybody had to do the right thing-at once, or else. Agonizingly the Conrad slowed her sternward rush. She stopped, the sails on the foremast swinging her head 224 Window-shopping for history, visitors stroll along cobbled Seaport Street, whose venerable shops face the Mystic River. As a setting for its vessel-lined wharves, the Marine Historical Association scoured the east coast for old maritime buildings and moved them to the Seaport, creating an authentic coastal village of a century ago. Horse-drawn wagon holds barrels for ship's provisions. Quart of cure delights a half-pint patient; Francis Kahl tends the Bringhurst Apothecary and Doctor's Office on Village Street. The shop's inventory, acquired in part from a 19th-century Delaware pharmacy, includes leech jars, bleeder knives, and a turnkey for extracting teeth.