National Geographic : 1957 Nov
What a welcome we had! At daybreak that morning the mighty liner Queen Eliza beth came out of her way, slowing down grace fully, to blow a salute on her siren, which must have disturbed her passengers at that early hour, and to make us a welcoming hoist of signal flags. For an hour or so there were only three ships together on the wide Atlantic in sight of each other, and two were square riggers and the third the Queen Elizabeth what an odd combination! The second square-rigger was the handsome and clipperlike Eagle, the United States Coast Guard's training bark, which my good friend Seamen in Elizabethan Dress Get a Broadway Ovation My wife Nancie waves from the parade car. Rear Adm. Gordon McLintock, superintendent of the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York, rides beside her. I hold the movie camera. My companion on the rear deck is James J. O'Brien, New York Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Commerce and Public Events. Chief Mate Wicksteed and Second Mate Small lead the marching crewmen. Scotty Anderson-Bell carries Felix, the ship's cat. B. Anthony Stewart, National Geographic Photograipher 671 Capt. Karl Zittel was taking off on her annual training cruise with midshipmen, bound for Europe. Karl sailed close, slowly overhaul ing my much slower and deeply laden little ship, and we were able to speak to each other and exchange greetings (page 660). It was wonderful to see the Eagle again, for I had sailed in her, keeping my hand in with the square-rigged ships.* After that came an absolute horde of air craft and ships: blimps and jets and bombers, private planes and transport planes, aircraft hired by newspapers or just diverting from their routes to welcome the strange little ship, in at last from the sea. Freighters, passenger ships, a submarine curiously named the U.S.S. Bang, fishermen, powerboats of all sorts, sailing yachts, giant supertankers-all saluted us. The sun shone and the sea flattened, and the little new Mayflower put her best foot forward, bounding along with the beam wind at an average 7.7 knots. I knew that, be cause the accompanying Coast Guard cutter Yankton timed us and told me. Tug Lends a Hand on Last Lap It was the mate's birthday, the good old mate who had given up a comfortable berth as headmaster in a school ashore to come back with me and help sail Mayflower. He was a great help, too-he and all the mates, and Walter Godfrey the cook, Ike Marsh the boatswain, Edgar Mugridge the carpenter. Charlie Church the leading hand, Peter Pad field, Dr. Stevens, John Winslow-all of them. The mate was 59 years old and, at the turn of the watch, both watches sang for him by the break of the poop. "Happy Birthday to You," they sang-singing for the mate in a square rigged ship! I doubt that such a thing had ever been done before. But that was the kind of ship I like to run. * See "Under Canvas in the Atomic Age," by Alan Villiers, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, July, 1955.