National Geographic : 1957 Sep
pumping the foghorn, and listening between blasts for answers, we came suddenly upon a luxurious power cruiser circling aimlessly. "Hey!" hailed a nattily clad figure from her wheelhouse. "Which way to Newport?" We gave him the compass course and wished him well. Island Historian Shops for Fish Sensibly, if unvalorously, we felt our way into Cuttyhunk, a salty little island lying be tween Martha's Vineyard and the Massachu setts shore. Fortunately it was Mrs. George W. Haskell's day to shop for fish on the docks. A schoolteacher on the island for nearly a quarter of a century and author of her own textbook on Cuttyhunk history and geogra phy, Mrs. Haskell stopped to look Nomad Australia Returns in Her Old Age to a Setting of Her Youth Now a Mystic exhibit, this oldest American schooner afloat served as a Confederate blockade runner. Later Australia sailed Chesapeake Bay, haul ing sand, watermelons, oysters, and coal. Mrs. E. Paul du Pont presented her to the museum. Robert F. Sisson, Staff Photographer over and was soon engaged in telling us about her home. A fort built by navigator Bartholomew Gosnold on Cuttyhunk, she said, was the first structure raised by the English in New Eng land. Erected in 1602, it antedates Plymouth by 18 years. A 50-foot-high monument mark ing the site of the fort now serves as an important navigation aid. Westernmost of the Elizabeth Islands, Cut tyhunk has only 50 year-round residents. Many ships have been wrecked here. One was the bark Wanderer, last square-rigged blubber hunter to leave New Bedford on a whaling voyage. And a short voyage it was. Anchored off Cuttyhunk, she dragged, struck, and was broken up by the sea. Nomad Greeted by Homing Yankee Boisterous Buzzards Bay set little Nomad to dancing next morning. A big white wind jammer wearing the rig of a staysail schooner came up from astern, plowing through the chop as steady as a table. It was Irving Johnson's Yankee, home from one of her globe-girdling cruises.* Actually a brigantine, she shucks her square sails in narrow waters for handier fore-and-aft canvas. A wild shout rang out from Nomad's bow. "Flying fish, millions of them!" screamed John. "Quick, Priscilla, the net!" The identification was correct, even if the numerical estimate was a trifle awry. Flying fish are sighted every now and again in Buz zards Bay by local watermen; the "winged" creatures stray into the bay when inshore waters become unusually warm. Nomad flushed just one of the little creatures with her curling bow wave. I only hope Yankee's people were not using their field glasses while John was lash ing the water with a crab net, vainly seeking the rest of the covey. I wonder what they "would have thought was going on aboard Horgan's pride and joy! * See, in the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE: "Yankee Roams the Orient," March, 1951; "The Yankee's Wander-world," January, 1949; "Westward Bound in the Yankee," January, 1942, all by Irving and Electa Johnson.