National Geographic : 1951 Mar
370 Terry Glenn "All Hands, Down Mainsail!" Wind-lashed, Yankee Runs through the Heart of a Gale The brigantine encountered this storm, worst of the voyage, off the Cape of Good Hope (pages 350, 366). Eyes aloft, Irving and Electa Johnson watch a crewman's efforts to free the main boom lift, snagged high overhead. Others tug on a downhaul while dousing the mainsail. "This job," says the skipper, "is worse at night when so many things can't be seen. Then winds seem to shriek louder and waves break higher." A newspaper plane buzzed the ship for photographs (page 368). Some New Yorkers, habitually blase, did not notice us. Passing close to ferries loaded with office-bound work ers, we observed a few passengers who pre ferred their morning paper to a cloud of canvas. Taxis Chase Yankee Up East River As we passed into the East River, sailing beneath the bridges, we witnessed excitement galore. Taxicabs on shore chased the ship. Stopping, they let out waving, yelling passen gers. Several of our crew recognized parents. Sunday, May 1, our last day on board, was clear. We set everything, including the stud ding sails. Our prize sail was the main, whose patches told of 45,000 rugged miles. And so, flying 7,775 square feet of canvas, we came back to Gloucester 18 months after setting sail (page 365). "Down stunsails! Furl topgallant! Down fisherman! Down mainsail!" Yankee's first line touched old Rocky Neck dock just 18 months and 4'/2 minutes from the time she left. The skipper apologized for being late and said he would try to do better on the fifth voyage. Crew members met that night for a farewell dinner, then scattered to their homes. We Johnsons began our new voyage around the world October 29, 1950.* * For additional articles on the islands and areas mentioned, see "NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE Cumulative Index, 1899-1950."