National Geographic : 1952 Sep
331 Nomad Passes Portland Head Light, Which Was Built by Order of George Washington Nomad is called a ketch because her mizzenmast is stepped forward of the helm; if it were abaft, she'd be a yawl. Built in Fairhaven, Massachusetts, in 1929, the yacht survived the 1938 hurricane by riding at her moor ings, one of the few that did. The view from the lighthouse inspired some of Longfellow's poems (page 333). At the yacht club supper and dance that night we met Lt. Comdr. Lafayette Remillard, USN, and Mrs. Remillard, who took us on a tour of the old navy yard next day. It was here, they reminded us, that John Paul Jones's Ranger was built in 1777. She was the first United States warship to hoist the Stars and Stripes and the first to receive a foreign salute to that flag-from France. The red-brick building now housing admin istrative offices was the scene of the Ports mouth Conference, which ended the Russo Japanese War. A large framed photograph shows the big, bearded Russians seated at one side of a long table, and the little Japanese delegates on the other, their feet barely reach ing the floor. In a pond which formerly supplied the yard with ice are submerged oak timbers, some of undetermined origin but all relics of the days of wooden ships. Timbers last many years in such water storage. A morning mist shrouded our departure as we shaped a course for Cape Elizabeth, 45 miles distant. Mount Agamenticus kept us aloof company until long after we passed be tween Cape Neddick and Boon Island (page 352). Bartholomew Gosnold in 1602 called the cape "Savage Rock." As for Boon Island Light, it perches on one of the coast's most desolate ledges. Before the lighthouse was built, during the War of 1812, a number of ships had left their bones there, and some have done so since. But we sailed in clement weather, and the sea was so smooth that when we arrived at the Cape Porpoise "whistler," our shipmate Bob Allen was able to step aboard the bright red buoy to be photographed by Marden (page 338).