3 Copies of This Film
1) 2747.0019_F16
16mm film; [500 ft.]; Silent; b&w and color
2) 2747.0015,.0018,&.0019_DVD
DVD; Silent
3) nhf-2747_0019-Uncompressed 10-bit.mov
Sailing trips to Bermuda and Nova Scotia, 1938-1940--Dorothy Stebbins Bowles--home movies. Reel 16
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1938 – 1940
Can Descriptions
Sailing/Nordlys 1940 - To Bermuda and return: Steb, Chet, Al and Dorothy Stanford, Van Van Slyke, Charlie Young, Irving Adams, Bermuda street scenes, Hurricane (?) on return trip: hove to, ripped sails, broken mast or boom, huge seas 1938 - To Nova Scotia: Lunenburg dock activity: unloading fish, drying fish, commercial sailing boats, schooner "Bluenose", Return trip: "Crossrip," lightship, 4 masted schooner
Viewing Notes
Color - Rough seas shot from the deck of the boat (Nordlys) as the boat rocks wildly up and down. Man with blond hair and a sweater (Alfred Stanford) sits on the deck with a woman (Evelyn Stanford). Chet behind the wheel. More shots of the sea and the deck. Chet uses a Sextant. A man high up on the mast checking lines. Sunset from the boat. Chet climbs up the lines, Chet on the deck. Passengers watching the sunset. Daytime, raising the mast. Another boat. Four men in a dinghy row over to the Nordly to visit. Shore line. Evelyn and Alfred Stanford on a tandem bike ride through the streets of Bermuda. Back on the boat. Dorothy behind the wheel (7:00). BW- The ship hits a hurricane at sea. Rough seas and wildly rocking boat. Two men in rain gear securing a broken mast. The sail waving wildly in the wind, torn. One of the passengers tries to repair the mast. Rough seas, but the sun is out. Everyone on deck, repairing the sail. (new trip to Nova Scotia?) Color - Boat scene. Waterfront, Lunenburg Nova Scotia. Two men unload an ox cart on the dock in front of “Zwicker & Co. LTD” building. Nordlys anchored at the pier. Dock activity: Men unloading fish from a large boat to smaller boats. Pan of harbor. Other boats in the harbor. Unloading fish from small boats to the pier, and fish drying on the pier. More fish coming in. Ox cart and a car on the wharf in front of a large boat. B&W- Wharf shot from the water. “Blue nose” schooner. Large commercial sailing boat. Pan along the ship and up the mast. Leaving Nova Scotia, Chet behind the wheel. Other sail boats. Waves crashing onto the deck of Nordlys. Large ship in the fog with “Cross Rip” written on the side. Four-masted schooner. Color: Four-masted schooner closer as it passes the Nordlys. Everyone on deck. [End of Reel]
Anecdotal Comments & Reflections
On their return from Bermuda in April 1940 the Nordlys hit bad weather and the sail was damaged. The ship was delayed for six days and the Coast Guard had began looking for them. Aboard the ship were Dorothy Stebbins Bowles, Chester Bowles, Evelyn and Alfred Stanford, John Hogan, DeForest Van Slyk, Charles Young, and Irving Adams. Newspaper articles about the missing boat and its return in the Collection Folder. From an interview with Chester Bowles in New Era on May 3, 1940, "'Two days out of Bermuda we struck a gale out of the north. The sea kicked up more white water than I or my friends had ever seen in all our ocean cruising...And we saw two coast guard boats hove-to in the three day blow. When the coast guard stops moving you can be pretty sure there's a pretty big sea making up." "Two days later is when we really ran into bad luck. Our schooner was suddenly struck by a white squall with hardly a moments notice. It blew great guns for over half and hour and ripped our sail in several places. It also twisted our top mainsail shroud out of position, but otherwise left our spars and rigging undamaged." "These white squalls are different from the familiar black squalls of the New England coast. The black ones can be seen coming and sails can be reefed, but the white squalls cannot be seen coming. When they hit a vessel heavy with sail they have been known to snap the spars clean off." "The squall passed quickly enough but it left us in the predicament of having to heave to and start sewing sail. This work, we realized would take us some time, making us later than ever back to Essex. We proceeded on our course with a much smaller spread of canvas. We couldn't carry enough sail to push our heavy boat along very fast. Therefore when we sighted a passing freight steamer we decided to signal her and ask captain's indulgence to send a radio message ashore to reassure our folks at home that all was well and that we would be about five days late getting home." "The captain of this freighter was evidently a foreigner judging by his broken english as we shouted through our megaphones across three or four hundred yards of open sea between our vessels. We shouted across a message about like this: 'Delayed five days by storm, don't worry. Don't send Coast Guard. Repairing sails. All on board well and happy. Plenty of food and water. Proceeding slowly to Montauk.' You can imaging our surprise when we discovered that this message had been garbled by the ship's captain who sent a message about like this: 'Schooner Nordlys disabled. Proceeding slowly to port for repairs.'" ..."Every year the Coast Guard is obliged to go out and rescue disabled yachts at considerable expense and bother to the service. We were in absolutely no danger, we were all perfectly well and enjoying ourselves. True, our sails were ripped, but all six men on board were seasoned sailors and we were all busy sewing up the sails. We had come through the worst storm we'd ever encountered in those parts and above all we did not need the assistance of the Coast Guard. It is a shame that our message was misinterpreted and garbled and I have personally expressed my apologies to the Coast Guard for their trouble." ..."When the weather calmed down and the northern head winds ceased we were able to bring out our parachute spinnaker sail from its locker. Running before the wind this sail shoved us through the last 100 miles at top speed." Dorothy S. Bowles Papers, 1887-2012; "Essex Boat Back From Bermuda With Six Day Delay Explained" New Era, May 3, 1940. MC 813, folder #1.8. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
This item may be available for reuse, please contact Northeast Historic Film for more information
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