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February 9, 2011

Remembering Never Done Before...



I have written about my youth, and the fact that I spent a few years sailing the Bahamas and Caribbean on my parents sailboat "Firebird". After my older brother left home and the rest of us started completing our high school education, Dad opted to sell the sailboat for something more comfortable.  Centennial was originally constructed (in 1917) as a motor-sailer, not a sailing vessel, and not a power boat... She was refitted by the US Navy in the 40's as an escort vessel, then rebuilt by the navy and returned to it's owners (some movie studio in LA) afterward.

During her tenure under that studio, she was used in a couple of movies including Key Largo, with Humphrey Bogart... I used to have a photo of her anchored in Avalon Harbor, Santa Catalina Island, off the coast of southern California. Not sure where that photo went but I do know that the yacht that was to become Centennial ended up on the east coast of Florida in the 70's.

When Mom and Dad decided that they would rather push a throttle than hoist sails, they found "Galway" in St. Augustine. We spent a few months refurbishing her at Summerfield's Boat Works in Ft. Lauderdale (the same place we rebuilt Firebird). I was reading James Michener's book "Centennial" during this time, and during the time that my parents search for a new name for this motor yacht started. 

As she was built in 1917, and the approaching year (1976) was the bi-centennial of the USA, I suggested "Centennial" as a possible name...  It stuck and became her new name.

We had many adventures on Centennial, and after my Dad's passing in 1979, I went to work for the company that bought her and skippered her for about a year...

Just some more tidbits from my past...

Over and "Out" from Portsmouth, VA

3 comments:

MarathonMom said...

Very cool....you post some good stuff fromI back in the day, maybe even "before"......

I enjoy it and know others do to -


xoxoxoxo

manxxman said...

Nice rememberance......keep them up.

the cajun said...

What a great story, history and memories of that boat and family. Thanks for sharing.

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