Fully rigged ship, launched 1960, Greenport, New York.
My heart will always be with Bounty; you can’t help but favor your first love.
I first heard about Bounty while searching the internet for sailing terms, I have no idea how I ended up on her website, it was just there in front of me. I hadn’t heard about tall ships before this point, I figured they were something lost to time, if there were any around no way did they sail. But Bounty did. Best of all I happened to find her when she was looking for crew. I decided to apply, what could it hurt if they said no, I felt I was applying just to see if it would work, if they would take me, I didn’t feel serious about it. I only got serious about it when they called me, the next day! They wanted me to come to Florida and join the crew for winter maintenance. Heck yeah I was gonna do it! I had no idea what to expect, didn’t know what I was getting myself into, but a month after my interview I was on her deck in sunny Florida.
I sailed on her for two years, my first year as a deckhand, my second year I accidentally became the cook.
Being a deckhand is mostly manual labor, long days and long nights including – sail handling, climbing aloft, standing watch, sanding, painting, cleaning, sewing, all the dirty work that needed to be done was part of my realm.
My first season we sailed from Florida, up the east coast of the United States and into the Great Lakes, my season finished by hauling the boat out of the water in Boothbay, Maine.
The second year I became cook right before we crossed the Atlantic Ocean from San Juan, Puerto Rico to the UK. I cooked for 32 days for 25 people, one of the most challenging times of my career because it was so new to me and a huge step up in responsibility. That summer we sailed through the Baltic Sea and finished the year again in Puerto Rico after we hauled the boat out in the Virgin Islands.
Bounty only sailed with crew, we never had passengers and we took the boat from port to port giving deck tours as our way of making money. We attended many tall ship events with other vessels and when it came time for tours we always had the longest line, it helped that we looked like an old pirate ship and that she was used in a handful of films like Pirates of the Caribbean 2 and 3.
Unfortunately, Bounty is no longer with us, she sank off the coast of North Carolina in 2012 during hurricane Sandy, the captain and a deck hand passed away during the ordeal.