During 50 summers, since Shenandoah, the topsail schooner he designed was launched from Harvey Gamage’s shipyard in Maine, Bob Douglas has been at her wheel as she left her Vineyard Haven mooring for each week long trip.
In the early years, he took along 30 or so adults, sometimes Mariner Scouts, and while he wrestled with the Coast Guard for licensing, he carried them at no charge. Eventually, the trade in adults fell off and he turned to children, most from the Vineyard schools. He thought they were more adaptable and absorbed the lessons he set out to teach, his best ambassadors as well. His aim was to wrestle a few modern Americans away from their televisions and other isolating gadgetry, their compulsive in-touchness. Let them spend a week under sail, in the wind, flying over the water, doing some rough labor and dining together, without technological mediation, with folks they didn’t know well but learned to know.
Read more: MVTimes