2004 was an interesting year on BOUNTY. My schedule permitted me to spend several periods aboard, and the ship travelled from Florida to Nova Scotia, into all five of the Great Lakes, to Chicago, and back to Florida before the New Year. Here is a photo of BOUNTY sitting at the pier in St. Pete.

The first trip I made was the longest - from St. Petersburg, Florida, to Jacksonville. We stopped in the Dry Tortugas and spent a few hours exploring Fort Jefferson there. We anchored out, and used the tender to ferry passengers and crew in turns, so they could explore the island. There isn't much to see there, so in a few hours we were all ready to get underway again. We had to raise the anchor 'the old fashioned way', as the electric anchor windlass was kaput. It only takes a few hours, and it's great exercise. At least, that's what we keep telling ourselves as we trudge around and around and around . . . .

Here is a shot of myself and a few shipmates, getting ready to storm the town for dinner and grog. You can see we're dressed in our finest pirating cloths. Our normal ship's 'uniform' is whatever is comfortable, but several of us felt like dressing up in an assortment of SpongeBob and Pirates of the Caribbean costumes, with a mix of eye patches and caulking iron hooks thrown in for good measure. All the pub patrons seemed to appreciate our efforts, proven by all the drinks they bought us.

I visited BOUNTY in Chelsea, Massachussets while I was doing research for a book I'm writing. I won't give away too much of the substance of the book, but I will tell you there is a fascinating connection between HMS BOUNTY (the original) and the American Revolutionary War, right there in Boston, Lexington, Concord and Bunker Hill. That's a picture of the diorama of the battle, on the left. I'll give you a hint: there is a member of the Pitcairn family associated with the BOUNTY mutiny, and his father played a major role in the opening days of the Revolution in 1775.

Here is a great view of the Charlestown Navy Yard, including USS CONSTITUTION, with Boston in the background. This photo was taken from the top of the Bunker Hill Monument on a windy, rainy day. While I was in the room at the top of the monument lightning struck the tower. The flash and the crash of the thunder were simultaneous, and while I knew I was safe inside the stone structure, I decided it was time to head back to the ship.

I visited BOUNTY briefly in Ogdensburg, NY. The ship was coming into the Great Lakes through the St. Lawrence Seaway, and stopped here to take on fuel. I was there to pick up my daughter, and spent the night aboard with the ship tied to the pier. In this photo you can see the yards are cock-a-billed in preparation for passing through locks. Everything must be kept inboard of the hull to prevent entanglement and breakage.

My fourth visit in 2004 to BOUNTY was a little longer than the third - I took Rebecca back to the ship in Buffalo, NY. My wife came along and we stayed a few nights aboard.

We even squeezed in a day sail. Ruth got to steer for a while - her first time! She did real well as we practiced wearing ship under sail alone.

By far the most unusual trip I made on BOUNTY was in November. The ship was contracted to stay in Chicago until November first, and by the time she made it to Lake Ontario it was quite late in the year for heading out the St. Lawrence and over Nova Scotia into the North Atlantic. The decision was made to exit the Lakes through the Oswego and Erie Canals, to the Hudson River at Albany, New York.

The bridges on the Eastern half of the Erie are only twenty feet above the water, so our tall ship had to become short. The masts and bowsprit were unstepped, and a few pieces of the stem and head rails had to be removed as well. (See photo above). The picture on the left shows one of the guillotine-style flood gates we passed under. We touched bottom several times, and bumped a few lights and rivets on some of the bridges, but we made it through.

While the trip through the hills of New York State saved us from the rough weather of the North Atlantic, it wasn't exactly warm. One morning we played ice breaker for a while, crunching and grinding our way through the Mohawk River Valley. Below decks, in my cabin, it sounded as if we were plunging through broken glass. BOUNTY's thick wooden hull held up to the punishment, however, with only the loss of a little paint.


This page, and all contents, are Copyright (C) 2005 by Kenn Anderson,Sr., Scranton, PA. (USA)