Cruize of opportunity


By – Maritime History Consultant

“We live in manhood,” says Thoreau, “to fullfill the dreams of our boyhood.” He meant more. We live in manhood to explore and circumnavigate our boyhood; it is the only world we ever know.

– Lincoln Colcord, Sea Stories: From Searsport to Singapore

There is magic that is created in the imagination of youth that gradually becomes crusted over with the cares and the hardness of the adult world. But for those whose minds and memories are not irretrievably dulled by the gradual ossification of adulthood, the dreams and adventures of childhood live and inspire daily life, and for a lucky few, can be revisited for courage, cheer and joy.

So it is in the adventure stories of the sea: of pirates and coves or the dip and splash of the longboat oars rowing ashore to a moonlit strand. In the stories of the men who once slipped away from shore to lead colorful and romantic lives at sea, a child could find adventure that thrilled his soul and that stayed with him, if he was lucky, to be remembered wistfully, a Peter Pan world never to be revisited again.

Lynx is based on the premise that such dreams and such memories are not the stuff of childhood. They are of fulfilled manhood and that rediscovering the vanished world of sea brigands and their sleek ships is, as Irving Johnson, a fabled old sea rover once said, “a step toward one’s life, not time taken out of it.”

Lynx offers to those who wish to find it again, the chance to go to sea in an authentic sailing vessel of an adventurous heritage; to wear the clothing and use the tools, speak the language and live the life of Decatur and Perry; to walk the beaches of moonlit coves with Teach and Rackham; and to savor the vanished empire of the “Pirate Round.” And, as they learn of the strengths and skills in the clear mirror to character that is a working, authentic sailing vessel, they learn too what the meaning of their life once was, once might have been and can be in the years remaining.

Embarked in Lynx on a “cruize of opportunity,” the participants feel the surge and lift of the deck, see the canvas straining in still power aloft, and hear the snap of historic old ensigns in the wind. They will visit historic ports and secluded coves where, both for themselves and for visitors, they will portray privateers, brigands and other “rascals of the sea” along with resolute Navy men – and learn priceless lessons of their own natures as they recreate these earlier roles.

Searching for “treasure” in coves that ring with the names of Billy Bones, Isaiah Hooke, Israel Hands and “Black Bartholomew” Roberts, they discover again the deeper treasure of their own lives, and their sense of adventure and romance. They may see some of the most beautiful places that exist on the earth, and the endless power and infinite variety that is the sea when known from aboard a sailing vessel.

And their most valuable opportunity will be to find themselves again.


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